Indian chefs invited to nominate candidates for global culinary award

The 2018 winner will be chosen in July from 10 finalists by a jury made up of members of the Advisory Board of the Basque Culinary Center.

Published: 16th March 2018 06:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2018 06:17 PM   |  A+A-


LONDON: Gastronomic professionals and institutions from India and around the world are being invited to nominate chefs for a USD 123,000 global culinary award given annually to highlight how cooking can be a powerful force for change.

The Basque Culinary World Prize, now in its third year, celebrates the impact gastronomy can have when chefs use their knowledge, leadership, entrepreneurial skills and creativity to generate changes within society.

The organisers said this week that they were particularly keen to receive nominations from India due to its tradition of chefs involving themselves in projects that transform society.

"The gastronomic boom of recent years has placed an international spotlight on chefs.

Much of this attention and increased status is precisely because chefs around the world now take part in projects that have an impact on society," said Joxe Mari Aizega, director of the Basque Culinary Center.

"In India, there is a long tradition of this work, which is why we invite everyone in the Indian gatronomic community to nominate an inspiring chef who can claim concrete achievements beyond the kitchen," he said.

In the first two years of the prize, India was conspicuous by its absence from the top 10 finalists, although Indian-Canadian chef Joshna Maharaj made to the finals in year one.

An interdisciplinary jury made up of influential chefs, academics and international experts select each year's winner, choosing a chef whose work embodies the ethos of the prize: to transform society through gastronomy.

The winner receives USD 123,000, which he or she will devote to a project of their choice that expresses the transformative power of gastronomy.

Gastronomic professionals and institutions will be able to nominate chefs for the 2018 prize until May 31 via

The Basque Culinary World Prize is organised and promoted by the Basque Culinary Center (BCC), a leading academic institution in gastronomy, and the Basque government under the Euskadi-Basque Country Strategy.

It is an annual achievement award that celebrates a chef of any nationality who demonstrates how gastronomy can be a powerful force for change.

The 2018 winner will be chosen in July from 10 finalists by a jury made up of members of the Advisory Board of the Basque Culinary Center.

In 2017, the Basque Culinary World Prize was awarded to Colombian chef Leonor Espinosa for her FunLeo project, a foundation that promotes "gastronomy for development".

"Winning the Basque Culinary World Prize in 2017 gave voice to communities which have been fighting for years to gain recognition for value of their ancestry and their contribution to the national cultural identity. It helps us to break the silence generated by armed conflict, injustice and exclusion," said Espinosa.

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