Catalonia will be officially awarded the title of World Region of Gastronomy 2025 by IGCAT, thanks to their enduring effort to build collaborations across different sectors with the aim of safeguarding and promoting local food and cultural diversity.
After evaluating the bid book, Catalunya, the European Mosaic of Gastronomy, presented on 7 February 2023, a jury of international IGCAT experts visited the region (8-12 May 2023) to meet local stakeholders and assess Catalonia’s readiness to hold the World Region of Gastronomy title.
The jury was very impressed by how the legacy from Catalonia, European Region of Gastronomy 2016 has reinforced the benefits of inter-sectoral working to ensure that gastronomy, culture, food production and biodiversity have a strong focus in the region. They also appreciated the detailed action plan presented by the region including projects, events and development proposals for the title year and beyond, to ensure a legacy of the Award.
On this basis, they recommended the region for the title to the IGCAT Board, that officially approved Catalonia to be awarded World Region of Gastronomy 2025.
The international jury affirmed that “we witnessed exceptional creativity in the form of world-class food and wine experiences and were impressed by the passion and knowledge for and of local products. All the people the jury met, be they chefs, artists, volunteers, public servants, lecturers or entrepreneurs, have a shared commitment to Catalonia’s sustainable and ecological food future and we commend each and every person for their work and dedication.”
The announcement was made on 12 June 2023 at Palau Robert in Barcelona by Councillor for Business and Labour of the Government of Catalonia, Roger Torrent i Ramió and Director General of Food Industries, Food Quality and Gastronomy (Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda, Government of Catalonia) Carmel Mòdol i Bresolí, in the presence of some of the most renown chefs of Catalan cuisine and top representatives from the Catalan food sector.
The World Region of Gastronomy 2025 title “will help us highlight our food products, our cuisine and our destination,” claimed Torrent i Ramió who added that “our gastronomic heritage, together with innovation and talent, have made of Catalonia the place that offers the best food and drink products in the world.”
Mòdol i Bressolí explained that “in the coming years we will have the opportunity to demonstrate that here we have excellent food producers and chefs, as we have shown to the international jury that visited us. It is precisely this combination that allowed us to achieve this recognition. Through this title, we will support even more our agrifood system and instill pride in our land: Catalonia, where food is culture.”
President of IGCAT, Diane Dodd PhD – who will formally award the title to Catalonia at an official ceremony to be held on 29 June 2023 – affirmed that IGCAT was impressed with the National Commitment to Responsible Tourism, the Food and Wine Tourism Plan (2022-27) and the Strategic Food Plan in Catalonia-PEAC (2021-26): “We think these strategic action plans will ensure the establishment of a very successful World Region of Gastronomy.” She also praised how different stakeholders from multiple sectors are committed together to protect Catalan food heritage and encourage unique visitor experiences.
Thanks to this title, the Catalan Government will invest 9 million euros to support a series of new initiatives and projects with the aim to position Catalonia as worldwide food and wine reference.
The Catalonia, World Region of Gastronomy 2025 candidacy and programme have been created by a cross-sectoral consortium including stakeholders from the public, private, third and knowledge sectors. Founding stakeholders include: Directorate-General for Tourism (Ministry of Business and Labour, Government of Catalonia); Catalan Tourist Board; Directorate-General for Food Industries, Food Quality and Gastronomy (Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda, Government of Catalonia); PRODECA; Catalan Academy of Gastronomy and Nutrition; Alícia Foundation; elBUlliFoundation.
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.
Photo credit: Generalitat de Catalunya