Food stories and tastes from candidates 2021

Slovenia and Coimbra Region (Portugal) formally presented their candidature for the European Region of Gastronomy 2021 title by submitting their bid books on 31 May 2018. In both regions, a stakeholder group involving institutions from the public, private, third and education sectors has been set up, with the aim to guide the regions towards the objectives stated in their candidacies, ultimately aimed at boosting sustainable regional development by capitalising on local gastronomy.

“Slovenia’s candidature to become a European Region of Gastronomy is focused on improving the quality of life. It includes educational opportunities relating to health and environmentally-friendly living, and sustainable development of gastronomy” states the region’s bid book Taste Slovenia. In setting up its yearly programme of events for 2021 and its longer-term strategy, Slovenia envisioned strong efforts in key issues such as education, active involvement of the local population, and support to SMEs. Health lies at the core of the region’s plan to promote its gastronomy and culture, supported by a strong commitment to preserve Slovenia’s varied landscape and the genuine products that it offers.

Coimbra Region: A Million Food Stories is the theme chosen by the region to build its candidacy as European Region of Gastronomy and it “reflects the desire to value the identity, diversity and authenticity of territories and local communities, through narratives about gastronomy.” The region’s main focuses are sustainability and health; support to SMEs; and education and innovation. These areas will be integrated into a strategy that will harmonise and guide endeavours to “empower and qualify the tourist and gastronomic supply of the region” by capitalising on its rich cultural and food diversity.

Two jury panels formed by experts from IGCAT and the awarded European Regions of Gastronomy will visit Slovenia and Coimbra Region in July 2018 to meet local stakeholders and assess the regions’ programmes as candidates for 2021. In case of positive evaluation, the panels will recommend Slovenia and Coimbra Region to be given the title of European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2021 that will be officially celebrated during the European Week of Regions and Cities organised in Brussels in October 2018.

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.

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