French for 'new cooking', Nouvelle Cuisine was a term coined by food writers Henri Gault and Christian Millau, to describe the cooking of a series of chefs, notably Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel, Jean and Pierre Troisgros, Michel Guérard, Roger Vergé and Raymond Oliver, many of whom were once students of Fernand Point. The Nouvelle Cuisine movement proponents revolutionized cooking from the late 60s to the mid-80s by considering that food had to be enjoyed with all senses, not simply taste, therefore designing fanciful food presentations, calling for simplicity and elegance in cooking to favor the respect of the natural flavors of ingredients, lightening sauces and traditional dishes or advocating the use of new cooking aids such as the microwave.
Influenced by the ideals of Nouvelle Cuisine proponents, a series of Basque chefs, most notably Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro Subijana or Luis Irízar, embraced the concepts of the movement and applied them to traditional Basque cooking in the mid- 70s. A 'second wave' was composed of other noteworthy chefs such as Martín Berasategui or Hilario Arbelaitz, and were among the first Spanish chefs to achieve international recognition. Nueva Cocina Vasca embraced the seasonality of products, the use of lightening of sauces and their use only if they enhanced the natural flavors of products, the creation of visually stunning presentations and an attempt to make food "felt" with all the senses, not merely taste.