The title was awarded for the first time by the European Academy of Gastronomy. “We are honored that the European Academy of Gastronomy, while awarding the title of the European Capital of Gastronomy Culture 2019 for the first time, chose Kraków.” Mayor Jacek Majchrowski said at the conference.
Kraków was selected over Lisbon in the last, final stage of the selection process. We have good recipes, great products from local suppliers, and to top it all off, friendly and hospitable atmosphere. For years Krakow has promoted good gastronomy. The Recommendations campaign of Kraków’s restaurants has already had 11 editions. For years we have welcomed Kraków’s residents and tourists to a pierogi festivals. But we also offer new things – Krakowskie Zapusty, which keeps the Krakow’s tradition of making cenci pastry alive, and the Święto Obwarzanka (Festival of Obwarzanek). What does it mean to be a culinary capital? “We will organize multiple important events next year, which will be an opportunity to invite specialists and lovers of good cuisine and stars of world gastronomy to Kraków. We would also like to create new projects, we want to promote recipes associated with the cuisine of the royal court, the bourgeoisie and the academia of Kraków”, says Jacek Majchrowski.
European Academy of Gastronomy decided that Kraków should become the European Capital of Gastronomy Culture as its restaurants are the only ones outside Warsaw recommended by the Michelin Guide – there are 26 such places at the moment. Twice as many Kraków’s places were honoured by Gaullt et Millau, while 8 were recommended by Slow Food Poland. Kraków has the resources to make this success happen – good recipes, highest quality products from local suppliers, as well as hospitality and friendly atmosphere.
This year, as part of the European Capital of Gastronomy Culture, there will be many events organized, including a Gastronomy Congress for specialists and lovers of good cuisine from all over the world, a meeting for Kraków-based chefs and stars of the culinary world running restaurants distinguished by stars awarded by the Michelin Guide. “Virtual cooking” will be an interesting, innovative format. It will consist in preparing dishes in multiple restaurants at the same time, which may be followed online. The theme of this event will be Kraków and Polish cuisine.
In addition, the city will develop its own schedule of culinary events for 2019. Next to Krakowskie Zapusty or the Pierogi Festival, as well as the culinary paths of the “Opera Rara Festival” or the Midsummer Night Fair (Jarmark Świętojański), there will be new projects related to the cuisine of the royal court, etc. Kraków’s culinary heritage includes street food dating as early as the Middle Ages when simple foods were sold from mobile stalls to townsmen, merchants, students, and the recently re-discovered "maczanka po krakowsku" (pulled pork sandwich) has delighted the palates of Kraków’s fiacres since the 17th century.
The European Academy of Gastronomy operates as part of the International Academy of Gastronomy, an organisation that deals with the widely-understood gastronomy culture. Established in 1983 by 5 national academies (Spanish, French, British, Italian, and Swiss), it currently has 29 members from 23 countries, including China, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Portugal, Sweden, USA and Poland. The Academy is based in France. The Academy cooperates, among others, with the UN (UNESCO, FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the Untied Nations, WHO – World Health Organization, UNWTO – World Tourism Organization), the European Union and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).