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Mérida joining elite, international gastronomic club

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Yucatán’s culinary legacy has brought Mérida into an elite gastronomic group based in France. Photo: Getty

Mérida, Yucatán — The city is joining an international community of foodie destinations in a move approved by the majority of the City Council.

Mérida is only the second Latin American city after Puebla to be part of the Délice Network, which promotes culinary tourism and networking.

This builds on an earlier victory. Mérida has been twice voted the nation’s leading gastronomic destination by a readers’ poll in Food & Travel magazine.

The Délice Network was created in 2007 in Lyon, France, conceived as a global network of cities with a strong culinary tradition in which chefs, universities and related professionals participate, sharing knowledge, experiences and events that facilitate innovation.

Members of the network “work hand in hand to share best practices on gastronomy and culinary-related topics,” says the Délice website.

Délice proposes a forum where cities can share experiences and knowledge, build strong partnerships and facilitate innovation.

So far, the network has 22 cities: Aarhus, Denmark; Barcelona; Madrid; Birmingham, England; Bordeaux, France; Brussels; Göteborg, Sweden; Helsinki; Lausanne; Leipzig; Lisbon; Lyon; Riga, Latvia; Turin, Italy; Stavanger, Norway; Chicago; Montreal; Puebla; Cape Winelands, South Africa; Guangzhou and Hong Kong, China; and Izmir, Turkey.

“These cities believe that thanks to their heritage and strong gastronomic culture or their strong food strategy, they can gain impact in terms of city attractiveness, economic development, employment and general well-being!” exclaims the Délice website.

Members of PRI and the Green parties voted against the measure. PRI members went on the record to criticize the expense, $62,000 pesos, and calling it a pretext for the mayor to travel abroad and promote himself.

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