Situated at the eastern tip of Spain, Dénia is a Mediterranean port city with an ample space for traditional fishing, a sector which contributes about 15 million euros in sales annually to the local economy. The gastronomy and food industries are the main economic drivers of the city, with more than 500 enterprises generating 2,500 direct jobs. Dénia’s vision of gastronomy particularly focuses on the emergence of innovative models of local food ecosystems.
The gastronomic sector draws inspiration from the Mediterranean diet and concepts such as Slow Food by promoting healthy food based on local resources and products with the goal of ensuring more sustainable development. Dénia also emphasizes the importance of transversal approaches, as well as multistakeholders cooperation, to promote gastronomy by developing a wide range of activities and events involving both local and international actors, such as the International Creative Cuisine Competition of the Red Prawn of Dénia,which has an annual participation of 50 chefs worldwide.
Dénia is committed to sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices, especially in the framework of the Open Africa programme, an initiative undertaken by the Balearia Cultural Foundation, thanks to which it has launched a fruitful relationship with Tangier (Morocco) as twin cities. Through this programme, Dénia intends to spread the actions and objectives of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to Africa and Arab States to encourage more cities from these regions to join in the future, for further fostering multilateral cooperation.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, Dénia envisages:
- implementing the multi-stakeholder initiative Xarxa Local Food Ecosystem, intended to increase the production of fresh, in-season, indigenous and healthy food, as well as to foster a collaborative and sustainable industry of gastronomy;
- encouraging gastronomic entrepreneurs and incubating the emergence of new food industries to stimulate the quality of urban life through innovative forms for protecting the city’s gastronomic cultural heritage; setting up an exchange programme between chefs and culinary students from the Creative Cities of Gastronomy;
- exchanging knowledge, methodologies and best practices with other Creative Cities of Gastronomy, notably on models intended to incorporate sustainable development into local food ecosystems in order to produce a “Decalogue of Good Practices”; and
- disseminating the actions and objectives of the UCCN, notably through the Open Africa programme, to encourage cities from Africa and the Arab States to join the Network and to nurture North-South, South-South and North-South-South cooperation.