Santa Maria da Feira
Santa Maria da Feira, located in the Porto Metropolitan Area, has 140,000 inhabitants and a strong industrial and export industrial base. For over 20 years, it has been globally recognized for its cultural and creative dynamics. The city hosts four major events with a national and international dimension, which intertwine the local gastronomic heritage, creativity, urban, economic and social regeneration, and community participation. Every year, the gastronomic festivals including the Fogaceiras Festival, Imaginarius Festival, Medieval Journey and Perlim, attract more than 850,000 visitors, generating an economic return of USD 17.20 million for businesses, restaurants and hotels. It is in the genuine Fogaça da Feira, certified secular sweet bread, and in the multiple creations by chefs and the community with endogenous and seasonal products, that the gastronomic heritage of the regions is able to find its creative expression, balancing tradition and nutrition, the local and the global, hand in hand with culture and creativity, health and sustainability, combining collaborative opportunities. Santa Maria da Feira harnesses education, training and practical qualifications as means of enhancing the city’s gastronomic economy and the entire associated value chain, generating employment and income, and promoting local brands. Over the last five years, this has led to an increase in municipal investment in projects related to gastronomic heritage, with USD 362,174 in 2019 alone. This figure is expected to further increase by 47% annually over the next four years.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, the following steps will be important:
• Creating a hub for research, training, innovation and promotion of regional products and gastronomy;
• Promoting creativity and cross-cutting projects between gastronomy and different artistic disciplines, through the production of a documentary series on the importance of bread in cultures, especially Fogaça da Feira sweet bread;
• Promoting creative industries through the call 'TemperART', which predicts artistic residencies that cross the 6 other UCCN creative fields with gastronomy;
• Cooperating with UCCN for the realization, in 2025, of an international conference at Europarque 'Food 4 Thought'; and
• Creating an exchange programme 'Diversity FOOD' for professionals and amateurs from the Network, Angola and diaspora (immigrant communities).