Discovering the Lakes’ Region – Jury Visit to Kuopio, candidate European Region of Gastronomy 2020

Discovering the Lakes’ Region – Jury Visit to Kuopio, candidate European Region of Gastronomy 2020


IGCAT international experts Dr. Edith Szivas (UK) and Prof. Roberta Garibaldi (Italy), accompanied by Dr. Diane Dodd, President of IGCAT, visited Kuopio (Finland) on 13 June 2017, in representation of the jury called to evaluate Kuopio’s bid for the European Region of Gastronomy 2020 title. The small delegation had the opportunity to meet different local stakeholders and assess the progress made by the region towards the award.

Jury representatives were first welcomed by Antti Iire and Jari Linden at Savonia University of Applied Sciences, where they had the chance to discuss Kuopio Region Programme and meet the Hospitality School staff. Possibilities were also explored for Kuopio to host in its title year both the first European edition of the Innovative Souvenir Award and 2020 European Young Chef Award.

In addition, Minna Kuuluvainen from the City of Kuopio and Project Manager of KierRe Project introduced the Network of Finnish Sustainable Communities (FISU), committed to working towards a carbon neutral and waste-free future and curbing overconsumption by 2050.

A visit followed to seven local micro and small food enterprises at Kuopio Market Hall and Market Place with official guide of the City of Kuopio, Helena Lehtoaro. And after a lunch at Puijo Tower with Kari Virranta, Director General of Pohjois-Savo’s Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, and Ari-Pekka Parviainen, from La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the experts stopped at Koivumäki Manor House, where CEO Sari Mielonen and chef Harri Ruutiainen guided them through a tasting experience of local products.

Susanna Hotari, from Ruukkumaa, Sanna-Riikka Nissinen, from Haapaniemen Matkailu, dancer Laura Rukola and Special Techniques expert Kaija Honkanen welcomed then the jury delegates at the Creative Tourism Cluster, where they participated in a wild herb workshop at, organised by Benestatera wellbeing company and held by Milla Becquerel.

The visit continued with a motor ship cruise to the City Harbour hosting Antti Hynninen, Marketing Manager of Gust Ranin / Lignell & Piispanen and concluded at Restaurant Musta Lammas, where the international experts met Satu Vehreävesa, Director of Regional Development at the Regional Council of Pohjois-Savo and Juhani Simpanen from La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

Delegation members were impressed with all the activities they witnessed to during the jury visit and noted that Kuopio is an undiscovered treasure that has significant potential to develop a balanced and positive sustainable tourism model. Also, the region has many innovative food and beverage products that have enormous value for both tourism, locals and for wider export.

The visit immediately preceded the presentation of Kuopio Region’s bid book to the jury, held on 14 June 2017 at Kuopio City Hall.

The European Region of Gastronomy Platform and Award aim to contribute to better quality of life in European regions, by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability and stimulating gastronomic innovation. IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) organises the award with the support of European institutions.

IGCAT is a non-profit organisation established in 2012 working in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. Through its worldwide network of experts, IGCAT aims to empower local communities by guiding, facilitating, and supporting local leaders in cities, regions and cultural projects to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets. IGCAT is the official secretariat for the Region of Gastronomy Platform and provides the European Region of Gastronomy Award, the European Young Chef Award and the Innovative Food Souvenir Award.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Wassim Hallal

    Aarhus/Central Denmark Region 2017 will celebrate our widespread and innovative use of local ingredients.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Robert Palmer

    European Region of Gastronomy is a pioneering project of cultural and economic significance to all regions who participate.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Montserrat Garrido Romera

    Sant Pol de Mar is proud to share knowledge in raising the quality of culture and gastronomy offers.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Carme Ruscalleda

    Catalonia is committed to raising the quality of local cuisine and food products.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Francisco de Calheiros

    Minho IN aims to create synergies with other areas that share the same views on competitiveness and economic development.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Maurizio Zanella

    East Lombardy promotes food and wine tourism, with a particular attention to local cuisine and sustainable food production.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Dzintars Kristovskis

    Technology and cooking is so advanced that I feel the urge to go back to the roots. Riga-Gauja 2017 European Region of Gastronomy is going to be about that.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Joan Roca

    I congratulate this initiative that highlights the richness and diversity of European gastronomy, at the same time as valuing chefs for their role in ecology and sustainability.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Anton Rombouts

    North Brabant 2018 will highlight how agrifood industries are protecting food and culture diversity.

  • GALLERY

    1st Partner Meeting in North Brabant, April 2014

  • GALLERY

    2nd Partner Meeting in Sant Pol de Mar, Catalonia, June 2014

  • GALLERY

    Information Day at Brussels during the Open Day October 2014

  • GALLERY

    3rd Partner Meeting in Brussels, October 2014

  • GALLERY

    Regions bidding for the title in 2016 present to an international jury at Palacete Villa Moraes, Ponte de Lima, Viana do Castelo, 5 February 2015

  • GALLERY

    4th Partner Meeting in Minho, February 2015

  • GALLERY

    5th Partner Meeting Catalonia, June 2015

  • GALLERY

    Winning 2016 Regions Award Ceremony at the Pedrera, Barcelona, 2 July 2015

  • GALLERY

    Regions bidding for the title in 2017 present to an international jury at the Fundació Alicia, Catalonia, 3 July 2015

  • GALLERY

    Catalonia and Minho present their programmes for 2016 to SEDEC of the Committee of the Regions, 22 September 2015

  • GALLERY

    Winning 2017 Regions Award Ceremony at ExpoMilan, supported by DG Growth of the European Commission, 29 September 2015

  • GALLERY

    6th Partner Meeting Bergamo, 1 October 2015

  • GALLERY

    Regions present their candidature for 2018

  • GALLERY

    7th Partner Meeting in Noord-Brabant

  • GALLERY

    Winning 2018 Regions Award Ceremony in Aarhus

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