The European Region of Gastronomy 2021 title is of utmost importance for further development and promotion of tourism in Ljubljana and Slovenia. The culinary scene in Ljubljana and Slovenia has enjoyed a real boom over recent years thanks to internationally renowned chefs such as Ana Roš (Hiša Franko) and Luka Košir (Gostišče Grič) who are also among the ambassadors of the European Region of Gastronomy 2021, also thanks to promotion activities focused on culinary events and local dishes, the likes of which can be exemplified by the Gourmet Ljubljana and Taste Ljubljana brands in Ljubljana, and thanks to a commitment to sustainable principles, which is reflected in the use of locally produced ingredients and an emphasis on traditional gastronomic characteristics of Slovenia.
Slovenia submitted the candidature for the European Region of Gastronomy 2021 title with a book, titled Taste Slovenia and prepared by a team led by ethnologist prof. dr. Janez Bogataj. In addition to the projects of 16 participating partners, the book describes in detail the traditional gastronomic characteristics of Slovenia, beekeeping, the connection of gastronomy with tourism, as well as the strategy of gastronomy development in Slovenia.
The International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) first confirmed the candidacy of Slovenia. After that the expert commission, on the basis of its content, an assessment of the offer in the field, a presentation and a discussion recommended Slovenia to the IGCAT board of directors in July this year, making it the first country to be awarded the European Region of Gastronomy 2021 title, which had previously only been awarded to regions.
The strategy of sustainable growth of Slovenian tourism 2017-2021 defines gastronomy as one of the leading tourist products. Due to the European Region of Gastronomy 2021 title gastronomy will also be the highlight of promotional activities by the Slovenian Tourist Board in 2020 and 2021.