Passing the Baton - European Region of Gastronomy 2016-2017 Hand-Over Ceremony


The first European Region of Gastronomy hand-over ceremony took place on 24 January 2017, at Electra Metropolis Hotel in Athens, Greece. Catalonia (Spain) and Minho (Portugal), 2016 European Regions of Gastronomy, passed the baton to 2017 winners: Aarhus-Central Denmark Region(Denmark), East Lombardy (Italy), and Riga-Gauja region (Latvia), officially awarded the title at a ceremony in Expo Milan in October 2015.

Governor of the South Aegean, George Hatzimarkos warmly welcomed the audience, congratulating 2016 title holders for their successful year as European Regions of Gastronomy and wishing 2017 regions a likewise favourable and outstanding outcome. 

IGCAT’s President Dr. Diane Dodd, congratulated both Catalonia and Minho for setting high standards after being the first regions to experiment the Award and invited Ramon Sentmarti (Catalonia) and Francisco de Calheiros (Minho) to highlight what for them personally were the greatest highlights/achievements from their year.  

Ramon Sentmarti claimed that being among the first regions to be awarded, Catalonia faced several challenges, but reinforced the opportunity that being Region of Gastronomy provided and that has culminated in a Gastronomy Plan for the region. He advised 2017 regions to share knowledge and grow together because the most important outcome has been the enrichment of working across sectors, with different stakeholders and with international partners. He added “working together is not just a plus it is a multiplier effect.”

Francisco de Calheiros added that the most important actions in Minho are still to come and stressed how 2016 has been useful in order to plan for the future of the region. He suggested 2017 regions to strive for cooperation among all sectors involved and to trust, as well as benefit from Regions of Gastronomy network and partners.

In a symbolic, act, Catalonia and Minho then wished the incoming regions well for their programmes in 2017 by presenting gifts to Aarhus-Central Denmark Region 2017, East Lombardy 2017 and Riga-Gauja region 2017.

The event concluded with a dinner hosted by the Governor of South Aegean, offering a menu designed by the winner of the European Young Chef Award 2016, Stelios Stamatios Misomikes together with the Cyclades Dodecanese Chef Club.

The Region of Gastronomy Platform and the European Region of Gastronomy Award aim to contribute to better quality of life in European and world regions, by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability, and stimulating culinary innovation.

IGCAT - International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts, and Tourism - organises the award with the support of European institutions. IGCAT is an international interdisciplinary network of experts aiming to empower and facilitate local communities to realise the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts, sustainable tourism, and other local resources.

  • 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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