Albania’s Master Chef joins international expedition on agriculture and tourism development

Albania's Master Chef joins international expedition on agriculture and tourism developmentHow can agriculture, tourism and spatial planning work together in a circular model, adding maximum value to a sustainable year round local economy? Together with experts from the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland, Arber Togani, winner of Master Chef Albania, has explored combinations and collaborations between the agricultural sector, production and processing, the tourism sector and spatial design. Looking at all these things from a culinary angle.

A great number of local stakeholders teamed up for this project -“The Traveller and the Olive Grove”- with a group of international experts and business people who, commissioned by the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Dutch Creative Industries Fund, worked on a model for tourism and agriculture, integrating the sectors where possible and working on profitable business models for individual entrepreneurs. Getting to the core of the uniqueness and traditions of the area while looking for ways to innovate at the same time.

“It is fantastic to see local entrepreneurs, Albanian and international organisations such as URI (the Urban Research Institute), GIZ and the World Bank working side by side with our team of experts to put all parts of the puzzle together and create a model for tourism and agriculture for a local community, in this case Qeparo,” commented Meine van der Graaf, Project leader for “The Traveler and the Olive Grove”

The results of the mission are a combination of new business concepts, products and partnerships that fit in a regional plans for sustainable high-end agro-tourism and some beautiful Riviera dishes made exclusively from the best local ingredients.


  • A basic model for development of Qeparo
    Showing the commonly recognized values of the area and the elements of development that are affected by these values
  • Design for Qeparo center.
    Where a reorganization of public spaces strengthens year-round attractiveness, safety and quality of life for the inhabitants and brings central functions together to make Qeparo the gateway to the Riviera for sustainable tourism.
  • Aqueduct
    Outlines for the revitalisation of old aquaduct and enabling rebirth of citrus agriculture (picture)
  • Vocational center
    First conditions for organising vocational center in the center of Qeparo (picture) using old available buildings.
  • Crop and activities calendar
    The start of a local crop calendar and activities calendar to show balance aand misbalance between demand and supply.
  • Entrepreneur association
    Outlines for local entrepreneur association for sustainable tourism and agriculture.
  • Short chains for local production
    Plans for making high quality local processed food such as prosciutto especially for restaurants (starting with Arber Togani’s new restaurant in Tirana).

As part of this project, based on a four day fieldtrip, visiting farms, looking for wild ingredients and joining workshops with different experts, Arber cooked on site together with the international expedition team and local entrepreneurs, creating a signature dish for the region. This dish symbolises the fusion of “the old and the new”, “tradition and innovation”

On Friday 18th of March Arber’s dish was presented as part of a series of designs and ideas for the area of Qeparo, Borsh and the hinterland during a final lunch event with local and national stakeholders.

This is an excerpt from an article first published by MVO Nederland. Read the original article here.

Travindy is an independent website featuring news and opinion on all issues to do with tourism and sustainability. Written primarily for an industry audience, our aim is to support the transformation of the sector into one that is regenerative, restorative and fully inclusive.

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