Creativity and cross-sectorial dialogue as key to regional growth

Cross-sectorial cooperation, citizen engagement and food innovation were among the topics discussed at the round table on Creativity and cross-sectorial working strengthening European Regions of Gastronomy, held on 8 October 2018 in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels.

Hosted by the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the EU and moderated by IGCAT Ambassador, Dr. Ton Rombouts, the event offered the European Regions of Gastronomy the opportunity to highlight some of their most successful projects and to give a taste of the results they have achieved so far.

Leading policy-makers and experts from the regions acknowledged the benefits of being part of the European Region of Gastronomy Platform, especially in terms of sharing knowledge, stimulating debate, exchanging best practises and increasing their regions’ visibility.

President of IGCAT, Dr. Diane Dodd emphasised that “the Award is given if the region proposes a year of events and projects that will kick-start a process that ultimately will contribute to a better quality of life in the region, by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability as well as stimulating gastronomic innovation amongst Europe’s emerging entrepreneurs.”

The event counted with a strong support from the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and was opened by President of CoR, Karl-Heinz Lambertz who congratulated the regions and IGCAT for developing such a valuable initiative. Other representatives from CoR who participated in the gathering: Policy Advisor of the Cabinet of the President of CoR, Michael Jansen; Head of SEDEC Commission, Kyriakos Tsirimiagos and Administrator of SEDEC Commission Doru Hobjila.

The round table gathered also representative of potential European Region of Gastronomy Platform members who were invited to discuss on the challenges that their regions face and how gastronomy and culture can contribute to local economic, social and cultural development.

Discussion was followed by the Award Ceremony of Slovenia and Coimbra Region, European Regions of Gastronomy 2021 in the presence of State Secretaries and Ambassadors of Slovenia and Portugal in Brussels.

The event concluded with a tasting of local dishes from both regions.

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 Food Experiences of the Year and the Food Film Festivals project.