In an endless effort to deliver effective and high-quality programmes, the European Regions of Gastronomy are taking pioneering steps in the development of local best practices. The latest excellent example comes from Kuopio, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2020, now in the process of implementing major steps, since it was officially awarded European Region of Gastronomy for 2020 in Brussels, in October 2017.
On 31 May 2018, the region opened its European Region of Gastronomy office as a dedicated working space gathering all the people involved in the project from Kuopio region. Among them, the region’s major stakeholders: ProAgria North-Savo, the City of Kuopio and Savonia University of Applied Sciences.
Located in the very centre of the city of Kuopio, the innovative office has been designed by Tiina Ruotsi using materials and decorations that resemble Finnish nature and forests, elements which form the basis of the region’s bid book and long-term strategy.
International Executive Director of Kuopio, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2020, Ilona Sares noted that the European Region of Gastronomy office represents another significant outcome of Kuopio’s strategy to engage with citizens and be a laboratory for new ideas.
During the office’s opening ceremony, two new Ambassadors for Kuopio, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2020 were announced: CEO of Ravintolamestarit Oy restaurant company, Eeva Mertanen; and chef Aki Hiltunen. The event counted on the participation and support of Director General of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Savo, Kari Virranta who presented the Ambassadors with official certificates from IGCAT.
Kuopio’s office is in charge of coordinating the projects and actions to be developed in the framework of Kuopio, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2020 programme. Through its programme the region aims at fostering cross-sectoral dialogue to promote and raise local and international awareness of its gastronomy, and to offer interesting development opportunities for local businesses.
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.