MACAO, September 23, 2018 – Macao joined other UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy for the 1st Gaziantep International Gastronomy Festival, in Turkey, to learn more about the host city’s gastronomic culture and traditions, exchange and attend gastronomy subnetwork meetings. In addition, Macao participated in a session during the event to advance on the research project of the ‘History of food culture based relations on the Silk Road’.
The Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), and Macao SAR focal point to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, was at the Creative City of Gastronomy of Gaziantep to enhance exchanges and present Macao’s initiatives as a Creative City of Gastronomy at the 1st Gaziantep International Gastronomy Festival, held September 20 to 22.
Highlight activities of the festival included a one-day gastronomy conference, cooking shows and promotion of participating cities, along with two Creative Cities of Gastronomy group meetings, as well as a special session for the research project of the ‘History of food culture based relations on the Silk Road’, initiated by Gaziantep, which includes Macao among its member cities.
Celebrating the gastronomic culture of Gaziantep and other participant cities
Bringing together representatives from 15 Creative Cities of Gastronomy, two Creative Cities of Crafts and Folk Art, as well as 12 Gaziantep’s sister cities, the festival presented the host city’s food culture to participants from around the world. The theme of the festival especially focused on pistachio nuts, the ‘green gold’ of Gaziantep, as September is the busy month for pistachio harvest. One of the panels of the conference held during the festival zoomed in on ‘Gaziantep, Turkey’s City of Pistachio’, with specialists addressing the importance of pistachios in Gaziantep’s history, food, culture and economy. Participants also witnessed the opening of a Pistachio Museum and were invited for pistachio harvesting.
The festival provided simultaneously a platform for participant cities to showcase their gastronomic culture at traditional food cooking and promotion sessions held at a UNESCO Stands area set up at the heart of Gaziantep. Macao also took the opportunity to promote the city, displaying information about the destination.
Creative Cities of Gastronomy meetings during the festival
At the same time, the festival served as a meeting point for UCCN Creative Cities of Gastronomy group. Representatives of the participating 15 Creative Cities of Gastronomy held two working meetings, to look into the results of the UCCN Annual Meeting held in June in Poland, make an update about the UCCN and Cities of Gastronomy activity plan, enhance collaboration and exchange on good practices. Macao was among the Creative Cities of Gastronomy to introduce highlight projects, with MGTO Director presenting the initiative of ‘2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy’ and related activities, launched in January.
UCCN Creative Cities of Gastronomy will hold meetings again at events scheduled for other Creative Cities of Gastronomy including in Macao early next year, at the ‘International Gastronomy Forum, Macao 2019’, slated for January.
Meeting on Gaziantep initiated Silk Road food-related research project
A special session for Creative Cities of Gastronomy members of the research project initiated by Gaziantep ‘History of food culture based relations on the Silk Road’ was held during the festival as well. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes joined representatives from other cities to discuss on current developments, orientation of researches, dissemination plan and publication of project investigations, and more. Other member cities of the research project attending the meeting were Chengdu and Shunde (China), Gaziantep and Hatay (Turkey), Jeonju (Korea), along with other guest cities and Silk Road experts.
The multilateral research project, which involves a total of nine Creative Cities of Gastronomy, is dedicated to study and disseminate knowledge about the gastronomy history and culture in the Creative Cities of Gastronomy located along the Silk Road. Macao signed a memorandum of agreement to join the project last June, on the sidelines of the UCCN Annual Meeting.
Gaziantep joined UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of Gastronomy in 2015, two years prior to Macao. Created in 2004, the fast-growing network is formed by a total of 180 member cities from 72 countries in the seven creative fields covered by the network (film, music, literature, media arts, design, gastronomy, crafts and folk art), including 26 cities in the area of gastronomy.
MGTO Director presents ‘2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy’ activities to other Creative Cities of Gastronomy during the 1st Gaziantep International Gastronomy Festival
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes joined by MGTO Head of Training and Quality Management Department, Doris Leong, promoting Macao at Gaziantep’s city center
Mayor of Gaziantep, Fatma Sahin, presents a souvenir to Senna Fernandes and Doris Leong
Representatives from 15 UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy gathered in Turkey