During the third and last day of the Art of Food event, all the participants were hosted in Foundation Alícia in Sant Fruitós de Bages (Barcelona). Foundation Alícia is a research centre devoted to technological innovation in cuisine, improvement of eating habits and evaluation of food and gastronomic heritage. The private, non-profit foundation has been created in 2003 with the aim of promoting healthy eating.
After the guided tour of the Foundation by the Director Toni Massanes and the researcher Ramon Sentmarti, the candidates for the European Regions of Gastronomy 2017 award presented their bid: East Lombardy (Italy), Riga – Gauja Region (Latvia) and Aarhus/Central Denmark Region (Denmark).
Each candidate region presented its program to the jury and to all Art of Food participants, with the aim of being awarded the tile of “European Region of Gastronomy 2017”.
East Lombardy Region’s main objectives are to enhance the food and wine offer by integrating it in tourism programs and to promote a local system of sustainable food. Other key factors of Lombardy’s bidding are education and training, citizen participation and social movements.
Riga – Gauja Region’s bidding program aims at raising local and international awareness of Latvia as a destination for gastronomy, by promoting 12 seasonal local products (rhubarb, sorrel, birch, maple sap, catfish, sour cherries, cloudberries etc.).
In the bidding book entitled “Rethinking good food”, Aarhus/Central Denmark Region is presented as an emerging gastronomic hot spot and a unique opportunity to facilitate collaboration between chefs and food industry. The four focus areas of their program are the following: cross collaboration, sustainability, education and citizen participation.
Waiting for the jury’s decision, the Art of Food participants had the opportunity to enjoy drinks and tastings from the European Regions of Gastronomy 2017 candidates.
The jury members for the 2017 award are representatives from the founding Platform as well as external IGCAT experts: Prof. Dr Ilie Rotariu, Blanca Cros, Claire Robert, Anja van Hout, Carlos Fernandes, Iñaki Gaztelumundi, Ilona Sares, Janez Bogataj.
They unanimously agreed that the three candidate regions are honoured with the title of European Regions of Gastronomy 2017.