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Worldĺs Top Chefs to Convene in Peru to Debate Today's Gastronomic Challenges

22 May 2024

The Basque Culinary Center (BCC)’s International Council, formed by some of the world's most renowned chefs, is set to meet again in Peru from 16-19 June to celebrate, explore and debate the scope of gastronomy under the theme T'impuy (a Quechuan word that refers to the concept of boiling, cooking, or effervescence). The event is open to the public and will be held on 19 June at the NOS auditorium of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP).

This event, hosted by Gastón Acurio and Pía León, will spotlight Peru's pivotal role in the expansion of gastronomy in recent decades. As a cradle of talent, traditions, and transformational ideas, Peru has significantly influenced the culinary world. Lima, beloved by many professionals in the sector, has been chosen as the venue to share expert perspectives on the evolving demands of today's food industry.


Peru:  a gastronomic hub for global culinary exploration

Peru has played a special role in driving international gastronomy’s expansion in recent decades, by serving as a venue for debating and shaping new cuisine-related perspectives. Today, as each new generation brings fresh concerns, there is an understanding that the gastronomy sector is experiencing rapid growth, evolving challenges, and changing audiences at breakneck speed. In response, members of the BCC’s International Council will be traveling to Peru—many of them for the first time—to debate these challenges from a comprehensive 360º gastronomic perspective.


The BCC will be visiting the cities of Lima and Cusco, to encourage debates and shared opinions about future trends. As a cradle of top-level talent, concerns and proposals will be explored such as those expressed by the BCC’s International Council at its first meeting, back in 2011, at which the Council issued "Open Letter to The Chefs of Tomorrow". This letter was signed by the founder members of the Council, formed by some of the then-best chefs–including Gastón Acurio, Massimo Bottura, René Redzepi, Alex Atala, Ferran Adrià and Dan Barber–and published for the whole world to read. Since then, plenty has been achieved and many lessons have been learned.


The high-level meeting will be hosted by Gastón Acurio (Acurio restaurants and PUCA) and Pia León (Kjolle), two representatives of Peru’s thriving gastronomy, who use their cuisine to promote the country’s great biodiversity and are also members of the Basque Culinary Center’s International Council.


Today, these members include Joan Roca (Spain), Dominique Crenn (France/USA), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan), Manu Buffara (Brazil), Elena Reygadas (Mexico), Trine Hahnemann (Denmark), Thitid Tassanakajohn (Thailand), Josh Niland (Australia), and Narda Lepes (Argentina).



The Gastronomy Summit


The three-day event, held to bring together chefs and gastronomy-related traditions, perspectives and transformations, will feature a range of activities such as the Council meeting, the choosing of the winner of the Basque Culinary World Prize 2024, and an updated version of the "Open letter to the chefs of tomorrow".


The Council's members will also, as a final activity, be taking part in Lima in a content day open to the public on 19 June in the PUCP's NOS auditorium. The event, T'impuy, will shed new light on the thoughts voiced by those chefs in 2011 and address the sector’s future by emphasising gastronomy’s ubiquitous nature and reconnecting with current demands. The program will feature conferences, talks, and round tables with Council members, chefs, and experts in the Peruvian culinary sector, such as Alan Larrea, Arlette Eulert, Anthony Vásquez, Karin Abensur, Coco Tomita, Ysabel Calderon, Hernán Hancco, Jackeline Dianderas, Jorge Cañari, Mónica Huerta, Elia García, Malena Martínez, Tomás Matsufuji, Ana Rivero (Chile), Francesca Ferreyros, Renzo Miñán, Mayra Flores, and Ricardo Goachet, among others. The event will be moderated by Karissa Becerra, Coordinator of the PUCP Gastronomy Program.



The president of the International Council, Joan Roca, said:

It's a pleasure to return to Peru after thirteen years; after holding a meeting back in 2011 that was so important for us, and where we approved a reflection that has become historic, the "Open letter to the chefs of tomorrow".  Peru is a benchmark for world gastronomy, with a rich culture, a pantry full of biodiversity and an extraordinary potential that has an incredible pool of talent and plenty of social transformation projects. We are really happy to be able to return, accompanied by our hosts Pía León and Gastón Acurio, and we hope to contribute once again to the international gastronomic scene.


The event's co-host, Pía León, said:

We're thrilled to welcome this selected group of chefs to Peru. This meeting will give us a valuable opportunity to collaborate, understanding precisely what is being done and how within our sector. This event, which will be hosting several activities in Lima and Cusco, will lead to deeper conversations and relevant conclusions on why we're doing what we're doing. I trust that everyone who attends will not only take away tangible memories in their suitcases, but also enriching experiences and reflections that will linger in their minds and souls, as they should always do.


Joxe Mari Aizega, Director of the Basque Culinary Center, said:

How we approach gastronomy as a phenomenon with cultural, economic, social, environmental and political implications, with a deep-rooted sense of commitment and responsibility, is closely tied to our sector’s impact, ranging from what we grow and produce in our vegetable gardens to the dining table. Peru has contributed significantly to developing this broad horizon of considerations, marking the expansion of an ever-culinary battleground.


The Programme


This event is open to public upon registration. The link will soon be available on the event’s website.



