IGCAT is an international network of experts in the fields of culture, arts, tourism and gastronomy. Collectively, we aim to empower local communities by guiding, facilitating and supporting leaders in cities, regions and cultural projects to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets. Ultimately, we hope to improve the quality of gastronomy, cultural and creative experiences both for citizens and visitors.
The European Region of Gastronomy Platform and Award (http://europeanregionofgastronomy.org) is now one of our most successful and visible initiatives. The fruit of a long process that included the engagement of 9 founder regions and four years of intensive exchanges of ideas on how to create an Award that could serve regions of Europe. By developing our model of cross-sectorial working, together with the regions and IGCAT experts we have been excited to see, how in its first official year the European Region of Gastronomy is gaining visibility through major media channels across Europe.
2016 is the first year that two regions share the title. In just the first quarter of the year, the European Region of Gastronomy project has been published and broadcasted by the most important media of the two awarded regions for 2016, Catalonia (Spain) and Minho (Portugal), including national newspapers such as La Vanguardia (http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20160323/40638256204/generalitat-apoya-acciones-cataluna-como-region-europea-de-gastronomia-2016.html) and popular TV channels like TV1 Portugal (http://www.rtp.pt/play/p1983/e228800/a-praca/489365).
In addition, the European Region of Gastronomy Award has already been extensively mentioned by media from awarded regions for 2017, East Lombardy, Riga-Gauja and Aarhus-Central Denmark. The winning regions for 2018 will receive their title during the IFAMA (http://www.ifama.org/) conference in Aarhus on 20 June 2016; these are North Brabant (Netherlands) and Galway-West of Ireland. The competition is now open for regions hoping to bid for 2019 and bid books are due by 30 July 2016.
IGCAT is proud to be contributing to raised awareness on prominent issues like healthy living, sustainable practices in agro-food systems, richness and diversity of food cultures and the potential of gastronomic innovation for territories and their local communities.