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Panama Bids for UNESCO Gastronomic Category. Next June the Panama Municipality means to present its candidacy before the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to have Panama City declared a City of Creative Gastronomy.
The Mayor of Panama District, Jose Blandon Figueroa, made the announcement on April 10 in a meeting with different representatives of the culinary sector such as chefs, restaurant proprietors and government entities.
Blandon said that in the last few year Panama City has experienced a gastronomic boom. He went on to say that Panama has a large number of innovative chefs and it is necessary to highlight this aspect of the economy in view of the impact it has on tourism.
The Creative Cities Network of Unesco seeks to take advantage of the creative, social and economic potential to promote cultural diversity. This network has different categories such as handicraft, popular arts, design, cinema, music and gastronomy.
Around 116 cities are part of this network in the different categories, 18 of which are part of the gastronomy sector, giving the opportunity to its members to share economic, technological and organizational abilities.
Mario Castrellón, Panamanian and chef, one of the winners of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, said “ Panamanian gastronomy is a cuisine rich in influences from diverse cultures. This designation will help us with tourism in the same way countries like Mexico and Peru have achieved an important growth thanks to gastronomy.”
The Panama Municipality must present a four year working plan, together with a definite budget in order to be considered. According to the mayor, this office is also contemplating joining Ibercuisines (Ibercocina) a program in which seven countries of the Iberoamerican General Secretariat participate.
Ibercuisines, seeks to develop the Unesco Declarations on the World Cultural Heritage about traditional food in the region and to promote public policies on the subject.