• Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes joined by MGTO Head of Training and Quality Management Department, Doris Leong, promoting Macao at Gaziantep’s city center
  • MGTO Director Senna Fernandes presents ‘2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy’ activities to other Creative Cities of Gastronomy
  • Representatives from 15 UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy gathered in Turkey

MGTO Attends 1st Gaziantep International Gastronomy Festival in Turkey

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The Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and Macao SAR focal facilitator for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, joined representatives of other UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy for the 1st Gaziantep International Gastronomy Festival, held from 20th to 22nd September in Turkey, to learn more about the host city's gastronomic culture and traditions by exchanging experiences and attending gastronomy sub-network meetings. In addition, Macao participated in a session during the event to advance research on the 'History of food culture-based relationships on the Silk Road'.

Celebrating gastronomic culture

Highlight activities of the Festival included a one-day gastronomy conference, cooking shows, the promotion of participating cities, and so forth, bringing together representatives from 15 Creative Cities of Gastronomy, two Creative Cities of Crafts and Folk Art, as well as 12 of Gaziantep's sister cities.

One of the panels of the conference held during the Festival focused on 'Gaziantep, Turkey's City of Pistachios'. Participants also attended the opening of a Pistachio Museum and even participated in the harvesting of the nut. The Festival also provided a platform for participating cities to showcase their gastronomic culture at traditional food cooking and promotion sessions held in a UNESCO Stands area set up in the heart of Gaziantep, in which Macao took the opportunity to promote the city, displaying information about the destination.

Creative Cities of Gastronomy meetings

Representatives of the participating 15 Creative Cities of Gastronomy held two working meetings examining the results of the UCCN Annual Meeting, and updating the UCCN and Cities of Gastronomy activity plan, while MGTO Director Senna Fernandes outlined the '2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy' initiative. The UCCN Creative Cities of Gastronomy will hold meetings again at events scheduled in other Creative Cities of Gastronomy at the 'International Gastronomy Forum, Macao 2019', slated for January.

A special session for Creative Cities of Gastronomy members regarding the research project initiated by Gaziantep's 'History of food culture-based relationships on the Silk Road' was held during the Festival, in which current developments, the orientation of research, dissemination plan and publication of project investigations, and more, were discussed. Member cities of the research project attending the meeting were Macao, Chengdu and Shunde (China), Gaziantep and Hatay (Turkey), and Jeonju (Korea) in tandem 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.