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14 June, 2024
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Winning producers shine bright at Gastronomos Awards 2023

Agriculture, sustainability, and traditional products celebrated

Charalambos Stylianou

In a splendid celebration of Cypriot excellence, the 2023 Quality Awards, presented by renowned publications "Gastronomos" and "Kathimerini," took center stage at the Cultural Centre in Strovolos Municipality last night. The gala event served as a platform to recognize and honor the exceptional achievements of several Cypriot producers across various categories, showcasing their steadfast commitment to quality, sustainability, and culinary innovation.

One of the highlights of the evening was the bestowal of the Agriculture Award upon Aristos Aristodemou, a visionary in the carob industry. Aristodemou's tireless efforts in cultivating and promoting the versatile carob crop earned him this prestigious accolade. The Agriculture Award was presented by Konstantinos Petrides, who commended Aristodemou's dedication to advancing Cyprus' agricultural landscape.

The Sustainable Development Award, a vital recognition in today's era, was triumphantly claimed by Harris Christoforou, owner of The Orchard of Theodoros, Organic Farm. Christoforou's commitment to organic farming practices and sustainable agriculture deeply impressed the judges, resulting in this esteemed distinction.

"Cypriot gastronomy has nothing to envy from international gastronomy, especially because there are excellent raw materials and excellent producers"

In the highly anticipated Halloumi Award category, the victor emerged as the KESSES Goat and Sheep Farm, led by Iakovos Kesses. Their unwavering dedication to producing top-quality Halloumi cheese, a quintessential Cypriot culinary delight, was celebrated with great enthusiasm.

The Olive Oil Award showcased Antonis Antoniou and Antri Adamou, the driving forces behind Olio Zo, an organic extra virgin olive oil brand. Their steadfast commitment to producing superior olive oil from locally sourced olives garnered immense praise from the judging panel.

In a fitting tribute to Cypriot gastronomy, the Cypriot Cuisine Award honored the Kuzuba Restaurant, led by George Mountis and Harris Christi. Their culinary artistry and dedication to preserving and promoting Cyprus' rich culinary heritage received a high commendation.

Markos Zambartas of Zambartas Winery claimed the White Wine Award for his exquisite Single Vineyard Xynisteri 2021. Zambartas' unwavering commitment to crafting exceptional white wines that showcase the unique terroir of Cyprus was met with resounding applause.

Rebecca Argyrides, from Argyrides Winery, triumphed in the Wine Award category with her remarkable Maratheftiko 2018 vintage. Argyrides' dedication to producing outstanding wines that reflect Cyprus' viticultural heritage was met with high acclaim.

The Extraordinary Quality Award, a symbol of unparalleled craftsmanship, was presented to Costas Kyriakides of Vouni Panagia Winery for his exceptional Zivania production. Kyriakides' relentless pursuit of perfection in distilling this traditional Cypriot spirit showcased his unwavering commitment to quality.

The Traditional Product Award highlighted Maria Kapona of Dairy A.M. Droushia for her remarkable Anari cheese. Kapona's dedication to preserving and promoting Cyprus' traditional cheese-making techniques impressed the judges.

The First Lady, Philippa Karsera, attended the event to present the award to the winner of the traditional product category.

"I would like to congratulate the organizers of Gastronomos and the producers who were awarded. I am well aware of a producer's effort and the passion that overcomes difficulties to bring the product to the plate. Gastronomy is, of course, part of our culture; it is part of our history and the imprint of a people's geography and the influences it has received over time. Cypriot gastronomy has nothing to envy from international gastronomy, especially because there are excellent raw materials and excellent producers," stated the First Lady.

The evening culminated with the presentation of the Distinction Award to acclaimed chef Christoforos Peskias for his exceptional contributions to Cypriot gastronomy. Peskias' culinary creativity and innovation have elevated Cyprus' culinary scene to new heights. Annita Demetriou, Speaker of the House of Representatives, was invited on stage to present the distinction award.

"Thank you very much for the invitation, I believe tonight we have celebrated the ordinary people of Cyprus, those who love our Cyprus and our traditions. I extend my warm congratulations to them for investing in it, involving their family members and young children. We have seen women pioneering in wineries, so it is important to provide recognition," expressed the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The 2023 Quality Awards were a testament to the extraordinary talent and unwavering dedication of Cypriot producers, who continue to shape and elevate the country's agricultural and culinary landscape. Their steadfast commitment to excellence, sustainability, and preserving traditional practices ensures that Cyprus remains a vibrant hub of gastronomic innovation.


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