IGCAT meets renowned Catalan chef Carme Ruscalleda

IGCAT President Greg Richards and Director Diane Dodd met with Carme Ruscalleda to discuss the role of gastronomy in social cohesion processes and current IGCAT activities. The conversation with Carme Ruscalleda also explored the benefits and possibilities that the European Region of Gastronomy could offer.

Carme Ruscalleda expressed with pride the decision by the Municipality of Sant Pol de Mar to house IGCAT as the headquarters of this European initiative. Sant Pol de Mar successfully completed the first edition of the Gastronomy Days (Mostra Gastronòmica), which was held the last weekend of June in the Park Literal. During two days the small coastal village of just 4,500 inhabitants sold over 2,000 gastronomy tasting tickets and 1,400 dessert and wine tasting tickets. During the two days the town saw an average of over 1,000 daily visitors; figures that surpassed all expectations. The intention of the Town Council is to continue investing in gastronomy and consolidate Sant Pol de Mar as a gastronomy landmark in the county, the region and internationally. Carme Ruscalleda firmly back the work of the Council in this endeavour and offered her support for the Institution’s activities. At the Mostra Gastronòmica she encouraged everyone to see these initiatives as a way to put Sant Pol de Mar on the map and raise the quality of the services offered in the town.

Sant Pol de Mar is emerging as a gastronomy hub in Catalonia, an area that is already alive with many gastronomic and cultural initiatives, from Ferran Adria’s Foundation, to Fundació Alícia in Sant Fruitós de Bages. Sant Pol de Mar is now offering another node for those interested in the food phenomena which is increasingly being recognised as more than an economic driver….it is now an industry linked to social cohesion and health as well.

Carme Ruscalleda also expressed her desire to see Catalonia awarded the title European Region of Gastronomy in the near future. A decision is pending on Catalonia’s inclusion as candidate for European Region of Gastronomy – it is hoped this newest endorsement will help galvanise stakeholder support throughout Catalonia and consolidate Catalonia’s gastronomy image internationally.