Food and Culture strengthen Central Denmark Region

After several years of joint effort to strengthen, the development of gastronomy and food is now bearing fruit. This week, Aarhus and the Central Denmark Region were appointed the European Region of Gastronomy 2017.

Michelin stars given to three restaurants, FOOD festival held with 35.000 participants with food critics from around the world attending, and finally an opening of the store, Arla Unika, in Aarhus centrum. Yes, things are happening in Aarhus and Central Denmark Region.

The many initiatives have now resulted in Aarhus and Central Denmark Region receiving the honourable title of European Region of Gastronomy in 2017. The procedure was a collaboration between partners across the region and educational and business organisations. The joint effort, had the title “Rethink good food” successfully resulted in the recognition of the international Institution of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism.

“In Denmark, food is a strong part of the history and culture, therefore it is an important theme for us in Capital Culture of Europe 2017. Good food and company around the dinner table creates an opportunity for the good kind of conversation. We intend to support the tradition through various events in the program in 2017,” said CEO of Aarhus 2017, Rebecca Matthews, who helped to retrieve the title home to Aarhus and Central Denmark Region.

It starts now
According to Jan Beyer Schmidt-Sørensen, business manager for Aarhus municipal, the title is a recognition of the development Aarhus and Central Region Denmark have gone through in the past three – four years. All stakeholders have actively made an effort to strengthen the link between food producers, researchers, gastronomy and consumers.

Already in 2016 we will notice a change, when Arla Foods, among others, will open a global innovative centre in Aarhus. Aarhus and the Central Denmark Region will as well have the honour of hosting the international food conference, IFAMA.

The IFAMA conference is established by researches from the well-known Harvard University. Around 600 leading researchers and business leaders from around the world are expected to attend the conference.

“We received the title, with the expectations that we will rethink within the gastronomy field with a broad sense, and strengthen innovation and education while securing sustainability and citizen involvement. We look forward to live up to these expectations,” said Jan Beyer Schmidt-Sørensen, from Aarhus municipal.

Facts: Who is behind the project?
The application “Rethink good food” is the result of a broad partnership between the Central Denmark Region, Aarhus municipal, Aarhus European Capital Culture 2017, Aarhus University, Aarhus Tech, Agrotech, Danish Food Cluster, Future Food Innovation, Arla and Food Organisation of Denmark.

The international Institution of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism awards the title and Central Denmark Region will share the honour with Riga-region in Latvia and east Lombardy in Italy in 2017. 

Catalonia in Spain and Minho in Portugal are the first regions to receive the title in 2016.

Royal back up
“To rethink the world through food is not just about better food. We also need to develop stronger links between the food industry, research, education, tourism and health in a sustainable way. The title, European Region for Gastronomy, can affect this development and result in a fruitful cooperation between strong European food regions.”

The patron for the European Region of Gastronomy is His Royal Highness Prince Henrik.