Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, has recommended a gastronomic competition between cities or regions of the EU. The participating countries would compete for the title European Culinary Excellence and the competition will be annual or biennial.
According to Damanaki’s proposal to the European Commission, the award would be given in accordance to strict selection criteria that would concern the whole production process – from the raw materials and food characteristics to the finished dish and satisfaction of the consumer.
In a letter sent to the President and the management board of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Damanaki underlined that her proposal aims to “develop the healthy rivalry between the European cities and regions and to promote the European gastronomy as a comparative advantage across Europe”.
She said this would allow the stimulation and development of the local production of the land and the sea, supporting the products of the sustainable agriculture and fisheries and promoting tourism.
SETE applauded the commissioner’s initiative and said it could benefit Greek tourism. “The proposal is a first class opportunity to strengthen efforts to improve the gastronomic products and services offered by our country and include gastronomy in the portfolio of Greek tourism,” SETE said in an announcement, according to news.gtp.gr.
SETE expects that within three to five years Greek gastronomy could be one of the three key reasons for tourists choosing Greece as their holiday destination.
The association has launched the Gastrotourism – Food for Development campaign to promote food tourism and enrich the country’s portfolio in tourism services and products.