Basque Culinary World Prize
Transforming society through gastronomy
A generation of international chefs have now expanded their role in society and redefined their profession by reaching a broader sphere of influence beyond the kitchen. All over the world, chefs have come to understand that they can use their knowledge, leadership, entrepreneurship and creativity to be part of the transformation of society.
The Basque Culinary World Prize was created to celebrate this evolution: to highlight the diversity and scope of this phenomenon in which gastronomy has come to be a powerful force for change, to underline a movement inspired by game-changers such as Dan Barber, Rene Redzepi, Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters and José Andrés, amongst others, who have for decades worked to take gastronomy farther, having a positive impact on society.
This prize celebrates a chef of any nationality who demonstrates how gastronomy can have a positive impact in fields such as culinary innovation, health, nutrition, education, the environment, the food industry, social or economic development, among others.
As Covid-19 emerged as one of the biggest challenges of our time, neither the mechanics nor the approach of Basque Culinary World Prize could have been the same. It had to rise to the circumstances and therefore highlight the role of gastronomy as a particularly affected industry, but also as one actively involved in the present global response.
Every year an interdisciplinary jury, featuring some of the world’s most influential chefs, academics and experts, chooses the candidate who best embodies the mission of this unique global award, granted and promoted by Basque Culinary Center (BCC) and Basque Government through the framework of the Euskadi-Basque Country Strategy.
A NEW EDITION
In 2021, the BCWP highlighted the key role gastronomy education for children can play in raising society’s awareness about what and how we feed ourselves. This year, in its 7th edition, the BCWP continues its tireless search for individuals who embody gastronomy’s transformative power. Now more than ever, we need inspiring stories and examples of how social impact can start in the kitchen.See FAQs
5/5 Nomination period begins.
The call for culinary professionals to nominate candidates begins.Online nominations
1/6 Nominations deadline.
Nominations are closed.
21/6 The winner is announced.
The BCWP Jury deliberates to choose and announce the 2021 winner.
Award ceremony gala.
Representatives of the Basque Government will present the award to the winner during a special event held in the Basque Country, health and safety conditions permitting.
The Basque Culinary World Prize is an award for chefs (not for projects). To be considered, chefs have 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.
The winner will have the chance to allocate 100 thousand euros to an initiative of his or her choice, which expresses the transformative power of gastronomy.
The members of the BCC International Council demonstrate the broad sphere of influence chefs can achieve when they transcend the conventional boundaries of their profession. Thus, this group is charged with selecting the winner with the help of leading international experts, and they can not be nominate for the prize.
Spanish chef Xanty Elías has won the Basque Culinary World Prize 2021 for his initiative “Los Niños se Comen El Futuro”, which works to educate the next generation about healthy eating. Xanty has immersed himself in social projects to benefit the region. In 2017 he co-founded “Fundación Prenauta” with other local businesspeople, a non-profit that partners with community members to promote economic growth, providing consulting services and projects facilitation across the founders’ fields of expertise. Prenauta’s projects include a start-up incubator to source funding for entrepreneurs in the region. Elías also educates children in the region about healthy eating. Elías believes that it’s possible to promote health and reform the way people think about and interact with food.
To address this, in 2018 “Fundación Prenauta” launched “Los Niños se Comen El Futuro”, an initiative that collaborates with companies and institutions throughout Andalusia to provide cultural education in schools. The programme teaches students traditional Andalusian recipes and shows them how to apply academic subjects like mathematics and chemistry to cooking, as well as educating them about healthy and sustainable eating. As part of the programme, chefs visit schools to deliver masterclasses. In the 2019/20 academic year, the programme reached over 15,000 schoolchildren across more than 100 schools in Andalusia. Elías hopes to expand “Los Niños se Comen El Futuro” throughout Spain at a national level.
Basque Culinary Center
A pioneering academic institution for a pioneering prize.
The Basque Culinary Center (BCC) is a pioneering academic institution created in 2011 with the support of Mondragon University and seven top Basque chefs, including Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro Subijana and Andoni Luis Aduriz.
Located in one of the world’s major gastronomic capitals, the institution is in a unique position to bring together a wealth of talent. Courses encompass higher education, research, innovation and the promotion of gastronomy and nutrition. The BCC’s mission is to become the benchmark in their field, as well as to highlight the impact the modern chef can have on their profession, culture, community and the wider world.
From the very start, it has been backed by some of the most influential chefs in the world who now form our International Council. Chaired by Joan Roca (Spain), it is also formed by Massimo Bottura (Italy), Dan Barber (United States), Gastón Acurio (Peru), Ferran Adrià (Spain), Alex Atala (Brazil), Heston Blumenthal (United Kingdom), Michel Bras (France), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Rene Redzepi (Denmark), Dominique Crenn (France/United States), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan) and Trine Hahnemann (Denmark).
The BCC shares with them the sense of vocation that links gastronomy to other disciplines, and that same desire to make a positive contribution to the community through concrete actions.
Euskadi Basque Country
Euskadi is a land privileged by its gastronomic resources. Uniquely, it has been the cradle of many important movements and figures in the history of contemporary global cuisine. Although firmly rooted in its traditions, Basque cuisine has always known how to mix tradition with innovation. It has established trends and become a source of inspiration for other global models of fine dining.
The pleasure of eating and drinking, respect for local produce, and a love for creativity, innovation and collaboration are the remarkable characteristics of the Basque people that set them apart. It is no coincidence that this is the region with more Michelin stars per capita, and with some of the most interesting and influential culinary offerings.
With an exceptional combination of sea, mountains and fertile valleys – beautiful spaces ideally suited to gatherings – and the people’s untiring devotion to culinary excellence, Euskadi is an ideal place to host such an innovative award. Through the Basque Culinary World Prize, these values: quality, excellence and a ‘talent for transformation’ – will be celebrated.
Basque Government is interested in promoting social inclusiveness, innovation and innovation around the world. Together with gastronomy, these are values of the prize that are already closely associated with the Basque Country – values we want to celebrate through the prize.