The intangible cultural heritage of food is an enormous yet underestimated resource. Central European cities and regions use gastronomy to promote tourism but hardly ever as a resource that can leverage environmental sustainability and social integration. The SlowFood-CE project will improve the capacities of local actors to valorise the intangible heritage of food in line with a vision of integrated economic, environmental and social sustainability. The project connects public and private actors from five central European cities to promote the ‘new gastronomy of slow food’ concept.
Slow Food is a multidisciplinary approach to food recognising strong connections between plate, planet, and people. The project will develop a model and various tools for the valorisation of traditional food and gastronomic cultural heritage. The partners will jointly test SlowFood-CE solutions in diverse urban spaces like heritage buildings, public markets, schools, historic and peri-urban rural districts. SlowFood-CE project activities will demonstrate how gastronomic cultural heritage can be integrated into relevant urban sector policies.
PILOT ACTIONS AND INVESTMENT
To test innovative, community-led solutions for the promotion of gastronomic heritage in public spaces, five pilot actions will be launched. The pilot actions target specific features of the partner cities’ gastronomy, their roots and cultural offers, and apply the sustainability principles embedded in the Slow Food philosophy.
One pilot investment is planned for the creation of local products discovery routes to promote the gastronomic heritage of the Venetian Lagoon.
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.
A new gastronomy: This was the central theme of three days of training held in Krakow at the start of February as part of the SlowFood-CE: Culture, Heritage, Identity and Food project, funded by the European Union.
Cheese 2017 in Bra, Italy, is the location for a meeting between 11 partners from five European Union member states (Italy, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland) to officially launch Slow Food Central Europe, a project financed by the EU program Interreg Central Europe.
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