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Big Idea: Denmark

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As part of the European Region of Gastronomy for 2017, Aarhus’ culinary scene is firmly in the spotlight


Aarhus and the surrounding Central Denmark Region has been selected as the European Region of Gastronomy for 2017. The award, designated by IGCAT (the International Institute of Gastonomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism), promotes the chosen destinations’ culinary attractions. While the New Nordic culinary movement has lured visitors to Copenhagen, this campaign will allow Denmark’s second city to gain traction.


The region has consolidated its gastronomic offering in recent years — not only is the annual Aarhus Food Festival growing in popularity but three of the city’s restaurants have been awarded Michelin-star status. The IGCAT award is the icing on the cake. Denmark offers great opportunities for agents, with increased accessibility, thanks to direct flights from Norwegian. It will launch its ninth direct route to Copenhagen from the US in spring 2017.

Wassim Hallal, ambassador for Aarhus European Region of Gastronomy 2017 and owner of Michelin-starred restaurant Frederikshoj, says: “My job is to spotlight Danish food and promote Aarhus and Denmark internationally. I want to create something new with this. We must continue to develop our cuisine and raise our standards.” Wassim is working with farmers, producers and entrepreneurs throughout the year-long program.

Highlights of the culinary program include the Touring Beach Chefs: a collaboration between local chefs and Natural History Museum Aarhus, where chefs will cook up feasts showcasing the natural bounty of the sea. Then, there’s Arla’s Kitchen, where children will be invited to rethink their packed lunches. The People’s Feast will
be a communal dinner where 500 people can sample menus from all over the world.

The city’s three Michelin-starred restaurants will play host to innovative menus, while urban pop-ups such as ‘Street Food’, a new food market built in a former bus garage, will give smaller local entrepreneurs the opportunity to have their wares sampled. Elsewhere, foraging activities will take travellers out of the city. With over 100 different events in the calendar, the region will have every chance to shine.

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