A Celebration of Flavors at Gastrofest Dilijan

Gastrofest 2023 - Dilijan, Armenia (Photo Credit: Time To Creative Agency)

By Olivia Lutz

More than 20 Armenian restaurants participated in Gastrofest this weekend, a vibrant and scenic culinary festival showcasing the rich flavors of local cuisine. Set at the heart of forested Dilijan in northern Armenia, Gastrofest featured a wide variety of dishes and provided a platform for both established and emerging food vendors to demonstrate their culinary expertise.

Attendees had the opportunity to indulge in tastings, participate in workshops, and enjoy entertainment tailored for adults and children alike. This two-day event offered an immersive experience celebrating the gastronomic traditions and the picturesque nature of Armenia.

“The diverse restaurants and attendees from regions across Armenia, like Syunik, Gyumri, and Yerevan, help promote these areas as tourist destinations. In addition, our event benefits Dilijan’s local economy through attendees’ overnight accommodations and breakfast at local restaurants,” said Vanuhi Hovsepyan, the partner relationship manager of Gastrofest.

The event offered a diverse range of atypical dishes, such as bagels and gluten-free options. The owner of Gluten Free Bakery, Grigoryan Victoria, and owner of BGL Bagelry, Anna Muradyan, both told CivilNet that as first time Gastrofest vendors, the event had been beneficial for the marketing of their businesses.

“People are trying your food, and they are learning about your business and what you do. In addition, there can be a lot of sales from these kinds of events because of their accessibility,” said Anna Muradyan, a festival vendor.

One notable aspect of Gastrofest was the implementation of a friendly competition among participating restaurants. Guests were invited to act as restaurant critics, rating the participants and awarding them gastro-stars. This interactive element allowed attendees to engage directly with the culinary offerings and provide valuable feedback to the restaurants.

The festival also featured culinary battles between Armenian chefs, exciting contests for guests, musical performances, lively DJ sets, engaging cocktail workshops, and even beer pong.

Any Rubenyan, also known as DJ Red Velvet, who performed at Gastrofest, expressed her appreciation for the festival’s atmosphere. She also highlighted the importance of events like Gastrofest in supporting local businesses and attracting a diverse audience.

“Gastrofest celebrates the essence of life, with its vibrant music, delectable food, and initiative to attract visitors to explore various regions, including Dilijan, ” noted Rubenyan.

Aside from food and music, Gastrofest’s partnership with Move2Armenia, a tourism advocacy enterprise, offered attendees the opportunity to support local artists by buying items such as home decor and jewelry.

“Considering the cost constraints of brands venturing into Dilijan, some might be unable to participate. By collaborating with Gastrofest, brands have the platform to tell their story, allowing people to discover and engage with what they have to offer,” said Erik Dallakyan, the Social Media Marketing Manager for Move2Armenia.

Gastrofest in Dilijan, Armenia, is a celebration of flavors, a catalyst for local businesses, and a significant contributor to local tourism. With its diverse range of restaurants, engaging activities, and immersive experiences, the festival left attendees with a deep appreciation for both Armenian and non-Armenian cuisine and a desire to explore more of what Armenia has to offer.

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