Regional dishes to attract more tourists to Czech Republic

Sour rye soup from the Giant Mountains, the south Bohemian štrachanda or rump steak goulash from Prague, these are just some of the Czech specialties, that will appear on the menus of Czech restaurants as of April. Czech Tourism, in cooperation with the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants and the Association of Cooks and Confectioners, have prepared a special project with the aim of promoting the Czech Republic through regional specialties. These dishes will appear on menus under the label ‘Czech Specials’.

Earlier today, I spoke to Václav Stárek, the general secretary of the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants:

“The aim of the project is to introduce traditional Czech cuisine to foreign tourists and to Czech people as well. We think it is a good idea to help promote tourism in the Czech Republic through regional specialties. There are countries like Hungary, for instance, that are very proud of their traditional cuisine, and they offer it to tourists and we would like to do something similar in our country as well.”

How is it going to work?

“We have prepared, in cooperation with the Czech Association of Chefs, about six or seven special dishes from each of the fourteen different regions in the Czech Republic. Each of the dishes has its own tradition and history. Now we will show restaurants what the food looks like and so on and ask them to have at least one or two of these specialties on their menus.”

How are you going to motivate restaurants to participate in the project?

“They are motivated by the fact that we are going to promote them. The restaurants that will join the project will be promoted through the Czech Tourism agency in the Czech Republic as well as abroad. As part of the project we are also planning to do training for chefs in the future. We would also like to organize cooking contests and other interesting events that will promote the individual restaurants.”

The ‘Czech Specials’ project aims to promote not only traditional recipes, but also half-forgotten ingredients, such as millet, peeled barley or quail. Around two hundred restaurants have joined the project so far. As of the beginning of April, their menus will offer regional specialties marked with the ‘Czech Specials’ logo. The Czech Tourism agency hopes that as many as four hundred restaurants could join the project by the end of this year.