On May 25-28, 2023, some of the world’s leading cookbook authors, photographers and beverage experts will visit Umeå Food Symposium. This year, the organizers, International Gourmand & Hallbars Awards and Umeå municipality, are counting on a doubled number of international guests from around 70 countries. As usual, the theme is sustainability and food and drink culture.
(Grace O and the FoodTrients team will be heading to Sweden this month to attend the event and the Gourmand awards. Grace O’s Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World cookbook has already been named a Gourmand National Winner for Health and Nutrition, and will be competing in Umeå for Gourmand’s international “Best in the World” award in that category.)
“It feels fantastic to once again welcome the Umeå Food Symposium and the Gourmand and Hallbars Awards. During the last week of May, the conference will put Umeå in the spotlight when it comes to food and drink,” says Edouard Cointreau, chairman and founder of the Gourmand Awards, who is also chairman of the competition’s international jury. He continues:
“The aim of the conference is to develop sustainable food tourism all year round. Hundreds of professionals will test and taste the food at restaurants and hotels in Umeå and my hope is to make the city recognized as the gastronomic paradise it really is”.
The Gourmand Awards, which have been held since 1995, are often referred to as the Oscars of cook and drink books. The conference is inspired by the Olympic spirit and will attract national and international guests to Umeå during the four conference days. In addition to appointing winners in various competition categories, the program will offer food experiences and give visitors new knowledge in gastronomy and sustainable food culture.
The exhibition of the best food and drink books in the world will be inaugurated May 24 at Umeå City Library. The lectures, master classes, presentations will take place May 25-28 in the theatre at Umeå Folkets Hus, with each presentation lasting a maximum of ten minutes, a lively and dense program. May 28 is a day devoted to Swedish food professionals at the event.
Participation is free, upon registration for the name badges that give access to all events at Folkets Hus.
Two new trends in cookbooks have developed during the last five years: Indigenous Peoples Food Systems and Arctic Food. During Umeå Food Symposium indigenous peoples of the world such as the Iroquois from Canada and the Mapuche from Chile will meet the Sami and other reindeer herders in the Arctic.
The party part of the conference will include Hallbars and the Gourmand Awards, in Oscars style, where among other things, the world’s best cookbooks are selected.
As you visit Umeå you should also take the opportunity to enjoy the local cuisine. The restaurants have varied international menus but most of them, regardless of focus, prefer to use ingredients from the northern part of Sweden. Reindeer and moose, char, whitefish and roe, cloudberry, lingonberry and field berries, local cheese, smoked pork, ice cider and so forth.
“Of course, it feels great that we once again will arrange Umeå Food Symposium and host such an important conference as the Gourmand & Hallbars awards. In addition to excellent examples from the world of food and drink, the conference links to both environmental and social issues, which is completely in line with the goals and visons in the municipality when it comes to the area of sustainability”, says Anna Olofsson, marketing manager at Umeå municipality.