Galway wins European Region of Gastronomy designation for 2018 on St. Patrick’s Day in The Netherlands

Galway wins European Region of Gastronomy designation for 2018 on St. Patrick’s Day in The Netherlands

The Galway team behind the European Region of Gastronomy bid have successfully achieved the designation in North Brabant, The Netherlands. The bid team representing the region presented to an international jury of experts in the Province House of Den Bosch, North Brabant on St. Patrick’s Day, which was followed by a tasting lunch featuring a range of excellent local foods from Galway.

The Galway bid entitled ‘From the Ground Up – Feeding our Future’ focused on five key areas following a stakeholder engagement workshop in September in Galway. Education and Health were seen as critical components of any future projects and the bid team used this feedback to guide the bid book development.

Reacting to the news of the success of the Region’s bid to be the European Region of Gastronomy in 2018, the Cathaoirleach of County Galway, Cllr. Peter Roche warmly congratulated all involved. “The joint efforts of all involved in the bid have been justly recognised in securing this prestigious title for our region.  It will provide a platform for the continued growth of Galway as a destination known for the quality of its food sector and the strength of the connection between its people, the land and our gastronomic traditions.  The Local Authority’s support of the food sector as a key area for local economic development will also be enhanced by this designation.”

The process to seek this designation began last summer following engagement with the European Capital of Culture team and food was identified as a strong theme. Last September Galway County Council, Galway City Council and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology signed the cooperation agreement allowing Galway to become a member of the European Region of Gastronomy Platform. Teagasc have also joined the platform and have been leading discussions on how Galway’s farming and agriculture sector will support and engage with innovations and the programme of work.

The European Region of Gastronomy Award recognises innovation and integration in gastronomy, culture, tourism and economy. The regions awarded the title should demonstrate their uniqueness through offering a comprehensive and complex experience to a visitor created as a result of creative coexistence and appreciation of culture, gastronomy, and art or artistic expressions.

The Jury decision was communicated with the assembled audience and noted the extensive and far reaching stakeholder base the Galway team had engaged with. The jury also commended the ‘grass roots initiative’ approach the Galway team adopted in terms of embedding this work across communities and schools. Finally the jury congratulated the bid team on the efforts made to include private, public and third level Institutes in this programme which is a principle of the award. Dr. Diane Dodd, Director from the Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) formally thanked the Galway team and particularly the food producers who generously supplied produce for the tasting lunch. Diarmuid Kelly from Kelly’s Oyster and Liam Heneghan from BiaLover Athenry and Tribal Foods represented the food producers from across the region and assisted the team with preparing and presenting the lunch.

The designation award ceremony will take place within the framework of the IFAMA conference in Aarhus- Central Denmark Region on 20th June 2016 and the award will be presented by the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Areas, Phil Hogan.

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