Learning About Food Education in Barcelona

Last week, Ann Marie Heneghan from Mayo Abbey Cookery School and Amanda Mc Cloat from St. Angela’s college in Sligo visited Barcelona as part of an EU project to learn how Catalonia is promoting gastronomy in the education sector from pre-school through to university. The visit was part of Interreg project entitled ‘EUREGA’ which the Northern and Western Regional Assembly is a partner in and aims to highlight the importance of gastronomy in the economy, tourism, the education system and our health.

Catalonia is considered a leader in the field gastronomy and education, due to a number of innovative ventures designed to communicate the values of gastronomy to all areas of society. Along with 25 delegates from other gastronomic regions in Europe, Ann Marie and Amanda got to visit CETT: School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy at University of Barcelona, the Culinary Institute of Barcelona and the Alicia Foundation which was started by the founder of the world famous elBulli restaurant.

Speaking about the trip, Ann Marie Heneghan, co-ordinator of the Mayo Abbey Cookery School said “the institutions and university they visited delivered excellent examples of innovation such as allowing students to develop and run their own pop-up restaurant and awarding students special certs for creativity sustainability”.

Amanda Mc Cloat, who is the Head of the Home Economics Department in St Angela’s College Sligo, said ‘we are continuously upgrading facilities at St Angela’s and looking at innovative ways to deliver courses and teach students, the trip to Barcelona was a great opportunity to get inspiration from institutions outside of Ireland and to learn about trends in the field of gastronomy and education’.

During the working sessions, delegates learned about the implementation of Catalonia’s Public Food Procurement Plan, the Health Department’s PAAS program for promoting health via physical exercise and healthy eating, and a range of programs designed to encourage good eating habits in school dining halls.For more information on the EUREGA project, visit www.interregeurope.eu/eurega

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