During the months of April and May 2015, villages in the Maresme coastline in Catalonia are hosting a Strawberry fair. A range of festivals and events will be held in the Vallalta – which includes Sant Pol de Mar, Sant Cebriá de Vallalta and Sant Iscle de Vallalta – to celebrate this locally grown product. Restaurants and local farmers up and down the Maresme coast are supporting this initiative by providing and offering innovative recipes using the locally grown strawberries. These gastronomic days are setting the focus on this local product in order to distinguish and cherish the distinctive local gastronomy.
At the opening ceremony, Dr. Diane Dodd talked about the importance of supporting and promoting locally grown products and in doing so contributing to the positive image of the area (Gastrodiplomacy concept). IGCAT worked to develop and now holds the secretariat for the European Region of Gastronomy programme which has now been given recognition by European Institutions. She expressed pride and gratitude to Sant Pol de Mar for hosting IGCAT and the European Region of Gastronomy offices. To the delight of the audience, Diane also announced that Catalonia will receive the award for 2016, together with Minho (Portugal) in a ceremony at the famous La Pedrera building in Barcelona, in July 2015.