Do we need national competition in gastronomy?!

Do we need professional awards – Steletovo, Murkovo, Valvazorjevo … if we have Europo Nostro, EMYAUNESCO? Do we need a national football championship in sports, if we have the Champions League?

Whether we need Boršnik’s meeting or the Festival of Slovenian Film in the field of culture, if there is Berlinale, the Venice International Film Festival, if we have the Oscars? Whether we need The Slovenia Restaurant Award, in the field of gastronomy, if there are Gault MilleauMichelin, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants…? 

The authors of the new action plan for the development and marketing of gastronomic tourism in Slovenia consider that they do not state that the national assessment system should be introduced only conditionally. In addition, they advocate in the first place the promotion of the introduction of the international gastronomic guide Michelin Slovenia and the preservation of the international gastronomic guide Gault & Millau. They also highlight the need to support the hosts for ranking on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Each country needs internationally recognizable chefs and inns, winemakers and wineries, which represent the top of the national gastronomic pyramid for its international recognition. But no less does it need good traditional inns as the national embassy of local and regional gastronomic identities. In terms of the development of gastronomic tourism, the latter are no less necessary and desirable, as the top Slovenian restaurants and inns, especially those who build their creativity and innovation on the basis of the Slovenian gastronomic heritage.


How to make gastronomic tourist destinations competitive, recognizable and visible, both among Slovenian citizens, as well as between
domestic and foreign tourists? It is likely that we know the structure of guests and tourists who go to Slovenian inns and restaurants, using various modern communication channels. So why are we similar to Italians, French, English, Irish, Austrians, Croats, Serbs, Albanians… as well as Americans, Indians or Singaporeans? Given that their national gastronomy interests are linked to national inn tours. They are probably no less cosmopolitan, and their gastronomic landscape is no less colorful. In terms of the development of both the agricultural and gastronomic tourism sectors, the country needs a reference and credible national gastronomic guide, where our attitude towards the earth, “our food”, seasonally, locally produced and locally used, is becoming more and more ecological. To be seen both in authentic gastronomic experiences and in the boundless cooking innovation.

The annual emergence of internationally communicative national gastronomic guides promotes the quality and competitiveness of providers, while contributing to the quality increase of the entire gastronomic offer in Slovenia. It is difficult to imagine the sustainable development of various sectors, and in particular catering, without establishing transparent systems of competition and rewarding, especially at national level, as it is a strategic basis for the development of catering and gastronomic tourism, which takes into account the gastronomic and agricultural identity of the state. TSRA? TSRA!

Aleš Gacnik PhD | Gastronomy April 2019


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