Basque Culinary World Prize 2018

Transforming society through gastronomy
Participate by nominating chefs who shows how food can be a motor for change

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Online nominations

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.

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.

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 created by the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) with the support of the Basque Government as part of the Euskadi-Basque Country Strategy.

Do you know a chef like this? Nominate him or her here.

For more details, see our frequently asked questions.

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  • March

    Nomination period begins.

    The call for culinary professionals to nominate candidates begins.

    Online nominations
  • May

    31 / Nominations deadline.

    Nominations are submitted to the technical secretariat who then verifies that the nominees meet the award criteria.

  • July

    2 / Finalists are announced.

    The Prize Committee reviews candidate profiles. Then the Committee chooses and announces 10 finalists.

  • July

    23 / The winner is announced.

    The Jury meets in Italy to deliberate and choose this year’s winner which is then announced internationally.

  • November

    Award ceremony gala.

    Basque Government authorities officially present the winner with the prize at a special event held in the Basque Country.

The Prize

The Basque Culinary World Prize will award €100,000 to a project chosen by the winner, expressing the transformative power of cuisine.

The prize is endorsed and granted by the Basque Culinary Centre (BCC), a world leading academic institution dedicated to gastronomic education, innovation and research. It is supported by the Basque Government, through the framework of the Euskadi-Basque Country Strategy, a country brand in which all the Basque institutions collaborate and participate. The strategy promotes intrinsic Euskadi values such as hard work and compromise, the capacity to excel, a vocation for transformation and the creation of equal opportunities for men and women.

Through the launch of the prize, Euskadi captures the spirit of its region, and at the same time builds on its reputation as one of the world’s foremost gastronomic destination, which keeps on offering new reasons to visit and enjoy.

Prize committee 2018

An interdisciplinary group of experts analyzes the candidate profiles and chooses 10 finalists based on their work in areas such as culinary innovation, health, nutrition, education, the environment, the food industry, social or economic development, among others.

Jury 2018

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.

Winner 2017

Leonor Espinosa

Leonor Espinosa is known for taking great pride in the cuisine of her country, as well as nurturing and promoting the value of its biodiversity. Through the Funleo foundation, Espinosa revives the ancestral knowledge and know-how of mainly indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples. She supports rural development based on food sovereignty, and promotes routes to market for small producers as well as spaces for education, nutrition, enterprise and tourism in ethnic locations. In addition to gathering support for opening a Comprehensive Gastronomy Centre in Chocó as an alternative framework to drug trafficking, she urges Colombia to raise awareness of its culinary richness, and wants its communities to take responsibility for transforming their biological, cultural and intangible heritage into tools for socio-economic development.

Funleo

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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); with Gastón Acurio (Peru), Ferran Adrià (Spain), Alex Atala (Brazil), Dan Barber (US), Heston Blumenthal (UK), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Michel Bras (France), Dominique Crenn (US), Maria Fernanda Di Giacobbe (Vzla), Yoshiro Narisawa (Japan), Enrique Olvera (Mexico) and René Redzepi (Denmark).

The BCC shares with them the sense of vocation that links cuisine 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 haute cuisine.

The pleasure of eating and drinking well, respect for local produce, and a love of 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 the most 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.

Past editions

Take a look at past editions

More information
  • Nominate chefs with transformative initiatives

    Anyone with a professional culinary career – regardless of their culinary culture and nationality – can win this award, based on their work in fields such as culinary innovation, health, nutrition, education, the environment, the food industry, social or economic development, among others.

    Candidates must be nominated by active culinary professionals - chefs, restaurant owners, food writers, journalists, among others - or by institutions from the sector.

    Anyone interested in submitting a nomination must complete the nomination form by providing information about the candidate, as well as the reasons why the nominee deserves the award. Through these nominations, the BCC seeks out the knowledge and expertise of the international culinary community to discover people with transformative initiatives in different parts of the world who may not enjoy broad public recognition.

    It is not about getting votes: regardless of whether a candidate receives one nomination or ten, each candidate is given equal consideration.

  • About the person nominating

  • About the nominee

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  • Please note that chefs cannot nominate themselves. They need to be nominated by another chef, a profesional or institution part of the gastronomic community. Nomination period closes in may. Finalist will be announced in June and the winner in July.

Contact

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