The best and most unique food and food-related gifts from candidate and awarded World and European Regions of Gastronomy were awarded at IGCAT’s World Food Gift Challenge 2022, held on 7 April at the Centre Artesanal de Menorca, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2022.
In celebration of the food and cultural diversity of the World and European Regions of Gastronomy, the international competition gathered a total of 33 high-quality local food and food-related crafts products that were pre-selected at a regional level.
With a view to support and give international visibility to local producers who manufacture fine, one-of-a-kind items related to the regions’ culinary traditions, three overall winners were selected:
- 1st prize, This is Coimbra – Food Stories by Cordel Maneirista (Coimbra Region, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2021-22);
- 2nd prize, Saffron Island Gin by iSafra (Menorca, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2022);
- 3rd prize, Luomus Koivu Plate by Ville Naumanen (Saimaa, European Region of Gastronomy candidate 2024);
And the following 7 products were awarded as:
- Most Creative Branding, FINNA Cloudberry by Lignell & Piispanen (Kuopio, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2020-21)
- Most Sustainable Packaging, Ilmatar Midsummer Honey by Ilmatar Natural (Kuopio, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2020-21);
- Best Storytelling, FAMiLY BEEZ – Organic Wildflower honey in gift box by THE FAMiLY BEEZ – Rotas Son & Daughter (South Aegean, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2019);
- Best Tasting, Gold from The Island Kingdom by Smaker fra Øyriket (Trondheim-Trøndelag, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2022);
- Best Promotion of the Region, O. Saimaa Delicacy Gift Box by Kenkävero, Vavesaari, Heikkilä, Järvi-Suomen Kalatuote and Kalakontti (Saimaa, European Region of Gastronomy candidate 2024);
- Best Innovation on Traditional Design, Rosette – Svarica – The Flower of Life by Andreja Aljančič Povirk (Slovenia, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2021);
- Best Contemporary Interpretation of Traditional Craft, Chicory soap by Antheya (Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023).
The competing products were evaluated by an international jury of experts from IGCAT and the Regions of Gastronomy. Besides the sensorial appraisal of the products, including taste, touch and usefulness, the panel assessed their compliance with criteria such as sustainability of product and package, storytelling, uniqueness, innovation on tradition and connection with the region.
The jury was chaired by Omar Valdez, Executive Board member of IGCAT, who noted that “the jury had an intense discussion to choose the winning products.”
“The ideal food gift should bring joy, evoke emotions and be an experience both for the person who buys it and the person who receives it. Very often, this is more important than a flamboyant presentation” he added.
Other members of the jury included Diane Dodd PhD, President of IGCAT; Dr. Edith M. Szivas, Vice-President of IGCAT; Ariadna Ribas, Wine & Food Tourism Brand Manager at the Catalan Tourist Board; and Davide Bruno, Director of the Marine Protected Area of Ustica Island. They were joined by Paris-based designer, Inès Olympe Mercadal, who is one of the official ambassadors of Menorca, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2022.
Inès Olympe Mercadal highlighted that the products in the competition had a high level of excellence and stressed the importance of creating collaborations between gastronomy, craftsmanship, creativity and design.
Winning products were announced at a gala event held on 7 April 2022 at Aqua Marítim Restaurant in Mahon and attended by representatives of the candidate and awarded World and European Regions of Gastronomy, who gathered in Menorca to celebrate the 24th IGCAT Best Practices Platform Meeting (4-7 April 2022).
The event was moderated by journalist, Clara Aymamí and counted with the presence of President of the Menorca’s Councillor for Economy, Josep Pastrana; Insular Director of Economy, Pilar Pons; and Director of the Fundació Foment de Turisme de Menorca, Elena Costa.
About the World Food Gift Challenge
IGCAT’s World Food Gift Challenge contributes to the protection and promotion of local food and cultural diversity by instilling local pride into local traditions and acknowledging outstanding products from local culinary cultures.
The official ambassador for the project is Ana Roš, head chef and co-owner of 2-Michelin-starred restaurant Hiša Franko and 2017 World Best Female Chef. “I salute the World Food Gift Challenge focusing on gastronomy on the larger point of view. We need to support more the work of small-scale producers. The food chain is one and we should defend it in its integrity.”
Winners of the previous editions:
About the European/World Regions of Gastronomy
Candidate and awarded European/World 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; drive environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; support balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlight and support expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practises; and contribute to community health and well-being.
IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance to protect and promote distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguard 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 European and World Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World and 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 Food Film Menu.