One year after closing her main restaurant, San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country will present its grand Tribute Award to the great Catalan chef Carme Ruscalleda.

Alain Ducasse’s right-hand man at Plaza Athénée (Paris), Denis Courtiade, will receive the Gueridón de Oro 2019, and Cristina Jolonch, the “Pau Albornà i Torras” International Gastronomic Journalism Award.

With less than three months to go before the event, and with registrations to attend and exhibit open, the San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country organisation has revealed the names and the reasons for its three main awards. Following on from Juan Mari Arzak on the 20th anniversary of the congress, the 2019 Tribute Award will go to San Pol de Mar (Barcelona) to be presented to the only chef in the world to hold up to 7 Michelin stars. Almost a year after closing the doors of the legendary Sant Pau, Carme Ruscalleda will take to a stage that she knows well as a presenter, on this occasion to receive the recognition of the sector and its people.

For the technical committee of the congress, made up of Andoni Luis Aduriz, Josean Alija, Hilario Arbelaitz, Karlos Arguiñano, Juan Mari Arzak, Eneko Atxa, Martin Berasategui, Pedro Subijana and Roser Torras, Ruscalleda represents “the ultimate example of how to translate a landscape and an intimacy into the finest of cultural and gastronomic stories. A symbol of the Spanish culinary revolution, this watershed moment in her career in 2019 makes her more than worthy of the great tribute from the congress”.

The Gueridón de Oro, the distinction that Gastronomika dedicates to the world of waiting and wine, will go this year to France in recognition of Denis Courtiade (Plaza Athénée, Paris). Alain Ducasse’s right-hand man since he started in Monte Carlo (and in all his subsequent restaurants) and son of restaurateurs, “Denis has been a star in what has come to be called the soft revolution of “French-style” service. With diplomacy as a backdrop, fine theatricalisation in front of the clientele, detailed teaching of younger generations in the dining room and the discreet insertion of new technologies in service, this “great” is the very metaphor of great service in the 21st century. Taking the baton from Lluis Biosca and Lluís Garcia (elBulli), who received awards in 2018, Courtiade will become the 2019 Gueridón de Oro in October.

The last great award of the San Sebastian congress, the “Pau Albornà i Torras” International Gastronomic Journalism Prize, will go to the Catalan Cristina Jolonch, not only for her work interviewing the great chefs for La Vanguardia, but also for having become “a high-voltage journalist who has covered all aspects of the field of gastronomy, with a deep knowledge of the world’s cuisines, a strong element of social responsibility and a unique journalistic intuition”.

The three awards will be presented on the stage of the Kursaal in San Sebastian during the congress. Ruscalleda and Courtiade will receive their awards on the first day, Monday 7, and Jolonch on Tuesday 8. The three of them will thus add their names to the illustrious list of those honoured by Gastronomika.

Previous award-winners at San Sebastian Gastronomika


Tribute Gueridón de Oro Award Gastronomic Journalism
2009   Josep Monje  
2010 Karlos Arguiñano Giorgio Pinchiorri  
2011 Luis Irizar Juli Soler  
2012 Nouvelle Cuisine Eusebio Arbelaitz  
2013 Francisco López Canis Josep Roca Óscar Caballero
2014 Pedro Arregui Didier Fertilati Pau Arenós
2015 Basque Culinary Center Abel Valverde Michel Ezquiaga
2016 Gastón Acurio Gérard Basset Xavier Agulló
2017 Michel Bras Louis Villeneuve Nick Lander
2018 Juan Mari Arzak Lluís García and Lluís Biosca Anthony Bourdain
2019 Carme Ruscalleda Denis Courtiade Cristina Jolonch

Gastronomika 2019 travels with Elkano on the 500th anniversary of his circumnavigation of the world

Between October 6 and 9, 2019, San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country will hold its 21st edition, commemorating the 500th anniversary of Juan Sebastián Elkano’s route when he circumnavigated the world for the first time. To this end, Gastronomika 2019 will also start with Elkano, in this case the Elkano Restaurant run by Aitor Arregui in Getaria, and then go down to Andalusia and set sail in search of flavours following the original route: the Canary Islands, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, the Philippines, Indonesia, before returning to the Basque Country.

The gastronomic tour will also feature illustrious guests from other parts of the world, as well as the finest constellation of Spanish chefs. To attend the presentations with tastings included (exclusive to Gastronomika), registrations are now open on the congress website (