About the project

In Ukraine, the ecosystem of craft producers has been growing rapidly. They sell their products to large retail networks and occasionally may present their products at food festivals several times a year. Local gastro tourism is usually associated with city establishments. Tourists do not have a gastronomic map with information about Ukrainian craft food producers.

“Gourmet Routes” is a unique project meant to tell Ukrainians about the tastiest spots of the country and become a driver for domestic gastro tourism.

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Independence, the first ever printed gastro guide has been created in Ukraine. It lists 100 craft producers from all oblasts of the country. You can find them, as well as other farms, on the gastronomic map of our web site.

The gastro guide and the online gastronomic map will help food connoisseurs taste Ukrainian craft foods and drinks right where they are produced, and the producers — to find admirers for their products.

The mission of the project is to develop gastro tourism in Ukraine and raise awareness about local craft producers. “Gourmet Routes” is a project to help those seeking new tastes to get bright gastronomic experience and learn about producers of Ukrainian craft foods.

The “Gourmet Routes” project was initiated by RDS, a Ukrainian road-building company that has been constructing roads throughout the country for more than 16 years. As a socially responsible business, RDS aims to give every Ukrainian the opportunity to travel on good quality roads and visit the tastiest spots of our country.

Yuri Shumakher
RDS group co-founder

The “Gourmet Routes” project was initiated by a Ukrainian group of road-building companies, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Independence of Ukraine. But if RDS builds roads, why have we decided to create a web site and a book on craft foods?

By constructing and renovating motorways, we help developing construction-related companies: granite quarries, manufacturers of construction materials. And after a highway is built, other businesses grow along it — such as travel and gastronomic industries.

Presently, RDS participates in the “Big Construction” project. For us, taking part in this project is important because it results in the biggest progress in road construction in the whole history of independent Ukraine.

We are proving — not in word, but in deed — that Ukraine is a European state. While travelling around Europe, people always try to visit a Hungarian wine chateaux or a German craft brewery. Why not do the same in Ukraine? Especially since pandemic has significantly limited opportunities for travelling abroad. Yet, at the same time, it has spurred domestic tourism.

It is time to take a ride by the new roads and discover craft Ukraine. The RDS group will work to let you enjoy the craft products as well as every kilometre of the way.

Yevhen Konovalov
RDS group co-founder

Chernihiv wine. Kyiv sturgeons. Mykolaiv oysters. Sievierodonetsk bananas. And then there are dandelion jam, kachana porridge, veselyanyk honey gingerbreads, and emotional beer. It sounds like a joke, yet these are real things you can get to by Ukrainian roads.

It is not always easy to learn about Ukrainian craft farms. Small manufacturers do not have the advertising funds to become known in the whole of Ukraine. That is why we have decided to help food connoisseurs to experience Ukrainian craft food right where it is made, and to help craft producers to find admirers of their products.

Our gastronomic map shows craft farms from all around Ukraine. There are three selection criteria:
– one should be able to get to the location by car;
– the producer offers tasting sessions and guided tours;
– gastro-tourists are welcome there.

Every year, new craft farms emerge in Ukraine. And the existing ones open their doors to guests. That is why we have created a web site where new locations can be added.

Have a delicious travel!

Project car

The gastronomic map answers the question “Where a gourmet should go?” Let us talk about what they should drive.

We have made a few journeys around craft farms. For our expeditions, we chose Land Rover Defender. In many years, people have got used to the old version of this off-roader — a car to go beyond. But in our case, it was a new version presented in 2020.

Why did we choose an off-road car? After all, our farms are not in the middle of nowhere. In most cases, you can drive there using roads acceptable for a regular passenger car. Yet, a modern all-wheel drive vehicle will be an advantage both when travelling to remote parts of Ukraine and to sports located near the capital. Let us offer you two examples.

“Frumushika-Nova”, a wonderful ethnographic tourism centre in the south of Bessarabia, has only drawback — you need to take steppe roads to get there. Even GPS navigators sometimes get lost there, and when it is raining, a regular car risks getting stuck. Imagine a real dirt road with a rut — this is a challenge that only a specially designed vehicle can deal with. Our car is equipped with systems allowing it to cross almost one-meter-deep fords, helping the driver to stabilize the automobile on slippery surface, or go downhill; there is even a front-end camera.

Another example comes from personal experience of the authors of the guide. We went on an expedition around Kyiv and Cherkasy regions, visiting the Gooood Farm, Safronovs’ Cheese Dairy, and the Organic Villa.

You can reach all of these locations by a regular car. But you will always want something more — like driving down steep stone hillside to the rocky banks of the Ros in Khokhitva village near Bohuslav or having a photo session on the dirt road snaking down green slopes at the outskirts of Khokhitva.

Also, do not forget about the winter season with its snow and ice. For example, new wine maturates by Christmas — and you can get a taste of it at the Organic Villa.

For all of the above places, an off-roader will come in handy, especially when you can turn on a mode allowing you to beat even the most difficult roads. And then you can be sure that you will reach beautiful and tasty spots regardless of weather, with comfort.