South Aegean’s European Region of Gastronomy bid for 2019 submitted

The Region of South Aegean enters in the final straight to win the title of European Region of Gastronomy 2019 with the submission of its bid book to IGCAT on July 31, 2016, deadline for bidding.

For the preparation of the bid book, which includes the entire web of actions and events through which the Region of South Aegean claims the title of European Region of Gastronomy, a wide consultation took place between the Executive Bid Committee and the insular societies. Within less than 40 days, more than 107 social stakeholders were brought together for the great goal and submitted ideas and suggestions during meetings that were organized on the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Patmos, Syros, Naxos, Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Tinos, Milos and Andros, where stakeholders representing all the South Aegean islands had the opportunity to participate.

The proposals included in the bid book focus in six areas-fields of action adopted by the Region and are directly or indirectly related to nutrition and gastronomy of the South Aegean islands: Culture and Food Diversity, Education, Supporting SMEs, Health, Sustainability, Technology.

The objectives

The claim of the European Region of Gastronomy award aims to make the gastronomy of the South Aegean islands a benchmark in the European gastronomic culture, serving at the same time the main strategic objectives set by the Regional authority: openness, interconnection of gastronomy with tourism and culture, promotion and distribution of the excellent quality local products of South Aegean in foreign markets, by investing primarily in promoting the Aegean Cuisine, which is a strong base and comparative advantage of the South Aegean Region in the competition for the title along fellow candidate Regions.

The Aegean Cuisine

It is worth mentioning that the South Aegean Region’s candidacy is the culmination of the great effort that the Governor of South Aegean Region, Mr. Giorgos Hatzimarkos, began years ago, with his capacity as President of the Dodecanese Chamber of Commerce and with the cooperation of local stakeholders. Recognizing the catalytic role that gastronomy can play in the enrichment of the tourist product and the benefits that can accrue to the local economy, he worked methodically on the strategic objective of promoting the islands’ gastronomic wealth -an integral part of the South Aegean culture and identity- and establishing the Aegean Cuisine, which until now has steered an excellent course in exhibitions and gastronomy events, both in Greece as -especially- abroad, highlighting the unique gastronomic wealth of the islands, along with the introduction of the distinctive label, which has since accompanied the authenticity and quality of Aegean gastronomy.


Strategic partners of the South Aegean Region in its claim of the title are the Harokopeio University and the Rutgers University in the USA, that cooperate with the aim of highlighting the Aegean diet, and the University of Bergamo in Italy, in the framework of a survey conducted for food tourism.

Ambassador of the candidacy – Mrs. Arghiro Barbarigou

Official and exclusive airline: Aegean Airlines

Official Sponsor: HELPE

With the support of Sympossio Greek Gourmet Touring

The Executive Bid Committee who worked for the preparation of the bid book consists of 9 staff members of the South Aegean Region, the Development Agency of South Aegean Region and the Regional Nursery. More specifically they are: Mrs. Heidi Lazani (Special Advisor / Director of the South Aegean Regional Governor’s Office) Mr. Dimitris Paschalidis (Directorate of Tourism, Sports, Culture, Lifelong Learning and Employment of the Cyclades), Mrs. Tania Roussou (Department of Promotion of Agricultural Products of the Dodecanese), Mrs. Dina Vlachou (Department of Promotion of Agricultural Products of the Cyclades), Mrs. Susana Triantafyllou (Department of Culture & Sports of the Dodecanese), Mr. Miltos Haristis (Department of Electronic Systems Support), Mr. Nikos Renessis (South Aegean Regional Nursery) Mrs. Eletfheria Nikitara (READ S.A. -Development Agency of South Aegean Region), Mr. Kostas Christofakis (READ S.A. – Development Agency of South Aegean Region).

 About The European Region of Gastronomy

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.

Candidate regions are invited to join a knowledge-exchange platform of European regions in order to further cross-border collaborations and develop shared initiatives.

About IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism)

IGCAT  (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism is an international interdisciplinary network of experts aiming to empower and facilitate local communities to realise the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts, sustainable tourism and other local resources.