We’ve spoken quite a bit about the Basque Culinary World Prize.  And we have done so because, as we never tire of saying, we believe it is a top-level positioning element for Basques in the world.  It joins together two of the most interesting topics in the world which also happen to be Basque strong points: cuisine and social commitment.

As we always mention, this award was set up by the Basque Government and the Basque Culinary Center in order to celebrate “a chef of any nationality who demonstrates how gastronomy can have a positive impact in fields such as culinary innovation, health, nutrition, education, the environment, the food industry, social or economic development, among others.

The idea of combining both of the elements to create this aware seemed to us simply brilliant.  And now this idea has been put into practice, and it must be said, as these things ought to be done: backed up with resources, giving an award that matches the goal and scope that was sought, with an effort to spread the word that has returned amazing results.  This can be seen in how the media from around the world, since the very first edition, has called this the “Nobel of Gastronomy.”

In 2021, Xanty Elías, from Huelva, was chosen for his work in increasing food education for boys and girls with his initiative, “Los Niños Se Comen el Futuro.”

As explained by Joan Roca, the president of the jury that awarded the prize, which had received over 1,000 nominations and 600 candidate this year:

“Xanty’s work reflects the interest that chefs in so many parts of the world have for finally making gastronomy a part of the education our society demands, sowing values in those who will be our future tomorrow to create awareness of the relationship between the true value food has as an indispensable part of life but also as a catalyst for culture, heritage, and identities.”

With his “Los Niños Se Comen el Futuro” initiative, Xanty Elías has, since 2018, been working to incorporate Gastronomic Culture as a subject into primary schools, convinced as he is of the importance of educating about the culture of cuisine and being aware of what we eat.

Nowadays, with the slogan “There’s nothing healthier than educating,” Xanty’s program is active in some 80 schools in Andalusia, in which almost 15,000 elementary students take part, as well as in 25 schools in underprivileged areas in the region.  Likewise, in September, he hopes to broaden his scope, entering into almost 130 schools in the Madrid region.

In addition to Joan Roca, the jury that handed out this year’s award is made up of some of the most influential chefs in the world: Elena Arzak, Gastón Acurio, Dan Barber, Massimo Bottura, Manu Buffara, Dominique Crenn, Trine Hahnemann, Yoshihiro Narisawa, and Enrique Olvera.  Beyond the award, it also gave special mentions to two other chefs to recognize their work: American chef Kia Damon and Brazilian Ana Estrela, recognized for their work in social integration.

Basque Culinary World Prize – 7/2021 – Euskadi

Edition 2021

Transforming society through gastronomy. A generation of international chefs have now expanded their role in society and redefined their profession by reaching a broader sphere of influence beyond the kitchen. All over the world, chefs have come to understand that they can use their knowledge, leadership, entrepreneurship and creativity to be part of the transformation of society.

(English) (Spanish) (Basque)  (Automatic Translation)

The Hindu – 22/7/2021 – India

Lo chef Spanish Chef Xanty Elias wins Basque Culinary World Prize 2021

 Shonali Muthalaly

The prize, which celebrates the social impact and transformative power of gastronomy, was awarded to him for his foundation Fundación Prenauta, which empowers children by teaching them how to cook and appreciate healthy, traditional food