Jury visit: Tasting the seasons in the South Aegean

The South Aegean, comprising of 50 inhabited islands accounts for one of the most diversified and nutritional diets in Europe.  Their bid to attain the title, European Region of Gastronomy 2019 embraces a new philosophy of working that encourages cross-sector dialogue in line with the work promoted by IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism).  Their bid aims not only to upgrade the South Aegean as a gastronomy tourism destination but to contribute to the long-term preservation of food and cultural diversity on the islands.

A forward committee of the jury visited Rhodes, 10-11 September 2016 in order to evaluate the work that this forward-looking Greek region has achieved so far. Blanca Cros from Catalonia, European Region of Gastronomy 2016 noted the amazing sustainable tourism potential and quality of good food. Peter Astrup from Aarhus- Central Denmark Region European Region of Gastronomy 2017 noted the potential for food production development (especially in the identification of super-foods).

The jury experts met a variety of stakeholders including local organisations and SME’s including the Women’s Agricultural Association, the Melissokomiki Bee Museum and Dramontani’s Farm of Herbs. During the visit, they also had the chance to meet the stakeholders group were they shared ideas and presented the work from key people involved in the project. The jury also visited the Plant Nursery and a local small production winnery called Kounaki in the remote village of Empona.

Following the visit, a report will be sent to the wider jury. The jury have concluded that  the South Aegean Region move to the second round and present their candidacy  to the full Platform in Sibiu, Romania, on 29 September during a European Region of Gastronomy Platform.

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

IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) organises the award with the support of European institutions. 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.