t is the richly endowed wine and culinary domains of the Aegean Sea, that have provided inspiration for the conception of the Aegean Cuisine project.
The initiative was created with the aim to advance and promote locally produced products, and also to develop thematic tourism in our islands. This endeavor comprises a network of member enterprises of the islands, who are willing and able to provide their guests with the promise of the unique feeling and experience of the Aegean Sea.
The Aegean Cuisine initiative, which began in 2007 after coordinated actions of the Center for Business and Technological Development (K.E.T.A) of the South Aegean in collaboration with the Chambers of Cyclades and Dodecanese, continues, through the enterprises of the two Chambers and with the support of the Region of South Aegean. The overall objective is to plan and develop actions and activities for the benefit of member-businesses and also to provide quality services to visitors of the South Aegean islands.
In collaboration with recognized institutions and professionals of the field, such as TÜV HELLAS and renowned chefs and food critics, both Chambers coordinate and oversee the certification process of Dodecanese and Cycladic restaurants according to criteria of the Aegean Cuisine standard, ensuring the reliability of the Aegean gastronomy auspice. Already, 74 restaurants from 11 Dodecanese islands and 150 restaurants from 21 Cycladic islands have joined the network, and soon, the process for the integration of local products will begin.
Within the framework of the first phase of the development of Aegean Cuisine, events were held for the interchange of information and public consultation where the theme subject was culinary tradition. These events were held throughout the Cycladic and Dodecanese islands, from Kea (Tzia) to Kastelorizo, to gather ideas, opinions and suggestions from gastronomy professionals with direct interest, i.e. restaurateurs, hoteliers, winemakers as well as producers and traders of food and beverage products.
The outcome of these consultations was the creation and publication of a bilingual (Greek-English) gastronomy edition " Aegean Cuisine", which is a first depiction of the extraordinary gastronomic wealth of the South Aegean islands through the presentation of featured Aegean products and traditional recipes.
After the initial actions of the Aegean Cuisine initiative, the Special Advisory Commission on Gastronomy Personalities was established, and in its first term, prominent personalities of the wine-gastronomy and tourism sectors, selflessly participated. The purpose of the Special Advisory Committee was to guide the Aegean Cuisine initiative through the qualitative evaluation and integration of enterprises (catering, food production, food and beverage outlets, accommodation, etc.) in a network system for the enhancement and promotion of Aegean oenogastronomy and gastronomy tourism.
The "threshold", in this effort, is comprised of the entire food sector (restaurants, taverns, etc.), where the visitor comes into direct contact with the island flavors, recipes, products and wines. Priority was given, by necessity, to this sector, since it is considered, righteously, as the ambassador of the local culinary tradition as well as the representative of contemporary Aegean cuisine.
The next step for the expansion of the Aegean Cuisine network is the addition of food processing plants, commercial food, wine and beverage outlets, and other business groups or collective associations which embody the tradition or philosophy of Aegean gastronomic culture.
With the support of the Region of South Aegean, the two Chambers implement a comprehensive and multifaceted program promoting Aegean wine, gastronomy and local products, aiming to attract tourism to our islands, to extend the tourist season and the promotion of the region as a unique gastronomic destination.
For more information on the initiative and Aegean Cuisine member companies visit: