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Basque Culinary Center introduces the "Welcoming Food" Gastronomy Summit to be held in Girona in June 2022

03 May 2022

The Basque Culinary Center’s International Council, which boasts some of the most revered and influential chefs in the world, is returning to an in-person meeting as part of the “Welcoming Food” gastronomy summit scheduled for June 19 th to 21 st in Girona.

The event will be hosted by Joan Roca, president of the Basque Culinary Center International Council and chef of El Celler de Can Roca, which has be awarded three Michelin stars. Other chefs of similar renown such as Gastón Acurio (Peru), Dominique Crenn (France/USA), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Michel Bras (France), Mauro Colagreco (Argentina/France) and Trine Hahnemann (Denmark), and more, form the Basque Culinary Center International Council. This group will lead the way as the think tank shares reflections and visions regarding the many facets of gastronomy. The host city, Girona, illustrates how to fuse a contemporary vision of gastronomy with avant-garde approaches rooted in the land. This region embodies the future and the positive energy the gastronomy industry needs at this time.

During the past two years, due to the pandemic, face-to-face meetings were not an option for the Council. But this year, Basque Culinary Center is making a big comeback with a prestigious think- tank summit designed to tackle the industry’s challenges and opportunities with a creative twist. In the context of our present reality, marked by crisis but also brimming with opportunities for those who dare to dream big, "Welcoming Food" will offer keys to visualize and wield gastronomy as a dynamic and inviting space: for trends and approaches to creativity and innovation, interpreting the land, and nurturing and dialoguing with different cultures, identities, and new audiences.

The summit will take place from June 19 th to 21 st in Girona and offers a variety of activities, including the council meeting and tours of impactful projects and restaurants. Then, on June 21 st there will be a day of reflection that is open to the public. This session will explore the opportunities that arise around a dining table and how cooking can be a catalyst when new sources of inspiration are necessary, at a time when new languages ​​and formats for integrating the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural transformations of our time are imperative. This gathering brings together a range of heavy hitters from the gastronomy ecosystem (chefs, media, and academia) to share their visions and thoughts with the goal of promoting gastronomy as a strategic sector and offering creative perspectives.

Experts from across the globe will stoke this fire, along with actors from the gastronomy value chain who lead by example through their hard work, their unflagging callings rooted in the land, their hunger for the future, and especially, their best practices crafted to nourish the industry’s development.

Special guests include internationally renowned chefs such as Michel Bras (France), Gastón Acurio (Peru), Fina Puigdeval (Spain), Trine Hahnemann (Denmark) and Nandu Jubany (Spain), who represent a new generation of acclaimed chefs, like Manu Buffara (Brazil) for example. These chefs will be joined by personalities and experts from other fields.

All of these guests will plant seeds of awareness, concern, learning, and alternative narratives, while also inspiring those who get involved in gastronomy with the goal of giving back. They will do so by demonstrating new ways of understanding innovation in today’s industry; by diversifying discourses and disseminating new culinary formats that lay the groundwork for new team and talent management models designed to evolve; by illustrating social dynamics that extend beyond restaurants and reveal much more about the dedication and realities behind our dining tables.

They will also highlight the enormous value multiculturalism instills in cooking, and show us where entrepreneurship in the restaurant industry is heading, and what nourishes their mission to grow and open up new possibilities. And they will make abundantly clear the urgent need to make sustainable gastronomy profitable.

During the content-focused day, Mas Marroch will host a lunch to showcase a variety of local producers, culinary traditions, sources, and sustainability through a gastronomic experience designed to foster participation and continuing sharing.

The reflection day is open to the general public and free of charge. Online registration begins on May 3 rd and will remain open until capacity is reached. News regarding the summit’s program, attendance, and content will be updated on the website and communicated via the social media profiles of the different participating institutions.

As Joxe Mari Aizega, general manager of Basque Culinary Center, noted during the summit presentation ceremony at the Girona Regional Council, "the Basque Culinary Center International Council has been with us from the very beginning. This is a group of influential, visionary, and entrepreneurial chefs who have contributed their reflections, recommendations and ideas. For the past two years we were not able to meet in-person. But this year our annual meeting, which in the past has traveled far and wide, will come together here in Girona alongside Council president Joan Roca to invite, attract, and unite chefs from the far reaches of the globe to make their own contributions regarding gastronomy’s challenges and opportunities. This summit will also include a day of reflection, through which Basque Culinary Center aims to promote a wide range of
approaches to evolving and understanding gastronomy and highlight the idea that, in circumstance such as the present, cooking can be a valuable tool for transforming society".

Meanwhile, the Council president and host of the meeting Joan Roca commented, “after seven years as president of the Basque Culinary Center International Council, I am delighted to host our meeting in Girona this year. We are confident that this event will serve as an opportunity to reflect on and debate sustainability and the future of gastronomy. This is a remarkably hospitable and dedicated region, with a vast gastronomic wealth and exceptional culinary diversity. Welcome to Girona!”

In addition, Miquel Noguer, president of the Girona Regional Council and the Costa Brava Board of Tourism, commented, “Girona and the Costa Brava region are honored to host this professional event that will empower us to strengthen our position among the top international gastronomy destinations. It is also a wonderful opportunity to share more about the outstanding quality of our local products and Girona’s cuisine with internationally acclaimed chefs and industry leaders”.

Narcís Ferrer, director of the Catalan Tourism Agency, noted, “the Catalan Tourism Agency
always lends its support to those institutions that choose our region to hold their world-class events. We are honored to have this great opportunity to host some of the best chefs in the world, along with specialized journalists covering today’s most intriguing topics. These guests will tour Catalonia to experience our gastronomy and products first-hand so they can go on to spread the word about them around the globe. This project aligns perfectly with the Catalonian government’s goal of making food and wine tourism a driving force of tourism in the coming years”.

In 2022, Basque Culinary Center will celebrate the 12 th annual meeting of its Internationa Council in a setting that is unique but also maintains the organization’s decade-plus tradition of holding meetings and events in top gastronomy destinations around the world  such as Tokyo, New York, Lima, Mexico City, Modena and San Francisco, where experts have gathered to engage in a variety of events on sustainability, biodiversity, and an interdisciplinary approach to transforming the gastronomy industry.

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