Partner 4: Cyclades Progress & Development Organization – ETAP

The Aegean Cuisine initiative is a network of member-businesses in the southern Aegean islands, whose aim is to offer visitors the original Aegean experience through the wealth of the local oeno-gastronomy.

Τhe Cyclades and Dodecanese chambers of commerce, with the support of the South Aegean Region, plan and develop actions that benefit member-businesses and provide high quality services to visitors. Businesses eligible for membership in the Aegean Cuisine initiative are those which meet specific criteria ensuring that the products and services offered reflect and highlight the Aegean’s special gastronomic identity, and also ensuring quality standards. The threshold for the Aegean Cuisine initiative are dining establishments and any business where visitors are in direct contact with the flavors, dishes, food products and wines of the Aegean. Priority was given to these businesses since they act as ambassadors of local gastronomy and purveyors of contemporary adaptations of these culinary traditions and products. Member-restaurants actively participate in the effort to develop the islands of the southern Aegean as gastronomic destinations, enriching our vocabulary with new words that stem from this new philosophy: the word “tourist” is replaced with “visitor”, products are not “sold” and services are not “offered” but in both instances they “provide” or “grant” sensations and experiences through Aegean flavors and the deep-rooted sense of hospitality.

The Cyclades Chamber of Commerce successfully runs the Aegean Cuisine initiative in the area through a variety of projects, events and promotional activities. The main aim is to connect the primary sector with gastronomy and, thus, boost tourism in the area. Right now there are 171 Aegean Cuisine certified restaurants in Cyclades, from 21 islands, each one belonging to one of the following categories in order to facilitate visitors: Restaurant, Traditional Restaurant, Tavern, Fish Tavern, Meze Wine & Spirits and Creative Cuisine. At the same time, the Cyclades Chamber of Commerce has created a register of products from the Cycladic Producers that are awarded as “Aegean Cuisine Recommended”. At present, the register consists of 291 products, 62 producers, covering 24 categories. Aegean Cuisine is an important tool towards the goal of offering visitors high quality and complete gastronomic experiences through which they will get to know and love the products of our islands, they will search for them and will act as ambassadors of the gastronomic wealth of the Aegean.