The European network of Regional Culinary Heritage was established in 1998 in order to focus interest on regional foods and to facilitate the consumers and tourists in finding restaurants and shops that sell local and regional specialities. 35 regions from most countries in Europe are already members in the network. A joint framework consisting of a common logotype, agreed criteria for participating businesses and regions and joint marketing activities safeguards uniform standards throughout Europe.
The network has many dimensions. It incorporates aspects of local food production and gastronomy, cultural heritage and development of new dishes based on local products as well as tourism and business development in rural areas. Sustainable and environmentally friendly development of rural tourist areas, regional development and stregthening of regional identities, co-operation between regions and businesses throughout Europe are other important aims of the network. The network not only satisfies the consumers' wishes for foods with regional identity, but it also contributes to a sound development of businesses, tourism and rural areas.
This concept of Culinary Heritage was developed in co-operation between the Danish island of Bornholm and Southeast Skane in Sweden. On behalf of a request from the European Carrefour network Regional Culinary Heritage was enlarged to a European level in 1998. The European Commission, region of Skane and participating regions have financed the establishment of the European network during 1998-2000. Carrefour South Sweden and Edafos Ltd are co-ordinators of the European network, with a support of a 15 members steering committee.
D. Michaelidis, T. Ohlsson, Culinary Heritage Network, Greece
S. Botza, "D. Michaelidis-Management Consulting", Greece