Dag Hartman from Sweden’s International Institute of Gastronomy visits a local food venue. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

THE region’s food culture could soon be recognised across the globe, with Bendigo bidding to join UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the gastronomy category.

There are 180 recognised creative cities worldwide in crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music.

Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said Greater Bendigo has a thriving food culture.

Sweden’s International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism Dag Hartman was in Bendigo to help finalise the city’s bid, which commenced months ago.

“We will be talking with producers, farmers, wine, beer and cider makers, food manufacturers, restaurants, food lovers and the community to develop our bid,” Cr O’Rourke said.

Melbourne has been a member of the network since 2008, recognised for its
vibrant literary culture.

Bendigo’s bid is based not just on restaurants and wineries, but also focuses on sustainability, Aboriginal heritage and innovation.

“The benefits of becoming part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network are many; it will put our food and beverage scene on the world map and become a point of difference for our city,” Cr O’Rourke said.