Finalists announced for The Basque Culinary World Prize

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th June 2017

The Top 10 finalists of the Basque Culinary World Prize, an award for chefs around the world whose projects have improved society through gastronomy, were announced today. The announcement was made at an event at Palacio Miramar in San Sebastián.

The winner, who will be chosen by a jury of the world’s most respected chefs and experts in different aspects of food culture, will be announced on July 18 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.

The ten shortlisted chefs were chosen by a prize committee chaired by chef Elena Arzak, head chef at Arzak, the renowned 3-Michelin starred restaurant, and academics from respected international institutions.

Chef Elena Arzak, chair of the BCWP prize committee, 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.”

>>> Read: Elena Arzak on the Basque Culinary World Prize

The Top Ten Finalists are:

Anthony Myint, United States

Dan Giusti, United States

Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi, United States

David Hertz, Brazil

Ebru Baybara Demir. Turkey

José Andrés. United States

Leonor Espinosa. Colombia

Melinda McRostie. Australia / Greece

Niko Romito, Italy

Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, Mexico

The 10 Basque World Culinary Prize finalists were chosen by a multi-disciplinary Prize Committee chaired by celebrated Basque chef Elena Arzak and included an international group of academics with expertise in various aspects of food culture and gastronomy such as Joxe Mari Aizega, general manager of Basque Culinary Center; Jorge Ruiz Carrascal, Professor of the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen; Marta Miguel Castro, a Research Associate at the CIAL Institute of Research in Food Science, who studies how food components could prevent disorders such as diabetes and obesity; Melina Shannon Dipietro, executive director of Rene Redzepi’s MAD project; and Dr F. Xavier Medina, author, social anthropologist and leading scholar of Food and Culture at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) in Barcelona.

Entries came from 30 countries worldwide, and a total of 110 chefs were nominated. To be considered for the award, chefs had to be nominated by another professional currently working in the world of gastronomy - for instance, another chef, food writer or food supplier, or an institution. A winner will be chosen from the final ten by a jury of the world’s most influential chefs including Gastón Acurio (Peru), Michael Bras (France), Dominique Crenn (US) Yoshihiro Narisawa, (Japan), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), and Joan Roca (Spain).

The Jury will also include leading experts in related disciplines, including novelist Laura Esquivel, author of the hugely popular novel Like Water for Chocolate; Kirmen Uribe, one of the most widely read and translated Basque language authors; Cristina Franchini, expert in humanitarian action (Acnur), and Matthew Goldfarb, organic farmer, rural sociologist and expert in sustainable production; and María Fernanda di Giacobbe, winner of the 2016 Basque Culinary World Prize.

>>> 10 Minutes With: Maria Fernanda di Giacobbe on winning The Basque Culinary World Prize

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th June 2017

Finalists announced for The Basque Culinary World Prize