European Regions of Gastronomy chosen for 2016

An international jury selected by IGCAT for the European Region of Gastronomy Platform met in Ponte de Lima, Portugal to consider the applications and see presentations from candidate regions for the European Region of Gastronomy title for the year 2016. On the basis of the written applications, visits to the regions, presentations and after discussion, the jury has decided that both Minho (PT) and Catalunya (ES) should be recommended as the first European Regions of Gastronomy for 2016.

The jury was impressed with the work undertaken by both candidate regions in preparing their bids. Both bids managed to integrate the different focus areas of the European Region of Gastronomy very well into their programme. Both bids also presented a long term view of the event and its legacy. Both regions have obvious gastronomic strengths on which to implement their programmes. There is also strong commitment from the regional partners to the programme.

The Jury reviewed the written applications of the two candidate regions, which had been submitted on January 19th 2015. Jury members also visited the two regions in June 2014 and February 2015. The candidate regions were invited to make a presentation of their proposals in Ponte de Lima on February 6th, 2015. On the basis of the presentations the teams from the two regions were then questioned about their plans by the jury.

Suggestions for improvement from the jury, for the final version of the programmes includes:


More specification of the relationship between the programme and the focus areas.

Ensuring visibility of European Region of Gastronomy in the different elements of the programme.


Indicate how they will deal with the tensions between promoting local gastronomy and the strong trend towards globalisation.

Both regions –

Think about more activities to promote collaboration between SMEs at European level.

Consider how will they ensure that pride is taken in the event by local people.

Develop the evaluation actions, particularly in terms of the wider, European effects, because this will be a particularly important part of these first programmes. We will expect these two pioneer regions to share their experiences with the rest of the platform, and to ensure some form of independent evaluation.

Both regions should consider in a more structured way how they will work with the other regions on collaborative marketing.

On the basis of the written applications, the presentations and the discussion, the jury has decided that both Minho and Catalunya should be recommended as the first European Regions of Gastronomy for 2016.

The official award of the title will take place at a ceremony to be held in Brussels on 3 June 2015.


The International Jury

The jury is drawn from experts from the founding members of the European Region of Gastronomy platform. For the 2016 selection, the jury members are:

Prof. Dr Greg Richards (NL) President of IGCAT

Prof. Dr Ilie Rotariu (RO) Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

Prof. Dr Roberta Garibaldi (IT) Universita degli studi Bergamo

Anna Blaua (LT) Riga Tourism Development Bureau

Claire Robert (FR)  Conservatoire International des Cuisines Méditerranéennes

Anja van Hout (NL) Agrifood Capital

Carmel Cassar (MT) University of Malta

Jesper H. B. Christensen (DK) City of Aarhus.