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Nominations for the 2021 Basque Culinary World Prize, known as the “Nobel Prize of Gastronomy”, are now open

15 April 2021

Nominations for the 6th annual Basque Culinary World Prize are now open. The prestigious award, known as the “Nobel Prize of Gastronomy”, highlights chefs who are making an impact beyond the kitchen in areas including technology, education, the environment, health, food production, and social and economic development.

After shining a light on the role that gastronomycan play in helping to combat the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic last year, in 2021 the Basque Culinary World Prize continues to bet on the transformative force of gastronomy by sharing inspiring stories of chefs who are spearheading social change from the kitchen.

Last year, chef José Andrés won the Basque Culinary World Prize for spearheading a collaborative global response to one of today’s most pressing global challenges. This year the award is seeking a new ambassador who emphatically embodies the values of the prize at an international level.This pioneering award is backed by some of the world’s most renowned chefs.

Created by the Basque Culinary Center and the Basque Government, it celebrates the impact that gastronomy can have when chefs use their creativity, knowledge, leadership and entrepreneurship to generate positive change.A jury made up of influential chefs, academics and international experts from around the world selects the winner. Each year they choose a chef whose work embodies the spirit of the award: transforming society through gastronomy, who receives €100,000, which must be put towards an initiative that expresses the transformative power of gastronomy.

Nominations opening

Culinary professionals and institutions have until the 31st of May to nominate chefs who demonstrate the ways in which gastronomy can be utilised as an engine of change.This award seeks to harness the collective knowledge of the gastronomic community to discover culinary professionals from around the world and is therefore open to any chef with professional experience in the sector, regardless of nationality or notoriety.Nominations must be made through the Basque Culinary World Prize website:

Nomination process

Following the end of the nomination period, candidates will be evaluated by the Basque Culinary World Prize technical committee, made up of academics and gastronomy experts.The winnerwill be selected in July 2021. The choice will be made by an interdisciplinary jury chaired by Joan Roca (Spain) and made up of some of the world’s most popular chefs and influencers, including Andoni Luis Aduriz (Basque Country), Eneko Atxa (Basque Country), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Manu Buffara (Brazil), Dominique Crenn (USA), Trine Hahnemann (Denmark) and Enrique Olvera (Mexico).

An endorsed award

Over the past five years, the award has already had an enormous impact by highlighting the inspiring stories of chefs who use their knowledge to address problems such as climate change, food waste, biodiversity, or the problems generated by the Coronavirus pandemic.Last year, chef José Andrés was awarded the Basque Culinary World Prize for his forceful, global, and inspiring response to the COVID-19 crisis through his organisation World Central Kitchen.

Representatives of the co-founders of the award, the Basque Culinary Center and the Basque Government, commented on the award’s success.

JoxeMari Aizega, general director of the Basque Culinary Center, said:“The Basque Culinary World Prize spotlights the power of gastronomy as a transformative force in society through which various global challenges can be faced, including the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis. The pandemic has highlighted the contributions of our sector, as many chefs understood that they could use their knowledge, leadership, entrepreneurship and creativity to help society. This year, we hope to continue to shine a light on the inspiring work of people who use their talent and strength toconnect with their communities, setting an example of cooperation and responsibility."

Bittor Oroz, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Basque Government, highlighted the global nature of the award:“This unique and global award is part of the EUSKADI BASQUE COUNTRY Strategy of the Basque Government, which is inclusive and ambitious because we know that it is only through collaboration that we will be able to strengthen the Basque Country as a territory of international renown in the gastronomic sphere. We have the experience and proven track record of a country that has always been open to the world, and our own network of Basque communities abroad that are active and committed to the challenge of making the Basque Country an international gastronomic powerhouse. Through initiatives such as the BCWP, we contribute to the creation of a new, more equitable, and more sustainable social model that serves the people.

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