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Krakow selected the 2019 European Capital of Gastronomy Culture

The title was awarded for the first time by the European Academy of Gastronomy. ‘We are honoured that the European Academy of Gastronomy, while deciding to award the title of the 2019 European Capital of Gastronomy Culture for the first time, selected Krakow to hold it.

Krakow was selected over Lisbon in the last, final stage of the selection process. Do we deserve this title? Oh yes we do! 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 Krakow’s restaurants has already had 11 editions. For years we have welcomed Krakow’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 several important events next year, which will be an opportunity to invite specialists and lovers of good cuisine and stars of the world’s gastronomy to Krakow. We would also like to create new projects and next to pierogis and obwarzanek that we already mentioned, we want to promote recipes associated with the cuisine of the royal court, the bourgeoisie and the academia of Krakow,’ says Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of the City of Krakow.

European Academy of Gastronomy decided that it is Krakow who should become the European Capital of Gastronomy Culture. Krakow’s restaurants are the only restaurants outside Warsaw that hold Michelin guide’s distinctions – there are 26 such places at this time. Twice as many Krakow’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.

Next 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 Krakow-based chefs and stars of world's gastronomy running restaurants distinguished e.g. 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 the Krakow and Polish cuisine.

In addition, the city will develop its own schedule of culinary events for 2019 and subsequent events. Next to the events that we already mentioned, like Krakowskie Zapusty or the Pierogi Festival, as well as the “culinary” paths as part of the “Opera Rara Festival” or the Midsummer Night Fair (Jarmark Świętojański), new projects will be developed related to the cuisine of the royal court, the bourgeoisie and the academia of Krakow. Krakow’s culinary heritage includes street food – as long ago as in the Middle Ages there were portable stalls in use, from which simple foods were sold to townsmen, merchants, students, and the recently “re-discovered” maczanka po krakowsku (pork shoulder with sauce served in a bun) has delighted the palate of Krakow’s fiacres as far back as in 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).

Author:  Iga Chylicka