A journey into the world of flavours – “Castle of Gourmands”


The gate, leading into the oldtown of Valmiera and the territory of the Valmiera Museum, for one day – on July 29 – will become a border line between past and present, taking everyone into the Castle of Gourmands.

Special offers by top chefs and restaurants, Latvian traditional cuisine, master classes and workshops, traditional symbols made of cheese, a peek into medieval ages, as well a fair and musical performances – all that awaits the visitors of the “Castle of Gourmands” on July 29 from 9 am until 4 pm.

Skilful chefs of five restaurants will invite you to return to our roots and to choose the flavour particular to this region, locally grown and produced ingredients, in order to create unique meals unseen before.

Visitors will have an opportunity to find out why the guest chef of the restaurant “Rātes Vārti” Mr. Valters Zirdziņš, by choosing local products, call himself the “fisherman of pearls”. Chefs of the Valmiermuiža restaurant will show how to adjust the menu according to seasons and use seasonal products. The chef of the Dikļi Manor restaurant Mr. Jānis Siliņš will twine in peculiar flavours the goods coming from the fields of Vidzeme. Founder of the movement “Dabas garša”, author of several cooking books and founder of the “Latvian Chefs’ Club”, chef of the “Restaurant 3” Mr. Ēriks Dreibants will present ways on how to move towards a greener planet, by using wild goods, biological goods and seasonal goods. Last but not least, chef of the “Rocket Bean Roastery” Mr. Artūrs Taškāns will invite everyone to go on a trip of flavours and will reveal the secrets of coffee bean roasting.

It should be outlined that Valmiera together with partners from Cēsis, Sigulda, Riga Tourism Development Bureau and the Tourism Cluster of the Gauja National Park, within the framework of the Rīga – Gauja European Region of Gastronomy, has created a special concept – “Wild at Palette” – to promote the gastronomic diversity of this region.

From 10.30 am until 2 pm the Vidzeme regional stage of the competition “Traditional signs in cheese, quark and bread” will be held, presenting homemade goods with Latvian signs and symbols and colour elements to be served on a festive table.

In the fair “Savour the Flavour in Valmiera” local producers will offer locally produced and grown products. Inspired by chefs and local producers, visitors of the “Castle of Gourmands” will have an opportunity to hone their skills in various master classes organized by the staff of the Valmiera Museum and cafe “Pils ķēķis”.

In the cooking workshop “Meal of a knight” a medieval atmosphere will be created by cooking according to the recipes collected from the medieval times and by using herbs and plants grown at the Herbal garden of the Valmiera Museum. Four Hanseatic houses will attract visitors by special offers and activities. In the Tea house visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about vulnerary plants and refresh themselves with a refreshing herbal drink. At the Herbal house visitors will try to solve gourmand riddles and will need to guess popular herbs used for cooking at the medieval times. At the Scone house visitors will learn more about bread and scones – two important things consumed during the medieval times. Lastly, at the Traveller’s house visitors will be told on how various fruit and vegetables found their way to Europe and to Latvia.

On the main stage, besides our top chef performances (Artūrs Taškāns, Valters Zirdziņš, Ēriks Dreibants, Jānis Siliņš), also musical performances will be given by DJ AG, guitar players Reinis Jaunais and Kaspars Niklasons, ethno musicologist Zane Pērkone and singer Kristīne Liede, as well as by the band “Bezgalībieši”.

The event “Castle of Gourmands” will be held within the framework of the Valmiera City Festival. The full programme of events and activities of the Valmiera City Festival can be found on the website www.valmiera.lv.