The 10 finalists of the Basque Culinary World Prize, an award for chefs whose projects have improved society through gastronomy, have been announced today at an event at Palacio Miramar in San Sebastián, Spain.
The winner, who will be chosen by an international jury of chefs and experts, chaired by head chef of the three-Michelin-starred Arzak restaurant in San Sebastián Elena Arzak, will be announced on 18 July this year in Mexico City.
He or she will be awarded €100,000 to devote to a project or institution of their choice that demonstrates the wider role of gastronomy in society.
Entries came from 30 countries worldwide, and 110 chefs were nominated. A winner will be chosen from the final 10 by a jury including Gastón Acurio (Peru), Michel Bras (France), Dominique Crenn (US), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), and Joan Roca (Spain).
The Basque Culinary Prize is organised and promoted by the Basque Government under the Euskadi-Basque Country strategy and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC). In 2016, the prize went to Venezuelan María Fernanda Di Giacobbe, who won for her Cacao de Origen project in Venezuela, and who will also be a member of the deciding jury.
The minister for economic development and infrastructure of the Basque Government, Arantxa Tapia, said: “The Euskadi-Basque Country strategy is a country brand in which all the Basque institutions collaborate and participate. The strategy promotes intrinsic Euskadi values such as hard work and compromise, the capacity to excel, a vocation for transformation and the creation of equal opportunities for men and women.”
Elena Arzak said: “As a chef I’m proud to witness the involvement of an industry that increasingly takes on more challenges, strengthening relations between industry and development and improving society.”
Joxe Mari Aizega, head of the Basque Culinary Centre, added: “We are delighted about the diversity of the profiles in areas such as innovation, education, environment, social and economic development and health. They all reflect – in their own way and context – the chefs’ commitment to society and give gastronomy an interdisciplinary dimension. They are inspirational stories for the industry and we are extremely excited to share them.”
The 10 finalists are:
• Anthony Myint (United States), owner of Perennial restaurant in San Francisco and founder of ZeroFoodprint and the Perennial Farming Initiative
• Dan Giusti (United States), founder of Brigaid
• Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi (United States), founders of LocoL
• David Hertz (Brazil), founder of the Gastromotiva project
• Ebru Baybara Demir (Turkey), leader of the Harran Gastronomy School Project
• José Andrés, (United States), ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and founder of World Central Kitchen
• Leonor Espinosa (Colombia), founder of the Funleo foundation
• Melinda McRostie (Australia/Greece), owner of the Captain’s Table restaurant on Lesbos, Greece, and founder of the Oxy transit camp and the Asterias-Starfish Foundation
• Niko Romito (Italy), owner of Reale restaurant in Italy and founder of the Inteligencia Nutricional project
• Ricardo Muñoz Zurita (Mexico), author of the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mexican Gastronomy
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