Gozo officially joins the World Regions of Gastronomy Platform

Gozo officially joins the World Regions of Gastronomy Platform

Strongly committed to sustainably preserve and promote its food and cultural diversities, Gozo officially joined the World Regions of Gastronomy Platform and aims to present a candidacy for the European Region of Gastronomy 2026 title.

A protocol agreement was signed between IGCAT President, Diane Dodd PhD and Gozo Regional Council’s President, Dr. Samuel Azzopardi in the framework of the World Food Gift Challenge 2023, held in Kos (South Aegean, European Region of Gastronomy since 2019) on 27 April 2023.

“Having visited Gozo and seen first-hand the wonderful food products, great emerging chefs and new concepts related to arts and culture, I am delighted that this unique island has joined the Platform. The European Region of Gastronomy title will undoubtedly help this until now hidden gem in the Mediterranean be visible on the international culinary map,” said Diane Dodd.

Governor of the South Aegean Region and IGCAT Honorary Ambassador, George Hatzimarkos attended the signing and claimed: “South Aegean started its wonderful journey with IGCAT and as a European Region of Gastronomy seven years ago. Our experience taught us that investing in gastronomy is the best way to honour the history of the land, support its present, and secure its future. We offer all our support to the beautiful island of Gozo and wish them a successful bid.”

Dr. Samuel Azzopardi thanked Governor Hatzimarkos for his precious advice and affirmed: “It is an honour and a pleasure to sign this agreement and we welcome the opportunity of becoming part of the World Region of Gastronomy Platform guided by IGCAT. We hope to fulfil the expectations and kick-start a great collaboration between Gozo, the South Aegean and the rest of the Platform.”

Gozo’s candidacy is supported by a regional committee of founding stakeholders composed of public, private, third sector and knowledge institutions: the Gozo Regional Council, the Gozo Regional Development Authority, the Gozo Business Chamber, the Gozo Tourism Association, the Gozo NGOs Association, the Gozo College, and the Institute of Tourism Studies (Gozo Campus).

By joining the World Regions of Gastronomy Platform, they pledged to work with the long-term aim to provide a sustainable future for the region based on cultural and food diversity. This will be achieved at a regional level by strengthening the collaboration among local stakeholders to enhance the visibility of the local gastronomic, cultural and natural heritage, as well as to build a strategy for regional sustainable development.

At an international level, Gozo will cooperate with the other member regions of the Platform by participating in joint projects and sharing knowledge and best practices. In a gesture of collaboration, Francesco Grech, Cultural Manager for Gozo Regional Council of Malta joined the jury for the World Food Gift Challenge with a view to Gozo participating in this event next year.

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.

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