• Cyril McAree

Galway, West of Ireland European Region of Gastronomy 2018 Delivers An Exciting Programme With Food

Galway, West of Ireland’s illustrious designation as a European Region of Gastronomy (ERoG) for 2018 is being brought to life through a wide-ranging and vibrant programme of events, festivals, projects and initiatives that cross the boundaries of food, culture, tourism and other sectors to enhance Galway’s food culture and create a lasting impact.

The programme corresponds with the theme for Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 which is ‘From the Ground Up, Feeding our Future’. The theme unites the initiative’s key focus areas of food education & health; linking urban & rural; cultural diversity; sustainability & feeding the planet; and supporting food SMEs & innovation.

The year-long programme is designed to deliver on the key objective of the Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 designation, which is to focus attention on the vital role of the food industry in Galway and how central it is to the present and future.

Programme Coordinator for Galway ERoG, Elaine Donohue 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 . It is vital that we reinforce this for the future for the longer term benefit of the people of Galway, their wellbeing and their livelihoods.”

A key factor underpinning the Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 designation is Galway’s significant role in growing Ireland’s reputation as a food destination and country known for producing high-quality food. Galway city and county combined has over over 12,000 farms, 689 kilometres of coastline, 52 islands and more than 350 restaurants.

Cáit Noone, vice president international engagement & head Galway International Hotel School, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, said, “The European Region of Gastronomy designation for Galway, West of Ireland is an acknowledgement of the outstanding work that has taken place by the people of the region for a number of years. The award is not about fine dining or restaurants, but rather an opportunity for the food community across the county and city to build on the work taking place in education, health, SMEs, food innovation and enterprise. It brings together the farmer, the restaurateur, the culinary student and the food producer, the many public officers working in health, education, local government and enterprise and helps us build a food culture that can inform decision-making for this generation and the next. As the only region in the British Isles with this designation, we should also use it to promote the region to domestic and European visitors. Ultimately, we have an opportunity to influence and shape how we engage with food for many years to come and from my perspective it is an exciting opportunity that we must grasp with both hands and dream big!”

Galway’s outstanding restaurant landscape, which features a diverse choice of exceptional options including two Michelin star restaurants, is a further key factor underpinning the Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 designation.

Galway chef and restaurateur JP McMahon, who is the Ambassador for Galway and West of Ireland ERoG, said, “ERoG will have a lasting impact on our attitude to food in Galway. It will nurture greater commitment to good food and show us how much food affects every aspect of our lives. I love the way it's reaching out to so many different areas of our rich and fertile food culture.”

Other key factors underpinning the Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 designation include Galway’s first-class local food producers, its reputation as Ireland’s festival capital, as well as its renowned landscape, heritage, culture and hospitality, which make Galway city and county a popular choice for people to visit and also as a place to live.

The Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 flagship programme is being officially launched at a special Community Opening Ceremony on the 16th of March at 5pm at Spanish Arch in Galway city. The date marks almost two years since the Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 bid was declared a winner on St Patrick’s Day 2016.

The Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 programme will be available on the official website www.galwaygastronomy.ie and social media channels @gastronomy2018 each month.

The Galway, West of Ireland ERoG 2018 designation is being led by Galway County Council, Galway City Council, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and Teagasc, and it is being supported by a range of both national and local stakeholders and communities.


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