The latest edition of the Basque Culinary World Prize has been awarded, this year to José Andrés. This award caters to chefs, who must be nominated by other industry professionals (e.g. food writers, suppliers, other chefs, etc.) to be considered. The Technical Committee then selects 10 finalists from among the nominees, choosing those people that, “all over the world and in different scales, [are] transforming society through gastronomy from different perspectives.” Both this committee and the jury are comprised of leading culinary experts. The winner receives 100,000 euros to be allocated to any initiative related to “the transformative power of gastronomy.”
This year’s winner is José Andrés, who runs a successful restaurant group called ThinkFoodGroup, with 28 restaurants, a food hall, 2 food trucks and stadium concessions in 10 cities across the globe. But his other claim to fame is his non-profit, World Central Kitchen (WCK), which he created a decade ago. The goal with WCK is to coordinate chefs around the world and mobilize them “to provide a global and cooperative response to a variety of emergency situations,” from natural disasters to health crises. From Haiti to Puerto Rico, Andrés has worked tirelessly to feed people in need and bring people together. He has also supported immigration reform and job improvements in the catering industry.