Restaurants promote Girona as the area containing most Michelin stars per capita in the world
The Province of Girona, in the north eastern part of Catalonia, contains 13 restaurants which among them have 17 Michelin stars, thus making it home to some of the best restaurants in the world. In fact, Girona is the area with the highest Michelin star to population ratio (one star for every 44,000 inhabitants), in the world, ahead of Paris, Rome or London. On top of this, Girona hosts what was awarded Best Restaurant in the world in 2013 by the English magazine 'Restaurant Magazine' and it has been among the top 3 for the last decade: El Celler de Can Roca. In an attempt to raise awareness of its culinary success, all establishments in Girona have united under the brand "Girona Territori d'Estrelles" (Girona Land of Stars).
Barcelona (ACN).- The Province of Girona, in the north eastern part of Catalonia, contains 13 restaurants which among them have 17 Michelin stars, thus making it home to some of the best restaurants in the world. In fact, Girona is the area with the highest Michelin star to population ratio (one star for every 44,000 inhabitants), in the world, ahead of Paris, Rome or London. On top of this, Girona hosts El Celler de Can Roca, awarded Best Restaurant in the world in 2013 by the English magazine 'Restaurant Magazine' and among the top 3 for the last decade. The famous El Bulli restaurant, awarded Best Restaurant in the world on 5 occasions and run by revolutionary Catalan chef Ferran Adrià was also based in this Catalan province. In an attempt to raise awareness of its culinary success, all establishments in Girona have united under the brand "Girona Territori d'Estrelles" (Girona Land of Stars).
With a fantastic selection of fresh local produce at their disposal, Catalan chefs have always led the way in gastronomic innovation. After El Bulli closed its doors in 2011, El Celler de Can Roca has become the flagship of Gironan cuisine, but other restaurants in the area are also highly reputed by food connoisseurs across the world including, Les Cols in Olot which has two Michelin stars. The new project, "Girona Territori d'Estrelles" (Girona Land of Stars) aims to raise awareness of such a high culinary standard among locals and touristis through the creation of a passport that cuisine lovers can obtain. The passport enables the customer to collect loyalty points which can be exchanged for meals and unique gastronomic experiences in these restaurants.
Behind the "Girona Territori d'Estrelles" project is the Gironan business, Top Gastronomia, which was formed out of a union between INCATIS and Nova Group. The project's goal is to unite all Girona´s culinary potential under a single brand that draws attention to these Michelin star restaurants. Thus, the aim is not only to retain customers who are already aware of such cuisine, but to attract new customers, especially those from outside Girona and from abroad. The project has been presented on Friday in Barcelona as part of the B > Travel market at the International Tourism Fair of Catalonia.
Those who have advocated the project have stressed that no region in the world has as many Michelin starred establishments in comparison with the population. According to Josep Maria Matamala, from Top Gastronomia, in Girona there is a Michelin star for every 44,000 inhabitants, surpassing other Spanish provinces also known for their cuisine such as Gipuzkoa in the Basque Country (one star per 64,000 inhabitants) but also major cities such as Paris (one star per 91,000 inhabitants) and Rome (one star per 128,000 inhabitants). "In Girona we have the best producers, the best training, the best chefs and the best diners in the world, that is what has brought us here and means that the passport is not just something outlandish," declared the mayor of Girona, Carles Puigdemont.
The new brand was initially presented on Tuesday last week at the Girona School of Hospitality (where many chefs have been trained and which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year) in the presence of chefs involved in the project. "It is a project where we share and do not compete, and that is very important," stressed Paco Perez, from Miramar, located in the Costa Brava town of Llançà (two Michelin stars). The event was also attended by Jordi Roca one of the three Roca brothers from El Celler de Can Roca and other reputable chefs from across the region. "We are excited because individually everyone does their job but now we can situate ourselves in the world as a group," said Peter Hobbs, from Ca l'Arpa (one Michelin star) in Banyoles, a town near the city of Girona and close to Catalonia's largest natural lake.
Exclusive discounts and experiences
"Our goal is to provide experiences based around food," said Miquel Angel Oliva, Director of the Creativació private foundation and one of the promoters of the project. As such, one of the most tangible aspects of the project is the creation of a passport that gives access to a community of diners who can share information and experiences.
This passport can be obtained both physically and through a smartphone application and allows the owner to accumulate points whilst he or she eats in one of the 13 Michelin star restaurants. The collected points can be exchanged for "stars", which then provide access to meals in these restaurants. In addition, the availability of the passport also gives the opportunity to participate in exclusive experiences based around food. Through the smartphone application, users can also plan their culinary route and share information with friends.