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Nominations open for the 2021 Basque Culinary World Prize

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Now in its sixth year, the prize recognises chefs who make a transformative impact beyond the kitchen, reports Tina Nielsen

Awarded by the Basque Culinary Center and the Basque government, the Basque Culinary World Prize (BCWP) highlights the work of chefs who make a positive impact in areas including innovation, technology, education, health, the environment and social and economic development.

Previous winners include Colombia’s Leonor Espinosa and Anthony Myint who was recognised for his commitment to fighting climate change.

Last year José Andrés was awarded the prize for his global and inspiring response to the pandemic through the pioneering World Central Kitchen.

Shining a light

“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,” says Joxe Mari Aizega, general director of the Basque Culinary Center.

“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 to connect with their communities, setting an example of cooperation and responsibility.”

The transformative power of gastronomy

A jury made up of influential chefs, academics and international experts from around the world, including Joan Roca, Dominique Crenn and Masimo Bottura, 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.

To date, around 500 chefs representing 42 different nationalities have been nominated. This year’s nomination period runs until 31 May 2021.

Nominations must be made through the Basque Culinary World Prize website: www.basqueculinaryworldprize.com

Tina Nielsen