A group of professionals in the food & drink industry has appeared in Yucatán, which also brings together hotels and tourist hostels, in order to promote the state as a destination where visitors can taste dishes from around the world.
Conceived and designed as an organization of tourism service providers committed to carrying out joint promotion actions, the Collective of Gastronomic and Tourist Professionals of Yucatan AC (COGATUY) was created, an organization that to date brings together almost fifty companies such as restaurants, hotels, former Haciendas, and tourist inns.
The President of the group, Pedro Evia Puerto, explained that this group was born with the main objective of strengthening the “tourism industry” in general, as well as promoting restaurants and other businesses with a tourist vocation in Yucatan.
“We are working very hard to position Yucatan at the best world levels in gastronomic matters … We want to turn Merida into a capital of international gastronomy, but also to develop gastronomic destinations within the state of Yucatan; for example, right now, in El Cuyo, we have a varied choice of restaurants with international and local food, with unimaginable places in the middle of a traditional fishing village, “he stressed.
The prominent Yucatecan Chef pointed out that the idea of the group emerged just over five years ago as a clear intention to group chefs or cooks, in order to carry out collaborative work, exchange of information, with the sole purpose of exchanging experiences involving everything related to cooking and cuisine.
“Last year, the idea arose to resume its creation to search for tourism promotion channels for the local gastronomic sector; the reality is that every day more Yucatecan establishments or cooks, restaurants and hotels, the entire tourism industry of Yucatan, are in the eyes of the rest of the country and the world, therefore the idea is to start working together as a team, especially for collective promotion, as it is done in other countries,” Evia said.
He added that as a Collective it is much more efficient to promote a whole gastronomic destination, instead of just one single person or restaurant individually.
“People are more interested in the fact that they can spend a full week in a destination tasting traditional Yucatecan food, but also trying modern cuisine, Thai, Spanish, Lebanese food … Arriving in an authentic “world food capital”.”
COGATUY’s intention is not only to centralize everything in the city of Mérida but also to help centers of gastronomic development in the interior of the State, such as the case of El Cuyo, where at the moment there are already small restaurants with international cuisine such as Spanish, Argentine, Italian, English and Colombian.
“El Cuyo has evolved from a traditional fishing village to a fantastic town with small restaurants of high-level cuisine, where the diversity of food offer is an authentic gastronomic Babel with the opportunity to taste an enormous diversity of colors, textures, aromas, and flavors ”, he pointed out.
Evia Puerto stated that the Collective has maintained an institutional working relationship with the Ministry of Tourism Development and with its leader Michelle Fridman Hirsch, which has allowed a very close collaboration to benefit the promotion of the gastronomic and tourist sector.
He pointed out that COGATUY is currently made up of chefs, restaurant owners, businessmen, hoteliers, tour operators, craft brewers, and operators of former henequen haciendas, and the idea is that more companies or organizations related to the Yucatan tourism sector can be integrated.
“We are working as a non-profit organization, we are working for the good of the community … I have always said that, if as an industry we sit down to wait for the government to do everything, things will not work out, and if we want to do everything by ourselves, things will not work out either… So it has to be a collective work involving society, private initiative, and government authorities in order to obtain the best results ”, Chef Pedro Evia concluded.