A growing world movement for a sustainable food future

2023 represented a resounding success for the World Regions of Gastronomy Platform that in the past year welcomed four new members applying for the 2026 title. Gozo (Malta), Kvarner (Croatia), and Crete (Greece) have recently presented their bid books for the European Region of Gastronomy 2026 Award, while Manabí (Ecuador) have put forward their candidacy for the World Region of Gastronomy title in the same year.

Four different regions, located in different geographical settings and with different backgrounds, are each committed to the shared long-term aim of providing a sustainable future by supporting their cultural and food diversity.

Their fabulous bid books outline their strategic plans to enhance the visibility of the local gastronomic, cultural and natural heritage; stimulate collaboration among local stakeholders; and boost regional sustainable development:

Four international juries of experts will evaluate the bid books and visit the regions in 2024 to assess their readiness to hold the World/European Region of Gastronomy title.

Manabí will be the first region to be supported through IGCAT’s Fund for Local Arts and Gastronomy (FLAG), created to grant more economically challenged communities the opportunity to benefit from the shared knowledge of the Platform and build a stronger future. The FLAG fund will complement the resources already deployed by Manabí to develop their World Region of Gastronomy programme, ensuring support particularly in terms of international travel, participation in the Platform meetings and joint projects, as well as developing the relationships between Manabí and the rest of the regions in the Platform.

About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy

World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.

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 founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.