Slow Food-CE activities in five Central European cities are now in full swing!

Local working groups have been set up in the five European cities involved (Brno, Dubrovnik, Kecskemét, Krakow, and Venice) to create synergies among local stakeholders (producers, retailers, for-profit and non-profit companies, and various actors in the cultural sector) to identify and promote traditional food and local products as intangible cultural heritage.

Three cities held their first local trainings to provide technical framework and methodology guidelines for mapping local gastronomic heritages. These trainings were an opportunity to present the project’s tools aimed at identifying and enhancing local products and also to offer content and practical instructions to various categories of users (institutions, enterprises, professional associations, civil society, and so on) for investigating gastronomic cultural heritages related to food.

On March 28, representatives of the city of Brno, the regional administration, gastronomic and agricultural schools, and wine and food retailers met in the Brno Tržnice (Brno Marketplace) to discuss the possibilities of working together to map and develop the gastronomic heritage of the city of Brno and the region of South Moravia. The meeting allowed participants to share their knowledge about the local food heritage and discuss ways to integrate it into the city's sustainable development. 

On April 28, the Local Working Group of Kecskemét Municipality had its first training at Kecskemét Market (which celebrates its 650th anniversary this year) to draw attention to the healthy products that are cultivated and made by local farmers. Local stakeholders were enthusiastic about the approach of the project and underlined the importance of working together and helping one another in order to preserve and pass on to future generations the traditions and gastro-cultural heritage of Kecskemét and its surroundings.

On May 4, a local training took place in Venice. The event involved about 15 strategic actors of the Venetian territory (representatives of associations, producers, farmers, restaurateurs, scientific experts, and owners of tourist accommodations), fostered dialogue among the participants, and created synergies for the future: participants began to think about the detailed design of the Venetian pilot action, which will create guided tourist routes for the rediscovery and promotion of the gastronomic heritage of Sant'Erasmo and Pellestrina islands.

During the first local trainings the goals of the participatory mapping (which will document local gastronomic products that need to be rediscovered, valued, and protected) were illustrated and shared with participants. The first phase of the mapping (including desk research and the identification of “guardians” of gastronomic cultural resources to be interviewed) can now begin.