Galway will be one of just two European Regions of Gastronomy in 2018, it has been announced.
'Galway - West of Ireland' and North Brabant in the Netherlands were named as the successful bidders for 2018 at a meeting of International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) experts in Den Bosch last week.
The European Region of Gastronomy Award recognises innovation and integration in gastronomy, culture, tourism and economy. Successful bidders go on to mount a major, year-long programme showcasing their region and its produce.
Catalonia and Minho in Portugal are this year’s European Regions of Gastronomy, with Riga-Gauja and Aarhus/Central Denmark set to follow in 2017.
Galway’s bid was submitted on behalf of Galway County Council, Galway City Council, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Teagasc and Ruth Hegarty of Egg & Chick Projects, with the support of the local food community.
The award 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,” said Peter Roche, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council.
It comes at a choice time for a flourishing food scene.
Galway is well-known for its buzzy pubs and eateries, but in recent years the city has upped its game significantly, gaining two Michelin Star restaurants (Loam and Aniar) and the Galway Food Festival, which takes place this weekend (March 24-28).
Food on the Edge, an annual food symposium held in October, is also attracting some of the world’s top chefs to the Wild Atlantic Way.
This year’s speakers include Virgilio Martínez of Lima’s Central (No. 4 on the World’s 50 Best restaurants), Christian F. Puglisi of Relae in Copenhagen and Tim Hollingsworth, formerly of The French Laundry in California.
The IGCAT jury was impressed with Galway’s support and commitment to grass-roots initiatives, it said, as well as its wide stakeholder base and efforts to bring in private, public, third-sector and knowledge institutions.
The European Region of Gastronomy Awards ceremony will take place, pending a jury visit to Galway, at a conference in Aarhus on June 20.
For more details see galwaygastronomy.ie.