IGCAT hors d'oeuvre

IGCAT’s advisory board met for the first time in Sant Pol de Mar on 12th December 2013.

The meeting brought together key experts from gastronomy, tourism and cultural sectors to discuss the establishment of the IGCAT international institute which will play a leading role in developing the European Region of Gastronomy initiative as well as inform research on emerging synergies between gastronomy, culture, arts, and tourism sectors.

The European Region of Gastronomy initiative was endorsed by the European Council of the Regions’ Culture Chair, Mr Anton Rombouts at their Plenary Meeting in Brussels on May 30th. The European Region of Gastronomy title will be awarded to a different region each year as a stimulus to link food, hospitality, tourism, culture, health and sustainability to support economic, cultural, social and environmental development.

The institute has recently opened an office, provided by the Town Council of Sant Pol de Mar, a Catalan town which is also home to the Restaurant Sant Pau with 3 Michelin stars. IGCAT President, Prof. Greg Richards had the opportunity to thank Montserrat Garrido, Mayoress of Sant Pol de Mar for the town’s generous support.

The meeting was hosted by EUHT ST Pol, a pioneering university school dedicated to tourism and hospitality and José Hernández García, Academic Director for the school welcomed international experts, Rosario Scarpato – IT Chefs (IT),  Dr. Carlos Fernandes – Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo and Director of the Tourism Laboratory (PT), Robert Palmer – co-author of Eventful Cities and an independent cultural policy expert in capitals of culture and former Director of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage at the Council of Europe (UK), Dr. Marta Crispi – International University of Catalonia (ES), Caroline Couret – Creative Tourism Network (FR-ES), Prof. Greg Richards – co-author of Eventful Cities and Professor at Tilburg Univeristy (NL) and Dr. Diane Dodd – Director of ART-idea (UK-ES).

The next meeting of IGCAT will take place in Portugal, in May 2014 with an expert group examining the tension between tradition and innovation in regional gastronomy – with a cook-off to prove it!