UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy - Help NOLA be in that number

With the help of its most culinarily-focused citizens, the City of New Orleans is applying to be recognized as America’s first UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) City of Gastronomy, a distinction bestowed under the organization’s Creative Cities Network.

In UNESCO’s own words, the Creative Cities Network was launched by UNESCO in October 2004 following the decision taken by the 170th Executive Board.  It aims to help unlock the creative, social and economic potential of cultural industries held by local actors and therefore promote UNESCO’s goals of cultural diversity. The Creative Cities Network was born out of the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity initiative, set up in 2002 by UNESCO.  Its goal is to bring together public and private partners as well as civil society to help towards the development of creative industries and generate new forms of international cooperation.
Cities may choose to apply under one of seven thematic networks, including Literature, Cinema, Music, Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Media Arts, and Gastronomy. So far, there exist only three approved UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy: Popayan, Colombia; Chengdu, PRC; and Ostersund, Sweden. We believe that New Orleans deserves to be in that number.

To that end, we invite you to help brainstorm and write what will become a lengthy application. A small start-up committee already has pieced together an Executive Summary and a Table of Contents. Mayor Landrieu’s office will send these documents with its stamp of approval to UNESCO within the next few weeks, which is the first step to applying.

We have scheduled a meeting during which we plan to make writing assignments for the larger application, at 6 pm on Tuesday, August 31 at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. If you are as excited as we are about making New Orleans a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, please email Emery Van Hook ( for an Executive Summary and Table of Contents to read and think about what portion of the application interests you most or plays to your expertise. If you are not able to attend the meeting but would like to add your two cents, contact either Sara Roahen ( or Poppy Tooker (

Thank you, and we hope to see you.

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Market Umbrella


Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.

Crescent City Farmers Market


The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.