Gastronomika 2020. Five days, five paths for the future


This really special edition of the congress in San Sebastián will be broadcast entirely on line to reach all four corners of the world free of charge.

San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country, the international doyen of gastronomic congresses is adapting to meet the new situation created by the Covid-19 crisis and will be holding its XXII congress using a new format, that will combine different kinds of live presentations and activities, with no in-person attendance, broadcast from mythical restaurants in the city through the new digital platform. This new venue will have various rooms in which activities will be offered at the same time as well as a digital exhibition space where companies will be able to display their products and get in touch with the people attending Gastronomika just as if they were in the same physical space.

Benjamín Lana, president of Vocento’s Gastronomy Division, the group that is organising the event, explained that “the sector finds itself at a real crossroads where it faces some decisive challenges to be able to pull through. A lot of unknown quantities are opening up for each person and company that form part of it, but a lot of new paths as well. At this year’s San Sebastián Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country congress we will try to rise to the challenge with imagination, new technological resources and a wide variety of alternatives so that we can show these pathways, bring together our huge gastronomic family and support them with all our strength and enthusiasm”.

After holding Gastronomika Live at the height of the lock-down, the first digital event to support the sector, with more than 40 sessions with chefs and experts from the sector from all over the world, San Sebastian Gastronomika – Euskadi Basque Country will be back in October remodelled as a congress, with more sessions than ever and with a lot of innovations. Gastronomika 2020 is swapping the Kursaal Centre for a virtual auditorium and is being extended so that it lasts for five days, and is also becoming, for the first time in its history, a congress that is totally free.

It will be possible to follow it in real time from anywhere in the world and it will be structured into five major trends that in turn form a unique opportunity to discover the diversity of international cuisine (the congress slogan is “Caminos-Bideak-Pathways”). Each day Gastronomika 2020 will be developing one of these subjects with the participation of the very best and most innovative chefs in the world

Andoni Luis Aduriz, Josean Alija, Hilario Arbelaitz, Karlos Arguiñano, Juan Mari Arzak, Eneko Atxa, Martín Berasategui, Pedro Subijana and Roser Torras –the congress technical committee- are waiting for you virtually in San Sebastián just like every year in October. This one, the crisis permitting, will be no exception.

Gastronomika's 2020 pathways

San Sebastián Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country ‘20 has been conceptualised around various emerging culinary themes that in turn shape possible paths to follow in the future; some of which are new and others are being revisited in the light of the times we are going through. All of them express an ambitious international programme over five complete days, each one of which is highlighted by a main theme to focus attention on that day.

Five pathways, five futures that go down five routes full of prospective challenges: the revival of “bistronomy”; the emergence of “black cuisine”; the importance of the local area in the Basque Country; the major challenges that the hospitality business is facing, or the socio-gastronomical twinning programme with Italy. Five productive areas to follow and develop in the near future. Let’s take the first few steps…

Bistronomy becomes “bistro-mania”

In these complex times modern bistros in our country have recently acquired a promising importance. The world of gastronomy is watching them, and is valuing more than ever their concept of preparing simple dishes but that really arouse the senses, their enthusiasm for local produce and organoleptic qualities and their gastronomic atmosphere. The congress will be analysing this “new” field in the restaurant business through testimonies and models that will provide the keys to follow a path that we can guess will be really exciting.

“Black Cuisines Matter”

Times of change, times to examine your origins. The “Black lives matter” movement is transforming the USA and the world, and Gastronomika is joining this by focusing on its gastronomy, the dishes cooked by black chefs –men and women-, a socio-culinary “new wave” that proudly champions its racial origins and culinary ancestors, and which the New York Times talked about a few months ago as it is changing cooking in the USA. Some chefs from the West Indies and the coasts of Latin America are joining in with this wave in a programme that will be analysing the contemporary emerging “black cuisine” in depth.

The Basque Country – present

The Basque Country as a centre of gastronomic innovation, which is cross-generational and creatively introspective, will also be another of the basic themes which San Sebastián Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country ’20 will inevitably revolve around. The very best chefs from the region will be attending the congress, and some of them will even be handing over their kitchens to house presentations and cook alongside foreign colleagues.

Gastronomy in the post-Covid era

More future paths: a day to take a look at how the restaurant business has changed in this period. They’ll be talking about the shock that the Covid crisis has meant for the restaurant world, the present situation of family businesses, the need for diversification, the set menu or the future of gastro-bars and tapas bars.

Twinning with Italy

Italy and Spain will be cooking together at San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country. There will be a day of activities devoted to Italy, one of the European countries that together with Spain, has been most seriously affected by the health crisis. That is why, at Gastronomika 2020 Spain will be twinning with Italy through some of the very best chefs from both countries, who will also be cooking together at two of the official congress dinners.





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