Three unique trajectories will be acknowledged as prizewinners at this 25th anniversary of San Sebastian Gastronomika Euskadi Basque Countr.
The Homage Award goes to Ferran Adrià, the chef who led the last major gastronomy revolution. A revolution he has now transferred to research. The change of paradigm brought about by Spain's so-called gastronomy revolution has earned a place in the History books, and has elevated Ferran Adrià to something more than a famous chef, a genuine player in universal culture. He did not study at a university, but he holds three Honoris Causa doctorates, and has been guest professor at Harvard. Born in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona), Ferran Adrià had intended to go into business, but his eagerness to earn money to be able to spend a summer in Ibiza made him the most influential chef of all times. He started out washing dishes at the Playafels Hotel in Castelldefels, and then did his military service in Cartagena, working in the admiral's kitchen. These were the beginnings that would eventually lead him to elBulli. He started off as chef de partie in 1984 and, alongside the manager Juli Soler, went on to run it and become the most influential person in gastronomy in the last three decades. Among other awards, elBulli was declared the world's best restaurant on five occasions (four years running, the only restaurant to have done so - in 2003, and from 2006 to 2009).
This legendary kitchen was graced with leading names such as Joan Roca, René Redzepi, José Andrés, Andoni Luis Aduriz, and also Juan Mari Arzak, already a renowned chef, who wanted to find out what was cooking there. The spark that began it all was the disassociation of production from creation, giving chefs their 'own room', known as a workshop or laboratory. And also the eagerness to share every discovery with the world, breaking the mould of the traditional secrecy of previous cuisine, and lighting up a path for those who would tread it subsequently.
The "Gueridón de Oro" Award for the 25th anniversary goes to Jancis Robinson, the most influential woman in the world of wine for over forty years. The author of legendary tomes such as ‘The Oxford Companion to Wine’, ‘The World Atlas of Wine’ and “Wine Grapes” (the Bible of wine professionals), and also heading up a historic BBC wine series. As if all this were not enough, Robinson was the first woman who became a Master of Wine without actually forming part of the sector, and Decanter magazine has acclaimed her as the world's most respected wine critic and journalist. She is now adviser on the British royal family's wine cellar. She is a member of the Order of the British Empire, and has been writing a weekly column in the Financial Times since 1989.
The Pau Alborná y Torras Journalism Award goes to Rafael García Santos. The vitriolic gastronomy critic who lit the fuse of the gastronomy revolution has a sharp tongue and enormous culinary knowledge. García Santos is one of the leading gastronomy critics in publications such as ‘El Diario Vasco’ and ‘El Correo’, among others. The author of many books, he has also created and launched a large number of activities, such as the 'Vitoria Signature Haute Cuisine Competition', the 'Navarra Gourmet Vive las Verduras' Congress and ‘Lomejordelagastronomia’.