117 stakeholders promote the gastronomic richness of the islands

The South Aegean, awarded European Region of Gastronomy 2019 has just launched its action plan for the title year. Taking place in the Auditorium of the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, the press conference held on the 31 January 2019 uncovers the course of planned events and actions organised by the South Aegean Region´s executives, the Cyclades & Dodecanese Chefs´ Club as well as the 117 social stakeholders of the island to promote the gastronomic richness of the region through tourism, cultural activities and the quality of local products deserving a competitive place in foreign markets. Presented by the South Aegean Regional Governor, Mr. George Hatzimarkos and Chef Argyro Barbarigou, who was appointed as the Ambassador of the title, both explained the goal of their mission is to rally the entire local community ranging from sectors of nutrition, education, tourism, culture, small and medium-sized enterprises and the primary sector through their ideas that began sprouting in 2017 and scheduled to be executed this year.

Also attended by the Vice-Governor of the Primary sector of Gastronomy, Mr. Philemon Zannetidis and moderated by the food journalist Ms. Ioanna Stamoulou, the conference has a main objective to obtain significant exposure not only to the region, but to the country as a whole, and shares an aim to emphasize the island´s gastronomy as its own unique identity and boosting the general yet essential focus on partaking good food as an irrevocable part of an exceptional travel experience. The Regional Governor, Mr George Hatzimarkos, described South Aegean as the top of the tourist industry in Greece, a factor that is reflected through the level of professionalism applied to the region´s tourism strategy and special attention to visitor´s experience. Not failing to mention the term Gastronomy was first coined by the Greek, Mr. Hatzimarkos expressed his pride of the region where each of its 50 islands has an exclusive variety of gastronomy and cultural individuality to be honoured with the title of European Region of Gastronomy 2019 as a collective form.

Chef Argyro Barbarigou, Ambassador of the South Aegean – European Region of Gastronomy 2019, similarly expressed her honour of her recently bestowed title, and articulated the substantial effort put by the passionate team of Cyclades & Dodecanese Chefs´ Club, where they have participated in the promotion of the region through several events in the Greek islands aside from a number of renowned gastronomic affairs in Europe, America, and Canada in the last year of 2018. She ended by saying: We will all give our best for our islands. Aegean forever and ever!

About the European Region of Gastronomy

Candidate and awarded Regions of Gastronomy from Europe, guided by IGCAT, are working together to raise awareness about the importance of their cultural and food uniqueness and share the long-term aim to: promote a better quality of life in European regions; highlight distinctive food cultures; educate for better health and sustainability; nurture creativity; improve tourism standards; and stimulate gastronomic innovation.


IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT aims to empower local communities by guiding, facilitating, and supporting leaders in regions to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets.

IGCAT provides the Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the European Region of Gastronomy Platform. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award the Local Food Gift Challenge, the Top Visitor Experience and the Food Film Menu project.