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The First International Forum-Festival under the UNWTO «Development Opportunities of Gastronomic Tourism in Russia»

NovgorodIt was held from 11 to 13 July in the city of Veliky Novgorod. The International Center of Wine and Gastronomy (Moscow), the Russian Interregional Culinary Association, MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations), MBU "Tourism Development Center "Krasnaya izba" (Veliky Novgorod) took active part in preparation and holding of the forum-festival.

The total number of participants were about of 200 people, and festival activities was visited by over a thousand of citizens and guests of Novgorod.

There were representatives from 15 regions of Russia, as well as from UK, Germany, Spain, Latvia, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Uzbekistan and Switzerland to discuss problems of development of gastronomic tourism in Russia.

The events of the forum-festival were covered by more than 40 journalists from Veliky Novgorod, Moscow, St. Petersburg, UK, Germany and Spain. The official information partners were: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Simple Wine News Magazine ", "Trip2rus"ID, "Knowledge is power" magazine, "TourOut.ru, "Argumenty I Fakty about the kitchen", "TV-MIX” Channel , "Green Russia", "Living map of Russia", "Samarskoe obozrenie", "Stol" gastronomic magazine (Ekaterinburg).

In fact, the start of the event was given on July 10, when chefs recommended by the National culinary Association of Russia began their work in six restaurants of Veliky Novgorod, they came from six different regions of Russia. Sergey Sinev from Simferopol worked in the restaurant "Volkhov", it the restaurant "Gallery" - Pavel Petrov from St. Petersburg, in the restaurant "House Berg" - Alexander Levchenko from Pyatigorsk, in the culinary club "Tchibo" - Dmitry Dyakov from Samara and in the restaurant "Yuryev Podvorye" - Mikhail Nekrasov from Ufa.

The official program of the First International Forum-Festival “Developing Opportunities of Gastronomic Tourism in Russia” started on July 11th. The president of International Center of Wine and Gastronomy, Leonid Gelibterman, was the moderator of the plenary session of the conference “Advanced Training and personnel development for separate branches of Tourism Industry”.

The right to open the forum-festival was given to the Deputy Governor of the Novgorod region, Alexander Smirnov. In his speech, he noted that "the forum in Veliky Novgorod is intended to become a platform for discussion of topical issues of development of gastronomic tourism in Russia, exchange of Russian and foreign experience in formation and promotion of gastronomic brands, development of professional standards and training in the field of gastronomic tourism".

On behalf of the people of Novgorod Anton Zemlyak, first Deputy Head of the Administration of Velikiy Novgorod welcomed the participants.

The advisor to the head of the Federal tourism Agency, Alexander Ilyin welcomed guests and participants of the forum on behalf of the Federal tourism Agency.

Leonid Gelibterman

Leonid Gelibterman read out a greeting letter on behalf of the president of the Russian leaque of Travel Industry Sergey Shpilko and the vice president of the Russian leaque of Travel Industry and the Chairman of the Committee Trade and Industrial Chamber of the Russian Federation Yuri Barzykin.

Alla Peresolova, the representative of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) addressed the participants on behalf of the General Secretary of the international organization Taleb Rifai. Mr. Rifai, in his welcome letter pointed out the importance of such events for the further development of tourist industry in Russia.

With a great interest the speeches of the representatives of Russian regions were heard. They shared their experience in development gastronomic tourism. The report "Petersburg kitchen" was presented by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee for external relations of the government of St. Petersburg Sergey Markov. In his speech, he evaluated the current state and determined prospects of development gastronomic brand in St. Petersburg.

Julia Rybakova head of the tourism Agency of Republic of Komi shared the experience of carrying out the ethnic festival "The Forest People". She stressed the point that this festival is a tool for the formation of the regional cuisine of Komi.

«Development Opportunities of Gastronomic Tourism in Russia»Andrei Vasilyev, head of development MBU "Tourism Development Center "Krasnaya izba" talked about the experience of creation and promotion of gastronomic brands of Veliky Novgorod. This center was twice the winner of the national tourist prize named after Senkevich as the best tourist information centre of Russia.

The increased attention of the forum participants was elicited by the international speakers’ reports.

The President of the Portuguese Association of Gastronomic Tourism APTEC Jose Barralho spoke about "Culinary Tourism and the Portuguese Case”.

