On October 20, the program of the European Region of Gastronomy 2017 title of the Riga-Gauja region (R-RG) was presented at the Eighth Partners Forum of the Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTDB). It has been based on the “Wild at Plate” concept and includes several dozen new events scheduled throughout the year in Riga, Sigulda, Cēsis and Valmiera.
The biggest events on the schedule include the opening of the European Region of Gastronomy 2017 on January 14 in Riga and on January 28 in Sigulda. As part of the project, gastronomy will be given a special role during the festivals of all four cities, as well as during restaurant weeks in Riga in May and October, in Sigulda in Apil and November, as well as in Valmiera. At the region’s restaurants, guests will be offered special menus, focusing on the ingredients and products available specifically in this region, and various masterclasses will be organized at the restaurants.
Next year, both local and foreign guests will be able to enjoy a variety of other events, such as the Gastronomy Film Festival, which will run from March 20 to 26 at the Film Noir, a special Children’s Restaurant in Sigulda on May 27, the Music and Gastronomy Masterclass during the European Choir Games, and in Cēsis gastronomy will blend with art at an exhibition of contemporary Latvian artists’ paintings the central motif of which is meat as a food product.
Seasonal products will be the highlight of eight annual events at Riga Central Market, masterclasses with R-GR chefs will be held once in a month, and excursions will be organized to the Central Market as a major tourist destination in Riga. Various activities consistent with the concept will be held also at the region’s fairs – Ar Gardu Muti Valmiermuižā, Simjūdis Fair, and others.
Various tourism products will be developed also in R-GR cities. For example, it will be possible to book a two-day experience expedition to “The Thousand Year Old Forest” to explore wild forest animals and their habits, learn about various fire making techniques, camp building basics, pre-processing, cooking and storage of meat, etc., to go on a herb-gathering trek “Flavor of the Forest”and take a tasty tour around Lake Raiskums.
“Next year is going to be delicious! Together with our partners, we have created a program centering around food and gastronomy. It envisages various activities, from the development of special menus at restaurants to educational and new tourism-promoting projects,” says RTDB board chairperson Vita Jermoloviča.
One of the main informative sponsors is RIMI retail chain, which from next year will ensure communication in the stores and also information materials.
The European Region of Gastronomy Platform and Award aim to contribute to better quality of life in European regions, by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability and stimulating gastronomic innovation. IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) organises the award with the support of European institutions. It is an international network of experts that aim to guide, facilitate and support leaders in cities, regions and cultural projects to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets.