What is meant by ‘Gastronomy’– does this mean only high-end cuisine?

‘Gastronomy’ here is used to refer to a holistic approach, which includes agriculture and food culture relating to place, hospitality, eating, food production, food ways, food traditions and how one feels about one’s food culture. The term does not denote exclusivity or high-end cuisine.

What is meant by ‘Region’ – who can apply?

A ‘Region’ can be a province, county, country, and/or other territory defined by the partner presenting the bid. It is important that the territory chosen has the support of multiple municipalities (not just one) and their surrounding rural areas, and that it is able to gain support from multiple academic, third sector, public and private partners.

Is the Award a competition?

No, it is not a competition. The World Region of Gastronomy title is awarded to regions that have joined a Platform and adhere to the philosophy and have met the criteria developed by IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) that ensures cross-sectoral working in order to support sustainable regional development.

How many regions can apply at any given time?

The World Region of Gastronomy Award raises interest across many regions in Europe and beyond and as such IGCAT and IGCAT Experts maintain conversations with many nominated and candidate regions while they grow a stakeholder group and develop their bid. Each year the title can be given to up to 3 regions per continent, provided that they are ready to hold it, meet IGCAT’s criteria and comply with all the requirements of the Award. Since our philosophy is to nurture regions, the secretariat will only put forward a candidate region for assessment by an independent jury once they have a good chance of a successful outcome.

What happens if more regions apply for the Award?

IGCAT will advise the regions as to when they are ready to apply for the Award and the panel of experts serve to provide recommendations and ideas to further enhance their programme. IGCAT secretariat tries not to waste peoples time and money so we will only recommend you going forward with an application if we feel the region is ready to take on the challenge.

When does a region become a candidate for the Award?

Building a stakeholder group takes time and we fully recommend getting involved in the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platform as a nominated/candidate region as soon as possible in the process. Nominations can be made by an IGCAT Expert at any time and from this point we can invite you to up to two meetings or events as an observer region and this is intended to help strengthen your bid. Nevertheless, ideally aspiring Regions of Gastronomy should officially join the Platform as soon as possible to receive full benefits of IGCAT secretariat support as a candidate region. Only candidate members of the Platform can be put forward for the title.

Can IGCAT Experts nominate and be part of the jury?

The simple answer is no, an IGCAT expert cannot have both roles. Any IGCAT expert can nominate, support a region in joining the Platform as a candidate, and/or provide consultancy support to regions in developing their bid. This is all undertaken either voluntarily or in private contracts between the region and the expert. Only independent experts can take part in the jury visit and they must be able to sign a ‘no conflict of interest’ clause. Independent experts taking part in the jury visit are offered a fee from IGCAT for their report – some experts prefer to waive this fee either because they are already salaried or because they prefer the money to support lesser-economically developed regions in which case the monies are accumulated in the FLAG fund for the World Regions of Gastronomy Foundation.

What is the title that will be awarded?

The title can be used as a long-term legacy of the event (awarded since) as long as the region continues as an active member of the Platform.

What are the starting and end dates if we bid for the Region of Gastronomy title – is it a full year of activities starting in January?

Since the Regions of Gastronomy is a bottom-up initiative, the regions will decide the starting time of the events of their Region of Gastronomy year according to their schedule.

What happens after a region has held the title of Region of Gastronomy?

The awarded region is required to complete its minimum 5-year commitment to the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platform. However, many regions chose to stay in the Platform and continue to develop the Award’s legacy. By choosing to remain in the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platform beyond the year of their title, the region retains the right to continue to use the title.
If the region fails to continue as an active member in the Platform then it may need to reapply to regain the title.