Bella Cuisine: Culinary Service Improvement in Latgale and Vitebsk, based on Culinary Heritage Concept
Thanks to the project, cafes, restaurants, and farmsteads from the neighboring regions of Vitebsk (Belarus) and Latgale (Latvia) can now apply new tools for marketing their traditional recipes to gourmand tourists. Moreover, Vitebsk region became the first Belarusian member of the European Culinary Heritage Network.
“Latgale and Vitebsk regions used to be parts of the same state; the same peoples inhabited the two regions. Not surprisingly, the traditional cuisines in these regions have many similar characteristics. Just like recipes in the past, today tourists can cross the Latvian-Belarusian border to savor traditional treats from this part of Europe,” – Anton Radniankou, Project Coordinator in Belarus, Interakcia Foundation.
IMPORTANCE OF THE PROJECT
Today, one third of the Belarusian farmsteads are located in Vitebsk region. An escape from the city routines, they welcome guests from Belarus and the neighboring countries, especially Lithuania, Russia, and Latvia. And genuine rural lifestyle is just unimaginable without traditional food! Cooked according to age-old secrets, such dishes may remind summer holidays spent at a granny’s village house, boost one’s health with natural ingredients, or invoke pride for a versatile and delicious national cuisine.
Still, before the project, cafes, restaurants, and farmsteads in Vitebsk region had not a clear idea of how to tell about their culinary gems. Furthermore, due to insufficient cooperation between the Latvian and Belarusian culinary businesses, they had not offered joint products to tourists, even despite many gastronomic similarities between the two countries. The project Bella Cuisine aimed to resolve these issues through the concept of culinary heritage.
Latgale had joined the European Culinary Heritage Network in 2005. Hence, Belarusian entrepreneurs received the chance to learn from the Latvian colleagues’ almost 10-year experience in promoting the national cuisine.
The European Culinary Heritage Network appeared in Scandinavia: in Southeast Skåne, Sweden, and on the Danish island of Bornholm in 1995. It emphasizes local traditions, peculiarities of culinary services and the usage of local products in cooking.
This approach is now developing in more than 30 European regions, including Polish, German, Danish, and Swedish regions around the Baltic Sea. They participate in the European Culinary Heritage Network.
PARTNERS IN THE PROJECT
Latvian partners: Kraslava Municipality (lead partner), Aglona Municipality, Dagda Municipality, Ludza Municipality, Rezekne municipality; Belarusian partners: Interakcia Foundation (coordinated the project in Belarus), Glubokoe District Executive Committee, Lepel District Executive Committee, Miory District Executive Committee, Polotsk District Executive Committee, Verkhnedvinsk District Deputy Council.
Overall objective: To contribute to the socio-economic development of the neighboring regions of Latgale and Vitebsk by encouraging entrepreneurship based on the culinary heritage concept.
1. To improve the culinary service network in Latgale and Vitebsk regions.
2. To enhance capacities of culinary service businesses in both regions.
3. To assist Vitebsk region in joining the European Culinary Heritage Network.
About the EU Latvia-Lithuania-Belarus Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013
Priority 1: Promoting sustainable economic and social development
Measures: 1.1. Promotion of socio-economic development and encouragement of business and entrepreneurship; 1.2. Enhancement of local and regional strategic development and planning; 1.3. Improvement of cross border accessibility through the development of transport and communication networks and related services; 1.4. Preservation and promotion of cultural and historical heritage, promotion of cross border tourism; 1.5. Strengthening of social-cultural networking and community development.
Priority 2: Addressing common challenges
Measures: 2.1. Protection and sustainable development of environmental and natural resources; 2.2. Enhancement of education, health and social sphere development; 2.3. Improvement of infrastructure and equipment related to the border crossing points; 2.4. Improvement of border management operations and customs procedures.
CONTACTS AND MORE INFORMATION
Anton Radniankou, Project Manager:
+ 375 25 924 42 13 (mobile); + 375 17 334 24 76; firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Razhentsova, PR Manager
+ 375 44 758 88 15, + 375 29 509 28 48 (mobile); + 375 17 334 24 76 (tel.); email@example.com