The Danish city of Aarhus and the Central Denmark Region have been awarded the title European Region of Gastronomy in 2017 today at an EU conference at EXPO 2015 in Milan, Italy.
His Royal Highness, The Prince Consort, Prince Henrik of Denmark, has agreed to be the official patron for the year of gastronomy, and the award is a recognition of the strong focus on food innovation and excellent food in Central Denmark Region and in Denmark in general.
“I am pleased to be the patron for an initiative that will promote Nordic gastronomy in an international context, ensure more awareness of local producers and stimulate interest for food among new generations,” says His Royal Highness The Prince Consort, Prince Henrik.
In addition to the patronage by The Prince Consort, Wassim Hallal, chef and owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant “Frederikshoj” in Aarhus, Denmark, will take on the role of ambassador for the European Region of Gastronomy in 2017.
“Our regional gastronomy is known for using only local ingredients as much as possible. We have amazing lobsters and crabs in the bay, wonderful herbs in the forest and sublime vegetables in local farms. It is unique that we have so many options for finding fresh ingredients of the highest quality in the region’s own kitchen garden,” says Wassim Hallal, who hopes to attract even more food enthusiasts from around the world to the Central Denmark Region, which has also been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture in 2017.
“It is a great honour and a major recognition of Aarhus and the region to be awarded the two titles. Culture and gastronomy already go hand-in-hand and in the European Capital of Culture programme, gastronomy is a major theme,” says Rebecca Matthews, CEO of European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017.
The prestigious title of European Region of Gastronomy is awarded by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism, and in 2017, Central Denmark Region shares the honour with the Riga Region in Latvia and eastern Lombardy in Italy.