The adviser on local tourism of UNWTO from the UK Gavin Bell apprised the participants of the forum with the peculiarities of the development and promotion of rural tourism and local gastronomic brands.

Professor Maria Isabel Ramos from Mexico made a presentation on the topic: " If you want to try Mexican food you should go to Mexico. Gastronomy doesn’t travel”.

Mrs. Marina Dudilowski, Chairman of the Board of the International Training Centre "Skyline", from Frankfurt am Main talked about the development of the wine and gastronomic tours in Germany.

Participants of the three round tables went on with the discussion of the problems of the development of gastronomic tourism in Russia.

The moderator of the first (perhaps, the most numerous in number of participants and speakers) of the round tables became the General Director of the advertising company TTG, Vice-President of POPAI RUSSIA Andrey Lupandin.

The subject proposed for the discussion was “Function of the Russian mass media in foundation and promotion of Russian gastronomic brands. The international experience.”

Presentations were made by:

1. John bell, travel journalist, expert in the field of tourism and aviation (UK): "The Role of Mas-media in the promotion of gastronomic brands"

2. Natalia Goreva, MTRK "Mir": "Presentation of the projects of the TV channel "Mir" and the project "World Cuisines" of the analytical Internet portal mir24.tv"

3. Julia Demidenko, deputy director of scientific work of the St. Petersburg Museum of history: "Historical basis of the "Saint-Petersburg" gastronomic brand”

4. Svetlana Knyazeva, master's student, trainee-researcher of the Higher School of Economy in St. Petersburg: "Study on the role of gastronomic brand in promoting Saint Petersburg as a tourist destination"

5. Lydia Savelyeva, LLC Poetika (Riga, Latvia): "Latvia is a connoisseurs’ gastronomic Paradise"

6. Oleg Alexeyev, head of the project "LIVING MAP of RUSSIA", Moscow: "Tasteful Journey"

7. Olga Lobanova, Sales Director of LLC "Volga-tour", Yaroslavl: "Development of gastronomic tourism in Yaroslavl. The first international gastronomic festival "Brother is cooking” of the nonprofit partnership SSARR "Yaroslavl Convention Bureau"

8. Ildar Mamatov, member of the management Board of the nonprofit partnership "The Great Tea Way": "Experience of the "Great tea way" brand promotion”

The second round table was devoted to training in the field of gastronomic tourism. Its moderator was Sergey Pozdnyakov, member of the Public Council of the Federal Tourism Agency, the head of the Tourism Experts Community.

Presentations were made by:

1. Lilia Nasyrova, associate Professor of the Department of tourism and service of the Russian State University of Physical Culture, sports, youth and tourism: "Training and retraining of personnel in the framework of gastronomic tourism for the students of the "Hotel Business" department

2. Elena Eneeva, Professor of the Department of Economics and Management of the Academy of Labor and Social Relations (Moscow): "Chef or Travel Agent?"

3. Maria Vinogradova, Russian State University of Tourism and Services: "Master’s degree - prospects of personnel training for the gastronomic tourism"

4. Tatyana Alekseeva, professor of political theory at MGIMO "Business travel and culinary tourism: how to combine business with pleasure"

5. Marina Dudilowski, chairman of the Board of the International training centre "Skyline" (Germany): "Personnel Training in the gastronomic tourism field in Germany"


There were two moderators at the round table III: Alexander Sidorov, PhD in history, member of leaque the of sommeliers and experts of Russia and Gavin bell, expert in development of tourism, member of the IUCN world Commission on tourism protected areas from the UK.

The reports were presented by:

1. Olga Vapnyarskaya, associate professor, senior researcher at Russian State University of Tourism and Service: "Integration of Culinary Schools in the Tourism Field"

2. Daria Baranova, postgraduate student and trainee-researcher at the Higher School of Economy in St. Petersburg: “Regional gastronomic brands as a factor of development of touristic areas"

3. Sergey Danilov, advisor to the chairman of the Association of of Uzbekistan, an individual member of FIJET: "Experience of gastronomic tourism development in Uzbekistan"

4. Valery Loginov, president of the nonprofit partnership of wine producers  "Black sea Garage Wine", owner of the winery "Gostagay": "Garage wine making as a moving force of wine tourism development "

5. Lilia Nasyrova, associate professor at the Department of Tourism and Service of the Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sports, Youth and Tourism: "Gastronomic Tourism Project "Boyarskaya Trapeza at Seliger"


Upon completion of the round tables, moderators, under the chairmanship of Leonid Gelibterman and Alla Peresolova summed up the results of the plenary meeting and subsequent discussions.


