2019 Basque Culinary World Prize
The Basque Culinary World Prize is an award for chefs (not for projects). To be considered, chefs have to be nominated by another professional currently working in the world of gastronomy – for instance, another chef, food writer or food supplier, or an institution. The BCWP encourages nominating chefs of any nationality, regardless of their level of fame or recognition (the members of both the Jury and the Technical Committee can not be nominated for the prize).
After receiving nominations from all over the world, our Technical Committee chooses 10 finalists: the Top 10 gives, each year, a representative selection of people who, all over the world and in different scales, are transforming society through gastronomy from different perspectives.
Then, the Jury gathers during the annual meeting of the Basque Culinary Center International Council to deliberate and select the winner.
The winner will have the chance to allocate 100 thousand euros to an initiative of his or her choice, which expresses the transformative power of gastronomy.
In previous years, the prize has been won by Jock Zonfrillo (BCWP 2018) for dedicating 18 years to discover and defend the ancient food culture of Australia’s native people, which has been largely excluded from the national culinary identity; Leonor Espinosa (BCWP 2017) for her work with indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities to transform their biological, cultural and intangible heritage into tools for socio-economic development; and María Fernanda Di Giacobbe (BCWP 2016), who has built a whole chain of education, entreprenuership, and economic development around Venezuelan cacao.
The members of the BCC International Council demonstrate the broad sphere of influence chefs can achieve when they transcend the conventional boundaries of their profession. Thus, this group is charged with selecting the winner with the help of leading international experts, and they can not be nominate for the prize. The International Council is formed by: Massimo Bottura (Italy), Joan Roca (Spain), Dan Barber (United States), Gastón Acurio (Peru), Ferran Adrià (Spain), Alex Atala (Brazil), Heston Blumenthal (United Kingdom), Michel Bras (France), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Rene Redzepi (Denmark), Dominique Crenn (France/United States), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan) and Trine Hahnemann (Denmark).
2019 WINNER ANTHONY MYINT
Through conviction, persistence and creativity, Anthony Myint uses cooking to tackle one of the most pressing challenges in today’s global society: climate change. Based in San Francisco, he leads initiatives such as ZeroFoodprint that draw attention to the environmental impact of restaurants and provides tools for chefs to reduce or eliminate their businesses’ carbon footprint, regardless of location. Over 30 influential restaurants from around the globe, such as Benu and Noma, have applied this methodology. Through The Perennial Farming Initiative, Myint has joined forces with the state of California to support sustainable agriculture practices.
“I started cooking because I believe restaurants can make the world a better place and becoming a parent seven years ago really inspired me to explore what chefs can do about climate change. Since then, scientists have confirmed that healthy soil and good farming can solve global warming! I’m truly excited that the Basque Culinary World Prize brings attention to the optimistic solutions in the food world, and I’m incredibly honored to represent what I hope is the beginning of a much larger movement. I believe that all of us across the food world – chefs, diners, farmers and policy makers – can come together to create a renewable food system.”
Anthony Myint– an acclaimed chef, restauranteur, author and food consultant– is using gastronomy as an engine to tackle society’s most pressing challenge: climate change. By combining research and practical tools, Myint partners with restaurants to find bespoke ways to reduce their environmental impact.
Through his ZeroFoodprint project, and The Perennial Farming Initiative, Myint explores the cross section between restaurants and the environment. He advises food businesses on viable options to reduce their carbon footprint, and even go carbon neutral. He has convinced dozens of high-end restaurants around the globe to join his crusade for sustainability¬– including Noma (Denmark) and Benu (San Francisco). In 2019 via the Perennial Farming Initiative, he also joined forces with the state of California to launch the Restore California Programme. The programme arms suppliers and consumers with transparent information on the environmental footprint of restaurants so they can make better informed decisions. All restaurants on the list can either be carbon neutral or support local farmers to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Equipped with a degree in Economics and Asian Studies, Myint– alongside his wife, journalist Karen Leibowitz– have incorporated environmental and social activism into their endeavors since Myint began his career with the acclaimed eatery Mission Street Food back in 2008.