US chef-restaurateur Anthony Myint has been awarded the Basque Culinary World Prize 2019 for his campaigns to reduce food waste and fight climate change.
Myint was bestowed with the international award which recognises chefs whose work has transformed society through gastronomy at a sustainable thinking symposium in San Francisco.
Through his ZeroFoodprint project, and the Perennial Farming Initiative, Myint advises food businesses on viable options to reduce their carbon footprint.
This year he also helped launch the Restore California Programme, which arms suppliers and consumers with transparent information on the environmental footprint of restaurants so they can make better informed decisions.
Anthony Myint will be awarded €100,000 (£90,415) to devote to a cause or an institution of his choice that demonstrates the wider role of gastronomy in society.
In 2018, the prize went to Jock Zonfrillo from Scotland who has dedicated the last 18 years to discovering and defending the ancient food culture of Australia’s indigenous peoples. British chef Douglas McMaster of Silo was one of the shortlisted chefs this year.
Myint said: “I started cooking because I believe restaurants can make the world a better place and becoming a parent seven years ago really inspired me to explore what chefs can do about climate change.
“I’m truly excited that the Basque Culinary World Prize brings attention to the optimistic solutions in the food world, and I’m incredibly honoured to represent what I hope is the beginning of a much larger movement. I believe that all of us across the food world – chefs, diners, farmers and policy makers – can come together to create a renewable food system.”
Joan Roca, chair of the prize jury, said: “More than raising awareness, Anthony Myint calls for action by providing concrete tools for our industry to reduce its impact on the environment and to be an active part of the collective efforts that are required to fix this universal problem, rallying us to be part of the change.”
Joxe Mari Aizega, director general of the Basque Culinary Centre, said: “The objective of this award is to share inspiring testimonies that demonstrate how gastronomy can be a powerful tool to improve our society. The winner of this prize is both an inspiring story that we are excited to share, and an example of the sense of responsibility that a chef can assume.”
Photo credit: Alanna Hale