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Jock Zonfrillo shortlisted for Basque Culinary World Prize

02 July 2018 by
Jock Zonfrillo shortlisted for Basque Culinary World Prize

Scottish chef Jock Zonfrillo is one of 10 chefs in the world shortlisted for the Basque Culinary World Prize 2018.

The other finalists include Anthony Myint (US); Caleb Zigas (US); Dieuveil Malonga (Congo/Germany); Ebru Baybara Demir (Turkey); Heidi Bjerkan (Norway); Karissa Becerra (Peru); Marc Puig-Pey (Spain); Matt Orlando (Denmark, US); and Virgilio Martínez (Peru).

The announcement was made at an event at Enrique Olvera's Cosme restaurant in New York City in the US.

Earlier this year gastronomic professionals and institutions nominated chefs from around the globe who demonstrated how gastronomy could become a transformational force in areas ranging from innovation to education, health, research, sustainability, social entrepreneurship and economic development.

More than 140 chefs were nominated from over 42 countries, the largest pool of applicants to date. To be considered for the award, chefs had to be nominated by another professional working in the world of gastronomy, for instance, another chef, food writer or food supplier, or an institution.

Now in its third year, the prize is organised and promoted by the Basque government under the Euskadi-Basque Country Strategy and the Basque Culinary Center. In 2016, the prize went to Venezuelan María Fernanda Di Giacobbe, who won for her cacao de origen project in Venezuela. In 2017 it was awarded to Leonor Espinosa for her Funleo project, a foundation that promotes gastronomy for development.

Zonfrillo is preserving memories of the food of the native people of Australia and has dedicated the past 17 years to discovering and defending this ancient culture, which is largely excluded from the national culinary identity.

He has visited hundreds of remote communities and included the gastronomic traditions their inhabitants have shared with him on the menu of his Orana restaurant in Adelaide, Australia, and presented them on his television programmes.

In 2016 Zonfrillo launched the Orana Foundation, which supports indigenous communities in the production and fair marketing of their products, documents native ingredients and investigates new uses for them.

The winner will be chosen by an international jury comprised of the world's most acclaimed chefs and experts in different aspects of food culture and will be announced on 24 July during the eighth annual meeting of the Basque Culinary Center International Council in Modena, Italy.

The jury will be chaired by chef Joan Roca and will include celebrated chefs such as Gastón Acurio, Massimo Bottura, Manu Buffara, Mauro Colagreco, Dominique Crenn, Yoshihiro Narisawa, and Enrique Olvera.

Espinosa will also join the jury, together with experts in other disciplines such as American food writer Ruth Reichl, director David Gelb, food historian Bee Wilson and British interior designer Ilse Crawford.

The winner will be awarded €100,000 (£88,400) to devote to a project or institution that expresses the ethos of the prize: to transform society through gastronomy.

MarÁ­a Fernanda Di Giacobbe wins Basque Culinary World Prize >>

Basque Culinary World Prize finalists announced >>

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