Fatmata Binta Receives The Basque Culinary World Prize 2022

Basque Culinary World Prize

Basque Culinary World Prize

Other 16th November 2022
Basque Culinary World Prize

Fatmata Binta Receives The Basque Culinary World Prize 2022

Today (6:30 p.m.), West African chef Fatamata Binta has officially been awarded The Basque Culinary World Prize 2022, during a ceremony at The Miramar Palace in Donostia-San Sebastián

Fatmata Binta is best known for showcasing Funali culinary culture and exploring the diaspora of West African cuisine through her "Dine on a Mat" popup initiative. Founder of the Fulani Kitchen Foundation, which aims to transform ingredients like fonio into sources of income, economic autonomy, food security and employability for rural communities, Chef Binta aims to raise funds for community projects aimed at empowering women and girls from all Fulani regions.

The Basque Culinary World Prize is a unique and global prize awarded by the Basque Government, within the framework of the Euskadi-Basque Country and the Basque Culinary Center, the world’s leading gastronomic institution. The award shines a spotlight on chefs with transformative initiatives in the areas of innovation, technology, education, the environment, health, the food industry, and social and economic development, among others.

The award, valued at 100 000 euros, will be presented by prominent personalities from the Euskadi food sector, as well as Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development and Infrastructure of the Basque Government, to Fatmata Binta. Pedro Subijana, representing the Board of Directors of the Basque Culinary Center, Trine Hahnemann, representing the Jury of the Basque Culinary World Prize, as well as Vicente Atxa, President of the Basque Culinary Center, will also participate in this evening’s event.

The “Dine on a mat” initiative and the Fulani Kitchen Foundation

Originally from Sierra Leone, Chef Binta strives to share, with her “Dine on a mat” initiative, customs, flavors and ways of relating to food typical of the Fulani, in a format that allows her to make the table a valuable source of dialogue and understanding, education and, also, of sustainable practices. She has begun to promote a foundation that transforms ingredients such as fonio into sources of income for rural communities, where she works, mainly with women.

Also, through Fulani Kitchen Foundation, Binta aims to educate, train and empower women and girls from all Fulani regions; starting with the construction of a center that will act as a sanctuary for women aimed at social, educational and community needs. Binta aims to create a safe haven where products of different types can be processed and packaged.

The money raised with all her initiatives are destined to be used for community projects. According to Chef Binta, approximately more than 300 families from 12 communities and 4 regions of Ghana are currently benefiting from the prize.

Her foundation has already begun to work on 4 hectares, hoping to reach 500, and thus be able to export at least 200 tons of fonio – gluten-free cereal – to different countries in Africa and abroad. The foundation always focuses on integrating women and betting on increasing the productivity of unused areas, ensuring contexts of economic autonomy, food security and employability for these rural communities.

In the words of the winner, Fatmata Binta:
"Thank you Basque Culinary World Prize for contributing immensely to our mission of supplying fonio to the world. Thank you for creating spaces for chefs to have meaningful conversations about issues that concern us. I am overwhelmed with the attention that winning the BCWP award has given me and the focus of interest generated around fonio. I want to thank the Basque Culinary Center and the Basque Government for providing a space in which I can contribute my vision and thus help improve the means and resources of the Fulani communities."

Fatmata Binta has been chosen as the winner by a jury made up of some of the most influential chefs in the world, representatives of the International Committee of the Basque Culinary Center. Presided over by chef Joan Roca (Spain -El Celler de Can Roca), it has also included other renowned chefs such as Gastón Acurio (Peru), Michel Bras (France), Manu Buffara (Brazil), Mauro Colagreco (Argentina/France); Dominique Crenn (France/USA), Trine Hahnemann (Denmark),
Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Pia Leon (Peru), Narda Lepes (Argentina), Elena Reygadas (Mexico) and Josh Niland (Australia).

The Prize

The Basque Culinary World Prize was launched in 2016 to testify how gastronomy can be a transformative force for change, highlighting the work of enterprising men and women with a vocation for excellence; of innovative and creative people; tenacious, but above all, committed to the society.

Since then, the award has received more than 1,000 nominations from 42 countries, with nearly 700 chefs nominated. To be considered for the award, chefs have had to be nominated by other professionals currently working in the world of gastronomy. Similar to previous years, for three months, industry professionals and institutions nominated chefs from all over the planet who demonstrate that gastronomy can become a driver of change in different fields.

On June 21, the Basque Culinary World Prize announced Fatmata Binta as the winner of the Basque Culinary World Prize 2022, and awarded two special mentions, continuing the prize’s reputation in highlighting current challenges visible and identifying profiles of entrepreneurial chefs with a vocation for excellence, as well as innovative, creative and tenacious, committed to their community and who set an example of a phenomenon as inspiring as it is contagious that gastronomy entails.

In addition to Fatmata Binta, the jury has recognised the work of two other chefs, granting special mentions to Douglas McMaster (United Kingdom), for promoting "zero waste" practices through his creative initiatives including as the Zero Waste Cooking School. This initiative emerged during lockdown aiming to raise awareness about the problem of waste in a new creative way.
Edson Leite (Brazil), also has been granted a special mention for designing culinary training and support programs to help young people searching for job opportunities through the Peripheral School of Gastronomy that he created in 2012.

In each edition, the Basque Culinary World Prize sends out a message to help people understand the different areas in which a chef can add value. And in its 7th edition, this was delivered by highlighting how food can help in the education sector, in addition to areas of social integration linked to immigration or the diversification of talent.

The award ceremony of the Basque Culinary World Prize can be followed live from 6:30 p.m. through
the Basque Culinary World Prize Youtube channel. (www.youtube.com/channel/UCzce4mWxngw4c2DicthZVUw) 

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.