This article was translated by John R. Bopp

Just the other day, July 24, the name of the winner of the third edition of the Basque Culinary World Prize was released: chef Jonk Zonfrillo, who was awarded for his work defending Australian aboriginal culture.  This prize was awarded by the Basque Culinary Center with the support of the Basque Government.

This Scottish-born chef has been living and working in Australia for the past 18 years.  Since his arrival in the country, he’s done major work defending the culture of the aboriginal peoples of Australia, especially working hard to maintain their culinary traditions.  For that work, done since 2016 via The Orana Foundation, he has received the award.

We’ve already explained, taking advantage of the launching of this initiative and previous editions, the strategic importance, from our point of view, of launching a prestigious award in a field where Basques are indisputable masters.  Likewise, we believe it was a good thing to create the Culinary Nation brand, as long as those running it know how to apply the knowledge and culinary reality to the whole of the Basque Country.

As we commented last year, with this award, every year a chef with a relevant social project wins an award, and alongside, so do all we Basques.  Knowing how to create a “culinary Nobel” that is intrinsically tied to the image of everything “Basque” is something for which someday we’ll have to sincerely thank those who had the idea and were able to get it going with such a high degree of projection and prestige since the very first edition.

We’re sure that in the next few days, we’ll come across multiple reports from all around the world about this award.  But since we’ve already started reading them, we’ll leave you with this preview of the award’s website telling of the winner.  It includes a video with the winner’s first comments (subtitled in Italian), along with two other articles about the award.

Jonk Zonfrillo, Zorionak!

Basque Culinary World Prize – 24/7/2018 – Euskadi


This Scottish chef is undertaking the task of preserving the memory of native peoples of Australia through their food. He has dedicated the last 17 years to discovering and defending this aborigine culture, excluded from the national culinary identity. During this time, he has visited hundreds of remote communities and documented the gastronomic riches that its inhabitants have shared with him, researching and experimenting in his Orana restaurant (recognized as Australia’s Restaurant of the Year 2017 by Gourmet Traveller) and using his media influence and international voice to show the potential that this culinary knowledge offers. With the philosophy of “giving back more than you receive”, in 2016 Zonfrillo launched the Orana Foundation, whose objectives range from supporting indigenous communities in the production and fair marketing of their products to the documentation of more than 10,000 native ingredients and the investigation of new uses. The project has taken significant strides in the last year identifying and analyzing the first 1,200 foods and forming a strong and multidisciplinary research team.

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Italia a Tavola – 24/7/2018 – Italia

Lo scozzese Jock Zonfrillo vince il Basque Culinary World Prize 2018

Èscozzese, ma di origine italiane, e risiede in Australia: qui difende la cultura delle popolazioni indigene australiane e si impegna nella salvaguardia della tradizione gastronomica aborigena. La sua proclamazione è avvenuta oggi a Modena, proprio “in casa” del nostro tristellato più celebre, Massimo Bottura.  Il Basque Culinary World Prize premia quei cuochi che migliorano la società attraverso la gastronomia, valorizzandone l’impatto su innovazione, istruzione, salute, ricerca, sostenibilità, imprenditorialità sociale e sviluppo economico.

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Repubblica – 24/7/2018 – Italia

Allo chef australiano Zonfrillo il premio per il miglior progetto sociale: valorizza i prodotti aborigeni

Il Basque Culinary World Prize valorizza l’impegno dei cuochi che si distinguono per attività sociali. È stato annunciato a Modena durante il convegno “trasformare la società attraverso la gastronomia”. In giuria anche Bottura.

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Food & Wine – 24/7/2018 – USA

Basque Culinary World Prize Winner Announced

The winner of the third annual Basque Culinary World Prize, which is given to a person who is “improving society through gastronomy,” has been announced: Scottish-born, Australia-raised chef Jonk Zonfrillo. Zonfrillo has received the honor for “championing the culture of the native peoples of Australia and safeguarding Aboriginal culinary tradition.”

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Jonk Zonfrillo by Jacqui Way
Jonk Zonfrillo by Jacqui Way

Last Updated on Dec 20, 2020 by About Basque Country

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