World's top culinary do-gooders shortlisted for €100,000 prize

Spanish chef Joan Roca chairs the Basque Culinary World Prize. — AFP pic
Spanish chef Joan Roca chairs the Basque Culinary World Prize. — AFP pic

BARCELONA, July 3 — Finalists have been announced for an award that recognises chefs who have had a transformative impact in the world beyond gastronomy, a group of trailblazers who hail from Australia, Denmark, Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Of the 140 chefs nominated for the Basque Culinary World Prize, a judging panel selected 10 people who demonstrated “how gastronomy could become a transformational force in areas ranging from innovation to education, health, research, sustainability, social entrepreneurship and economic development.”

They are among the world's biggest dreamers and do-gooders whose work in the kitchen is larger than simply creating a beautiful, Michelin-worthy meal.

For instance, there's Matt Orlando, chef of Amass restaurant in Copenhagen, who turns what would conventionally be considered food waste, into high-quality dishes.

“For Orlando, everything that a product offers has potential and it is the job of the cook (not the ingredient) to reveal this,” reads a synopsis.

Representing Congo and Germany, Dieuveil Malonga is shortlisted for his work as founder of Chefs in Africa, a networking platform that connects chefs with companies, hotels, restaurants and academies. More than 4,000 chefs have joined the network.

And Ebru Baybara Demir has also been recognised for her work in Turkey, which has taken in more Syrian refugees than any other country. Along with training Syrian and Turkish women to cook in refugee camps, her latest project has been to revitalize battered agricultural systems by recruiting unemployed women and reinstating traditional farming techniques. The aim is to empower women and enhance relations between Turkish and Syrian cultures.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of academic and culinary experts, including a professor of sociology, a social anthropologist and director of the Unesco's food, culture and development program, and the director of the science and cooking program at Harvard University.

The winner will be chosen by an international jury that will include some of the world's top chefs including Joan Roca, Gaston Acurio, Massimo Bottura, and Dominique Crenn.

They also receive a €100,000 (RM471,000) grant that can be used to advance a project or institution of their choice.

The winner will be announced July 24. — AFP-Relaxnews

Related Articles