The gala dinner of the Russian cuisine was held at the “Gallery” restaurant of the Park Inn Hotel the following night.

Its special feature was the fact that almost all the dishes were prepared with local products of the Novgorod region. They were presented by JSC “Novgorodhleb” "laktis", "Valday cellar", Pyriev’s farm, group of companies "Adept", "Bison", individual entrepreneur Soloviev and the "Ocean" company.

The meals were paired with some specially Russian wines. Wines were presented by "Abrau-Durso" (sparkling), Lefkadia (white) and Gostagay (red). Traditional Russian light-alcoholic beverage “MEDOVUHA” was homemade in the restaurant “Yuryevskoye podvorye”. Russian vodka was presented by “Alkon” distillery. Suppliers of mineral water, fruit drinks, juices and Kvass (another traditional Russian non-alcohol beverage) were "Laktis", "Nikola" and "Silver spring" companies.

The meals for the gala-dinner were prepared by three chefs from different Russian regions.

Pavel Petrov, the chef from St. Petersburg has prepared the baltic selderey and young beet-root salad with mustard and dill sauce. Dmitry Samburov, chef of Novgorod’s "Gallery" restaurant, treated the guests with a dish of his own invention. The name of the dish was "Seafood jelly with lentil puree and horseradish mousse".

The main course of the dinner was the veal rack on mashed pumpkin, with porcini mushrooms and berry sauce, cheif - Mikhail Nekrasov from Ufa.

The second day of the forum-festival was spent familiarizing the participants with a long history and unique architecture of Veliky Novgorod. Also several work-shops and a seminar were held on this day, the participants had the opportunity to visit the "Alkon" distillery’s gift shop and join a tasting of traditional Russian bitters at the "Malinovka" café. The gastronomic fairground worked at the Kokui tower of the Novgorod Kremlin.

Victor Belyaev, the president of the Russian Interregional Culinary Association held a work-shop "Secrets of the Kremlin kitchen" where mostly chefs and restaurateurs of Veliky Novgorod were gathered. Renowned chef prepared three specialities: "Borschyok", "Schnitzel Ministerial" and “Palachinki-creps”. Cooking was accompanied by some fascinating stories about the secrets of Kremlin kitchen, gastronomic predilections of Helmut Kohl, Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi and other presidents and Prime Ministers, who had visited our country.


More info about the work-shop here:



The keynote speaker at the Russian wine work-shop was the member of the leaque of sommeliers and experts of Russia Alexander Sidorov, PhD. Other speaker was the President of the nonprofit partnership of the "Black sea Garage Wine" producers and the owner of the “Gostagay” winery Valery Loginov. Russian wines of "Abrau-Durso", wineries "Vedernikov», «Gostagay", "Divnomorskoe" and «Lefkadia» were presented at the wine tasting. Novgorod sommeliers, barmen and participants of the forum-festival had the opportunity to discover and appreciate a decent standard of modern Russian winemaking.


More info about the work-shop here:


Great interest was aroused by the "Gastronomic Etiquette and Protocol” seminar which was held by Mrs. Tatiana Alekseeva, a professor at MGIMO. She shared her experience in matters related to the training and development of the professional education standards. Representatives of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia and of other Russian Universities participated in the discussion.

Following night the participants of the forum-festival got a wonderful opportunity to see the "Novgorod Veche" performance. The action was held in the open air, on the backdrop of the ancient fortress walls of the Novgorod Kremlin.

work-shop Let’s make it ourselves!

On Sunday, July 13, at the restaurant "Yuryevskoye Podvorie" the President of the Russian Interregional Culinary Association, Viktor Belyaev met children from dysfunctional families to hold a work-shop "Let’s make it ourselves!".

The kids, in the cook caps and aprons, with the help of three professional chefs, perhaps for the first time in their lives were making dumplings which they gladly ate afterwards. Each child received a badge and a diploma as a sigh of expose to the art of cooking.

The participants of the forum-festival went home, unanimously decided that the gastronomic tourism in Russia has all the chances for development. 


See you all at the II international gastronomic forum-festival in 2015!


Foto by Evgeniy Golomolzin

A review of Marisa Isabel Abaskal (Mexico):


A review of Francisco Gavilan (Spain):


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