World Heritage Office Announces Call for Chef Ambassadors to Represent San Antonio as UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy

CONTACT: Javier Flores, City of San Antonio World Heritage Office

SAN ANTONIO (May 3, 2021) – The City of San Antonio World Heritage Office announces its call for chef ambassadors to represent San Antonio as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in local, national, and international activities such as festivals, media opportunities, and other events that will occur over the next two years. The call opens today and closes on Friday, June 11, 2021 at 4 p.m. Central Time.

The online application, eligibility requirements, and additional information are available at

An evaluation committee made up of members of the San Antonio UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy Advisory Group and City of San Antonio staff will review and evaluate proposals in accordance with the stated selection criteria, as well as the San Antonio UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy Guiding Principles. Once selected, up to 12 chefs will be added to a pre-qualified list to be considered for potential opportunities within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Chefs must be practicing local professionals but are not required to have academic culinary training.

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"San Antonio is a beautifully unique and diverse city that is the result of a confluence of cultures over the past several hundred years," said Colleen Swain, Director of the World Heritage Office. "We still see many of those influences today, especially in our city's gastronomy, and we want to see that reflected in the chefs who are selected to represent San Antonio as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Chefs of all backgrounds and experiences, with expertise in diverse cuisines and culinary practices, are encouraged to apply."

The final roster of selected chefs will reflect the unique heritage, people, and culture of San Antonio. The chef ambassadors will also showcase local culinary traditions, cooking techniques, and recipes authentic to the city. Previous chef ambassadors that have represented San Antonio include Blanca Aldaco of Aldaco's Mexican Cuisine, Esaul Ramos of 2M Smokehouse, Hinnerk von Bargen from the Culinary Institute of America, and others.

"To be a San Antonian, born and raised in this city, and then travel to the other side of the earth to represent the city I am from was the coolest experience that has ever happened in my life," said Ramos, who represented San Antonio at the 2019 Jeonju Bibimbap Festival in South Korea. "I love the fact that our city is now getting the notoriety that it deserves, and I love that people are seeing that San Antonio is more than just tacos."

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In 2017, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated San Antonio as a Creative City of Gastronomy for its culinary legacy as a confluence of cultures. The indigenous roots; the traditions and tastes introduced by the Spanish colonists in the 1700s; and the European, Asian, and African influences that came with European settlers in the 1800s have created a complex fusion that make San Antonio's cuisine distinct from other southwest regions in the United States. As a UNESCO Creative City, San Antonio is part of a distinct group of international cities committed to sharing best practices, developing partnerships that promote creativity, strengthening participation in cultural life, and integrating culture in urban development plans. The City's World Heritage Office oversees this designation for San Antonio.

More information on San Antonio as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy is available at The website provides information on the designation, a community calendar of gastronomy-related events, profiles of local chefs, and more. Information on the World Heritage Office is available at

Filed Under: Government, City

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