What Galway has in store for its year as European Region of Gastronomy

Year-long programme of food events for the city and county is launched

Elaine Donohue, programme co-ordinator, with Galway hotelier Ronnie Counihan.

Elaine Donohue, programme co-ordinator, with Galway hotelier Ronnie Counihan.

 

The programme of events for Galway’s reign as European Region of Gastronomy 2018 is being launched in the city today. Galway is the first place in Ireland and the British Isles to receive the designation and shares the honour this year with Noord Brabant in the Netherlands.

Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 is the region’s official title for the purposes of the designation, which was secured after a successful bid process, the results of which were made public on St Patrick’s Day 2016.

The ERoG designation is managed by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism, a non-profit organisation established in 2012.

According to the organisers, Galway’s successful bid was underpinned by “its first-class local food producers, its reputation as Ireland’s festival capital, as well as its renowned landscape, heritage, culture and hospitality”.

“From the ground up, feeding our future”, is the theme for the year-long programme, which includes food festivals, academic conferences and educational and social events.

There are five focus areas in the programme – food education and health; linking urban with rural; cultural diversity, sustainability and feeding the planet, and supporting SMEs and innovation.

Events featuring on the schedule include Good Food Ireland’s Tourroir conference, a cross-sector global business forum which takes place on April 23rd-24th, and which is being hosted by NUIG. The university is also staging an autumn gastronomy lecture series in September.

A new mackerel festival (August 18th-25th), has been added to the city and county’s food festival diary. The European Association of Agricultural Economists’ annual meeting is taking place in the city in August.

In November GMIT will host the European Young Chef Award 2018, a third level student competition. GMIT student Aisling Rock is the current holder of the title.

The full programme of events is online at galwaygastronomy.ie.

Elaine Donohue, programme co-ordinator for Galway ERoG said: “The designation is very important to the region for the year and also, importantly, for paving the way for the future of food in Galway city and county. It is a significant opportunity for the region in that every inch of our regional fabric is woven with a strong rooted food culture right through from farm to fork and from our heritage right through to our modern day engagement with food.”

Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 is being steered by Galway County Council, Galway City Council, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, and Teagasc, supported by regional and national stakeholders.

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