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Indian chefs invited to nominate candidates for global culinary award

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London: Gastronomic professionals and institutions from India and around the world are being invited to nominate chefs for a USD 123,000 global culinary award given annually to highlight how cooking can be a powerful force for change.

The Basque Culinary World Prize, now in its third year, celebrates the impact gastronomy can have when chefs use their knowledge, leadership, entrepreneurial skills and creativity to generate changes within society.

The Basque Culinary World Prize is organised and promoted by the Basque Culinary Center (BCC), a leading academic institution in gastronomy, and the Basque government under the Euskadi-Basque Country Strategy. It is an annual achievement award that celebrates a chef of any nationality who demonstrates how gastronomy can be a powerful force for change.

The organisers said this week that they were particularly keen to receive nominations from India due to its tradition of chefs involving themselves in projects that transform society. The gastronomic boom of recent years has placed an international spotlight on chefs. “In India, there is a long tradition of this work, which is why we invite everyone in the Indian gastronomic community to nominate an inspiring chef who can claim concrete achievements beyond the kitchen”.

In the first two years of the prize, India was conspicuous by its absence from the top 10 finalists, although Indian-Canadian chef Joshna Maharaj made to the finals in year one. An interdisciplinary jury made up of influential chefs, academics and international experts select each year’s winner, choosing a chef whose work embodies the ethos of the prize: to transform society through gastronomy.

The winner receives USD 123,000, which he or she will devote to a project of their choice that expresses the transformative power of gastronomy. Gastronomic professionals and institutions will be able to nominate chefs for the 2018 prize until May 31 via basqueculinaryworldprize.com.

The 2018 winner will be chosen in July from 10 finalists by a jury made up of members of the Advisory Board of the Basque Culinary Center. In 2017, the Basque Culinary World Prize was awarded to Colombian chef Leonor Espinosa for her FunLeo project, a foundation that promotes “gastronomy for development”.

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