9.00 - 9.30 Welcome

9.30 - 10.00 Winner announcement Basque Culinary World Prize

10.00 - 10.30 Round table: Training for what?

10.30 - 11.00 Talk: Fish Butchery, from nose to tail

11.00 - 11.30 Panel: Offshore

11.30 - 12.00 Panel: The same hive

12:00 - 12:30 Round table: Said and done, cases that inspire

12.30 - 13.00 Round table: Peru from the inside out



2:30 - 3:00 Talk: Thinking like a chef

3:00 - 3:30 Panel: Diverse talents

3:30 - 4:00 Panel: Traditions in motion

4:00 - 4:30 Round table: Leadership and future vision

4:30 - 5:00 Panel: Young cuisine

5:00 - 5:30 Talk: Beating passion

5:30 - 6:00 Letter to the chefs of tomorrow


Notes to editors



In 2024, Basque Culinary Center will be holding the International Council's 14th annual meeting in a unique context, following on from the meetings and events held over thirteen years in international gastronomic reference destinations such as New York, Lima, Mexico City, Modena, San Francisco, Girona or Tokyo, where each event's participants have discussed sustainability, biodiversity, talent and the transformation of the gastronomic sector from a multidisciplinary approach.

The winner of the 9th Basque Culinary World Prize will also be announced at this event. This award continues to focus on the transformative power of gastronomy with inspiring stories of chefs who generate social impact from their kitchen. Created by the Basque Government and the Basque Culinary Center and dubbed by the media as the "Nobel Prize of Gastronomy", this award is backed by academics and experts of international prestige.            

The event is organised by the Basque Culinary Center, in collaboration with Gastón Acurio (Acurio Restaurants and PUCA) and Pía León (Kjolle and MIL) as hosts, the support of institutional sponsors such as the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) as its academic partner, and the support of Hotel Belmond, Explora, Filo, LATAM, Turibus and BEevents. 


News about the programme, attendance and content will be updated on / and announced on the different participating institutions' social media.


Images and videos of the presentation of the event are available HERE.  


About Pia León

Pia León embodies one of the most personal and creative visions of contemporary Latin American and world gastronomy, and her creations cast light on the unbounded diversity and cultural multiplicity of a country like hers. She first made her mark as owner of Central, named the world’s best restaurant in the 2023 list of 'The World's 50 Best Restaurants' and which for several years topped the list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America. Six years ago, Pia set out on her own path with Kjolle, and in 2021 was named the World's Best Female Chef. Kjolle, which embodies Pia's purpose in enhancing and preserving Peruvian culture and biodiversity, debuted on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019 in 21st place, winning the award for Best New Entry. Since then, she has been a rising star; right now, Kjolle ranks 7th in Latin America and 28th in the world, according to the respective rankings.


About Gastón Acurio

Gaston is both an icon of Peruvian cuisine and a successful entrepreneur, with different kinds of gastronomic ventures all around the world. Owner of the renowned restaurant Astrid & Gastón, Acurio passionately believes in cuisine as a tool for social change. He is widely acknowledged for his efforts in taking his country around the world, opening up a borderless interest in much more than ceviche. Promoter of projects such as Pachacútec, where dozens of young people get training in cooking on the outskirts of Lima, he promotes cultural, social and environmental causes. He has penned many books, such as Perú: Gastronomía, a Peruvian cookbook, which includes 500 traditional home cooking recipes, Cebiche Power, and  Recontra ¡Bravazo, among others. Gastón was also one of the founding members of the Basque Culinary Center’s International Council and hosted its first meeting in 2011 in Lima, where he co-authored and signed the aforementioned "Open Letter to The Chefs of Tomorrow".  


The Basque Culinary Center’s International Council, formed by some of today's most influential chefs, is a key body, responsible for advising the Basque Culinary Center’s about its strategy, guiding its efforts, helping to identify opportunities and opening scenarios for discussion and action that contribute to advancing gastronomy. Its members represent the concerns and visions that are emerging in different parts of the world.


Aware of the good fortune that comes from counting on high-level personalities among its allies, the Basque Culinary Center advocates forging ties that turn into reciprocal, growing alliances by bringing its members together once a year, in gastronomically significant venues. 


Founded by Ferrán Adrià (Spain), Joan Roca (Spain), Gastón Acurio (Peru), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Michel Bras (France), René Redzepi (Denmark), Heston Blumenthal (UK), Alex Atala (Brazil), Dan Barber (USA) and Yukio Hattori (Japan); over time, it has attracted other personalities such as Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Mauro Colagreco (Argentina/France), Manu Buffara (Brazil), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan), Trine Hahnemann (Denmark), Dominique Crenn (France/USA), Pia León (Peru), Josh Niland (Australia), Narda Lepes (Argentina), Elena Reigadas (Mexico), and Ton Tassanakajohn (Thailand).


LATAM Peru, one of this initiative's strategic allies, is celebrating 25 years operating flights in the country. Now, as part of its commitment to popularising Peru's national gastronomy, its in-flight service now features "Sabores que transportan" ("Flavours that transport you"), a scheme to promote Peruvian flavours reflected in a dish created by Peruvian female culinary talent and currently being served on 7-hour plus long international flights, departing from Lima in Premium Business and Economy cabins.

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