Soon after being announced as World Region of Gastronomy awarded 2025 by IGCAT, Catalonia strengthened its positioning on the international food map through the first edition of the Bite i Mos Awards, handed over at the National Gala of Food and Wine Tourism.
Hosted on 29 June at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, the Bite i Mos Awards acknowledged the crucial role of celebrated chefs and oeno-gastronomic digital content creators in promoting food and wine tourism. The event strongly celebrated Catalonia as a distinguished international food and wine destination and the President of the region, Pere Aragonès i Garcia proudly announced “Catalonia will be World Region of Gastronomy in 2025 and this is an opportunity to keep strengthening our food sector and open ourselves to the world,” he further congratulated all producers and professionals in the Catalan food and wine sector for their work in supporting the local gastronomic heritage.
“Today, we recognise all those who have contributed to raise the profile of Catalonia as an acclaimed gastronomic power across the globe,” declared President of the Government of Catalonia. He especially highlighted the legacy of Ferran Adrià, who received the honorary prize for being a reference of Catalan gastronomy, and for his pioneering role in this sector together with all the people who collaborated with him.
On receiving the Bite honory award, to a standing ovation, for his exemplary and extensive work in leading the culinary revolution that placed Catalonia at the forefront of the international gastronomic scene as well as for his role in conceptualising contents, such as the Bullipedia; chef Ferran Adrià noted that the work of the chef is important but that equally so, the gastronomic experience is influenced by the ambience and the front-of-house experience and urged a conversation on how to raise levels of professionalism in these areas.
The Bite category of the awards, that considers food and wine dissemination at an international level, further went to:
Bite honory award: given to chef Ferran Adrià for his exemplary and extensive work in leading the culinary revolution that placed Catalonia at the forefront of the international gastronomic scene; as well as for his role in conceptualising contents, such as the Bullipedia.
Best foodie: awarded to Peter Atzen (Denmark) for his work in promoting gastronomic spaces, ranging from 50 Best and Michelin restaurants, to street food stalls. Specialised in Denmark and the Scandinavian countries, he is also and ambassador of Catalan cuisine when he visits the country. He collaborates with Word of Mouth, a prestigious gastronomy app.
Best winefluencers: awarded to Tom Matthews (USA) in recognition of his professional career and his special connection with Catalan wines. He started writing for the Wine Spectator in 1987, where he later became executive editor, and until 2021 he was the long-time lead taster for Spain.
Best food traveller: awarded to Rafael Tonon (Brazil) for being a tireless and renown gastronomic journalist who shares about the food he discovers and eats around the world in his social media channels. He collaborates with media such as Fine Dining Lovers and Eater, and was recently recognised as best gastronomic journalist by Identità Golose.
As for the Mos category (the Catalan word for bite), that acknowledges people at a national level:
Best ambassador: awarded to Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany, for his continuous work in disseminating and safeguarding Catalan cuisine, and his use of social media to share Catalan recipes to the world.
Best influencer for Catalan cuisine: awarded to chef, writer and communicator, Ada Parellada for spending decades in disseminating Catalan cuisine, supporting sustainable diets, and using her social media channels to inspire people to cook.
Best influencer for wine: awarded to journalist and sommelier, Ruth Troyano for her commitment to Catalan wine. Thanks to the great depth of her texts and her sensitivity, she conveys that behind a glass of wine, there is culture and terroir.
Best collective: awarded to associació Dones del Mar (Women of the Sea Association), a non-profit organisation created in 2018 as a result of the collaboration between the two local fishing action groups in Catalonia, namely Mar de l’Ebre and Costa Brava. The association was recognised for giving visibility to the role of women in the maritime sector, enhancing their participation in the development of the primary sector (fishing and aquaculture), and disseminating their activities through social networks.
Minister of Business and Labour of the Government of Catalonia, Roger Torrent i Ramió stressed that “if a country can be explained through its cuisine, Catalonia has once again demonstrated its lively, innovative character, able to connect the past and the future. A destination with its own voice on the international stage and that offers the best of itself to the world. And this is exactly what we want to affirm and reiterate: we want the whole world to know that Catalonia has a great gastronomy, a great wine culture and excellent assets to discover.”
The Bite i Mos Awards were conferred by the Government of Catalonia through the Directorate-General of Tourism of the Business and Labour Department, in the framework of the Catalan Food and Wine Tourism Plan (2022-27). Financed with 7 million euro from the Next Generation funds, the Plan includes 32 projects aimed at making Catalonia an essential reference in the food and wine tourism sector.
About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy
World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.
IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.
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 founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.
Photo credit: Generalitat de Catalunya