50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
There is a growing interest in haute cuisine that can be found around the world. One reflection of this is found in gourmet magazines, releases of prestige wines, international restaurant rankings, and the opening of spectacular restaurants. This interest is also found in formulation of policy strategies for regional development. The presence of haute cuisine restaurants is often assumed to attract visitors who seek unique experiences, and thereby also stimulate turnover on related markets. In addition, it is also common to presume that haute cuisine restaurants are dependent on access to local and/or regional food suppliers’ whose products are characterised by high quality, and that such firms have small-scale production. The purpose of this paper is to explore the location pattern of gourmet restaurants in Sweden using the White Guide. In the empirical analysis we focus on the question if the presence of haute cuisine restaurants in a local market is explained by access to small-scale firms in the food industry (and sub-sectors). In the analysis we also compare the spatial distribution of haute cuisine restaurants with the spatial distribution of the tourism sector. In the empirical analysis we also make a distinction and comparison between rural and urban regions in Sweden.