The exclusive ‘City of Gastronomy’ title has only been awarded to three places in the world shared between Colombia, China and Sweden.
But the Marina Alta coastal resort of Denia has announced it intends to become the fourth member of this exclusive club.
In an official bid that will be formalised at UNESCO headquarters in Paris this month, the town council, backed by the Generalitat Valenciana (regional government), will present a dossier claiming it meets all the UNESCO requirements that include respect for the environment, the use of local products and endogenous ingredients.
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport believes that Denia, “Meets and exceeds all conditions and that the distinction of UNESCO would enhance a Valencian cuisine that combines, geographical, historical and cultural criteria along with its excellent reputation as a tourist centre.”
Since Denia council announced its intentions last December, a top management team consisting of representatives from the Consistory, the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Marina Alta (AEHTM), local entrepreneurship, the CDT, IES Marina Ibars and the Fishermen’s Association, have been combining their knowledge and recourses to help prepare the official bid.
They have also organised various gastronomic events over the last few months including ‘The Red Fish of Denia,’ an international competition at which chef Jose Manuel Iglesias Lopez won first prize with his Catalan seafood stew (Suquet) described as containing, ‘Denia red prawn oil drops and ear chopped cabbage.’
The Creative Cities Network was created by UNESCO in 2004 and is based on the idea that culture can play an important role in urban renewal and development of new economic strategies.
The network is divided into seven areas: food, literature, film, music, folk art, design and digital art.
Gastronomic aficionados wishing to check out the three existing ‘City of Gastronomy’ centres will have to criss-cross the world between Popayan in Colombia Cheng Du in China and Ostersund in Sweden.
By Benny Davis