Slovenia has been named the European Region of Gastronomy 2021 based on its gastronomic offers combined with the development of sustainable living and quality of life.

It was given the award by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT). It had to prove to a panel that it had developed sufficient gastronomy-related projects and programmes to merit holding the award. The panel included experts from different fields including tourism, culture, hospitality and agriculture. They will support and nurture Slovenia to ensure that it is ready to undertake the challenges outlined in its bid for the award.

Man baking bread at Sokol restaurant in Slovenia
Baking bread at Sokol restaurant in Slovenia ©Jonathan Smith/Lonely Planet

Slovenia is the only European country that connects the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst and the Pannonian Plain. According to IGCAT, the country's exceptionally diverse landscape and nature are tied to a colourful culture and gastronomy. Its culinary philosophy is based on the principle of 'garden to table' and this is reflected in the close relationships between chefs and local producers, as well as the connections between Slovenian landscapes and traditional culinary experiences.

To further underpin Slovenia's dedication to green gastronomy at all levels, the Slovenian Tourist Board is announcing a new 'Slovenian Green Cuisine' label, which will become part of the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism. This certification programme celebrates the destinations and service providers placing sustainability at the core of their activities.

The Slovenian Tourist Board recently launched a new website that tells the full story of gastronomy in Slovenia. A special section is dedicated to boutique stories of innovative chefs and their links to local producers and high-quality ingredients. You can check it out here.

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