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The second Russian Gastronomic Week (RGW) has begun in Madrid

The event is taking place as part of the Russo-Spanish year of tourism. It aims to boost the popularity of Russian cuisine abroad and make the country more appealing to foreign visitors. On Nov. 22, a Lenta.ru correspondent reported his impressions of the festival.

The formal opening of RGW took place at the Russian Embassy in Spain and featured Russian ambassador Yuri Korchagin, the head of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), representatives from the world of business, cultural figures, chefs, gastronomic experts, and members of the press from both countries.

"This year of tourism is a wonderful opportunity for the Spanish and the Russians to find out more about each other. National cuisine has always been (and always will be) one of the best ways of building friendship and encouraging tourists to visit. This week of gastronomy will allow the Spanish to start to get to know Russia right here in their own country," Korchagin told Lenta.ru.

"There is currently enormous interest in Russian cuisine. We see great potential in developing tourism through gastronomy and intend to actively work in this direction," said Zoltan Somogyi, executive director at UNWTO.

As part of RGW, a series of lunches and dinners has been planned, as well as workshops, presentations, and a forum for representatives from the Spanish and Russian business worlds. Chefs from Perm, St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Krasnodar, and Makhachkala will be presenting cuisine from Kuban, the Urals, Povolzhye, Dagestan, and north-west Russia.

RGW 2016 is taking place in two locations: Madrid and Barcelona. The formal opening of the Catalonian event will take place on Nov. 24 in the House of Russia with the Russian Consul General, Yuri Klimenko, in attendance.

The Russian embassy in Spain and the International Centre of Wine and Gastronomy organised RGW with the support of UNWTO, Rosturism, the Russian National Association of Chefs, and the Russian Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers.