European Regions of Gastronomy tackling the urban-rural divide

The exchange of knowledge and good practises is a fundamental principle and major strength of the European Region of Gastronomy Platform. Something that was very well demonstrated once again during the 16th European Region of Gastronomy Platform meeting, held on 11-13 February 2019 in Sibiu, Romania.

Representatives from the European Regions of Gastronomy gathered to present local excellent examples in the field of Linking Urban and Rural, one of the main focus areas of the programme. With the aim of re-connecting rural and urban environments, the regions support local projects intended to reduce the divide that the two areas have increasingly experienced in the recent years.

Through their programmes, Platform members are committed to educate citizens on where their food comes from; increase the amount of land dedicated to clean, natural and traditional farming; and encourage urban gardening programmes and projects.

To this end, they collected and shared bottom-up initiatives involving local SMEs and communities that have been able to combine rural traditions and products with innovative sustainable approaches, often aided by digital technology. By highlighting regional food heritage in creative ways, all these projects ultimately contribute to protecting biodiversity and promoting regional plant and animal varieties.

The meeting included also discussion on further development of the Platform’s joint projects such as the European Young Chef Award, the Local Food Gift Challenge, the Food Film Menu, and the Top Visitor Experience.

Participants had then the chance to visit local SMEs and food producers from Sibiu that work to offer off-the-beaten-track visitor experiences in the region’s rural areas, capitalising on tradition and heritage in innovative and sustainable ways. Furthermore, the region had the opportunity to showcase their rich local gastronomy, produce, and cultural traditions.

The meeting coincided with the opening event of Sibiu, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2019, that was celebrated at Nicolae Bălcescu Land Forces Academy of Sibiu on 12 February 2019, together with IGCAT and the other Platform members.

The meeting was hosted by the leading stakeholder group of Sibiu, European Region of Gastronomy 2019, including the Municipality of Sibiu, the Municipality of Mediaș, Sibiu County Council, Sibiu County Tourism Association, Lucian Blaga University and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Sibiu.

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 Visitor Experience and the Food Film Menu project.