Top ten finalists for the Basque Culinary World Prize 2019 announced

Basque Culinary World Prize

Basque Culinary World Prize

Standard Supplier 20th June 2019
Basque Culinary World Prize

Basque Culinary World Prize

Standard Supplier

Top ten finalists for the Basque Culinary World Prize 2019 announced

Chefs representing ten different countries were named today as top ten finalists for the Basque Culinary World Prize 2019, an award for trailblazing chefs whose work has had an impact “beyond the kitchen”.

For three months earlier this year, gastronomic professionals and institutions nominated chefs from around the globe, known and unknown, who demonstrated how gastronomy could become a transformational force in areas such as technology, education, environment, health, food production or on social or economic development.

In this 4th edition of the prize– which is organised and promoted by the Basque Government under the Euskadi-Basque Country Strategy and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC), the world’s leading gastronomic research and teaching institution– 230 nominations were received from 42 countries (a total of 150 chefs nominated), making it the edition of the prize with the widest participation to date.

The ten top finalists:

Selassie Atadika (Ghana); Mario Castrellón (Panama), Siew-Chinn Chin (Malaysia- USA); Giovanni Cuocci (Italy); Xanty Elías (Spain); Virgilio Martínez (Peru); Cristina Martínez (Mexico - USA); Douglas McMaster (United Kingom); Anthony Myint (USA); Lars Williams (USA – Denmark)

These ten names reflect a movement led by inspiring and game-changer chefs such as Ferran Adrià, José Andrés, Dan Barber, Massimo Bottura, Claus Mayer, Jamie Oliver, and Alice Waters who have for decades assumed responsibility to make a positive impact on society. They were chosen by a Technical Committee formed of leading academic and culinary experts representing elite global institutions including Harvard University, Copenhagen University, Open University of Catalonia, and the University of the Basque Country.

The winner will be chosen by an international jury comprised of the world’s most acclaimed chefs and interdisciplinary experts from a variety of fields related to gastronomy during the ninth annual meeting of the Basque Culinary Center International Council in San Francisco. The announcement will be made on July 16, 2019 during a symposium co-hosted by three-Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn entitled “Sustainable Thinking” with this year’s theme focusing on how gastronomy can propel the sustainability agenda– whether through technological improvements to lower emissions or changing consumer habits. For more information, please visit (

The Jury will be chaired by chef Joan Roca (Spain) and will include celebrated chefs such as Andoni Luis Aduriz (Basque Country), Eneko Axta (Basque Country), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Manu Buffara (Brazil), Katina and Kyle Connaughton (USA), Dominique Crenn (USA), Trine Hahnemann (Denmark), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), and Jock Zonfrillo (Australia)- the incumbent BCWP 2019 winner.

The winner will be awarded €100,000 to devote to a cause that expresses the ethos of the prize: to transform society through gastronomy.

Bittor Oroz, Basque Government Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Fishing and Food Policy, noted that:

“This fourth Basque Culinary World Prize is necessary to consolidate and continue promoting the values of excellence, commitment, quality and dedication to transformation pursued by the award. Within the framework of the comprehensive Euskadi-Basque Country strategy, the Basque Culinary World Prize has contributed to the Basque Country continuing to be an international benchmark for excellence in gastronomy and presenting itself as a country with an exemplary model of quality of life and social cohesion, and an innovative and competitive territory”.

Joxe Mari Aizega, General Director of the Basque Culinary Center, for his part pointed out that:

“Professionals and institutions in the gastronomic sector from different parts of the planet have participated, helping us to discover a great variety of inspiring personalities, whose work demonstrates the social impact of gastronomy when it is part of a broad and diverse movement. In its fourth year, the Basque Culinary World Prize confirms its importance with the highest level of participation and involvement to date, more nominations and greater scope, and above all, with the consolidation of a multiplier effect”.

In discussing this year’s nominees, Pia Sörensen, director of the Science and Cooking program of Harvard University, said:

“The list of finalists highlights the important and innovative work being done by chefs from diverse regions and in a range of highly current fields connected to gastronomy, not only as a source of inspiration but as a tangible and concrete expression of how this collective is taking action”.

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