Rouen has drawn on the cultural influences offered by its port activities to become the economic and cultural hub of Normandy. Home to around 250 restaurants, its dynamic economy and the rich variety of its local produce have led to the city becoming globally renowned for its gastronomic tradition and culture. Each year, Rouen hosts the Fête du Ventre (Feast for the Stomach) in the city’s historic centre, with over 200 exhibitors. This event invites over 150,000 visitors to discover or rediscover Normandy’s gastronomic heritage thanks to tasting and culinary events. The city also offers excellent educational courses in gastronomy. The Institute National de la Boulangerie-Pâtisserie (National Bakery Institute), the industry’s leading training organization, successfully combines expertise and innovation. Rouen aims to develop a healthy eating culture, focusing on sustainability and sharing. In order to promote the exchange of culinary good practices, the city encourages policies and initiatives which promote high-quality, healthy and nutritional products, but which are also transparent, responsible and respectful of the environment and people. This is reflected by its commitment to the 'Mon restau responsable' (My responsible restaurant) initiative. Furthermore, Rouen also aims to promote inclusion via gastronomy, including the 'La Ferme des Hauts' and 'Léo à table' initiatives in priority neighborhoods, which are major drivers of sustainable development and the social and ecological transition.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, the following steps will be important:
• Making gastronomy a means of social inclusion by offering food aid to students and marginalized groups;
• Tackling the challenge of social and ecological transition by developing urban market gardening and experimental projects on the theme of sustainable urban living;
• Improving the region's appeal and momentum by making gastronomy a focal point of cultural discovery;
• Developing cooperation with Africa and Latin America revolving around sustainable food;
• Inviting other Creative Cities to take part in professional events;
• Raising awareness amongst the younger generations on eating practices and interculturality by partnering with other Creative Cities; and
• Developing interdisciplinary cooperation and exchange residencies with other UCCN member cities.