Young Chefs celebrate the Mediterranean Diet

“I used the best that my region can offer in terms of seasonal products to create a fresher version of the traditional Vincisgrassi dish” said Daniele Coccetti, the finalist selected to represent Terra di Marca in the upcoming European Young Chef Award 2018, to be held in Galway-West of Ireland, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2018 on 25-26 November.

Recently graduated from ALMA International School of Italian Cuisine in Parma run by the late well-known Michelin-starred chef Gualtiero Marchesi between 2004 and 2017, Daniele demonstrated his ability in merging tradition and innovation into a single plate which earned him a place in the European final, after a close call with the other participating local young chef, Alex Mancinelli.

According to the local jury chaired by the President of the Chef Association of the Province of Fermo, chef Alessandro Pazzaglia, the panel had a tough job in selecting a finalist, since both participants showed an extraordinary passion for cuisine and a strong will to grow professionally in this field. They also highlighted the important role of the young chefs in preserving and passing on the local gastronomic tradition, history and culture.

The competition took place in the framework of the Festival Mediterraneo (Mediterranean Festival), organised by the Laboratorio Piceno della Dieta Mediterranea (Piceno Lab of the Mediterranean Diet) from 31 August to 2 September 2018 in the picturesque medieval village of Torre di Palme (Fermo), included in the official shortlist of the most beautiful historical villages in Italy. The event included round tables on gastronomy; walks in the natural surroundings; presentations of books; and showcasing of food products from local producers.

The aim of the festival was to celebrate the rich gastronomy of Terra di Marca, the Southern part of Marche region including the provinces of Macerata, Fermo and Ascoli Piceno, highlighting the historic role that the area played in the development and scientific validation of the Mediterranean Diet concept.

Represented by Research Officer Fabrizia Toccoli, IGCAT was invited to introduce the European Region of Gastronomy programme in front of local mayors and representatives of local institutions, to pave the way for a potential future collaboration of Terra di Marca with the European Region of Gastronomy Platform, in light of the huge work the region is carrying out in building a brand around local gastronomy and develop sustainable tourism.

Of particular interest was the presentation of the regional law on the Protection and Promotion of the Mediterranean Diet, conceived and strongly supported by the Piceno Lab and officially approved in May 2018. Starting from UNESCO’s recognition of the Mediterranean Diet as intangible world cultural heritage, the law states the strong regional commitment to acknowledge and highlight the central role played by the local community from Marche region in developing, disseminating, safeguarding and transferring the Mediterranean nutritional model.

IGCAT was featured into local TV news programmes that reported about the festival paying special attention to the local young chef competition and the European Young Chef Award:

Rai News – TGR Marche (Italian)

FM TV (Italian)

About the European Region of Gastronomy

Candidate and awarded Regions of Gastronomy from Europe, guided by IGCAT, are working together to raise awareness about the importance of their cultural and food uniqueness and share the long-term aim to: promote a better quality of life in European regions; highlight distinctive food cultures; educate for better health and sustainability; nurture creativity; improve tourism standards; and stimulate gastronomic innovation.


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 aims to empower local communities by guiding, facilitating, and supporting leaders in regions to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets.

IGCAT provides the Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the European Region of Gastronomy Platform. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award the Local Food Gift Challenge, the Top Food Experiences of the Year and the Food Film Festivals project.