Andoni Epelde
Restaurante Nerua (Bilbao)

Josean Alija (1978) has been able to cultivate his own style. Aroma, beauty, texture and flavour are what define Josean’s essential local cooking, which has been described by the chef Paul Bocusse as “one of the best cuisines he had seen in his life”.

Alija has been awarded numerous prizes such as, the Award for Best Young Chef in 2000, Best International Chef by Identitá Golose in 2009 and Award for Conceptual Innovation in 2010.

In the last few years he has worked on projects in parallel with his activity in the kitchen and has also collaborated on research into cancer prevention through food with Dr. Jesús García Foncillas (2008) and on actions to protect the environment, such as the “Green Purchasing” Day organised by IHOBE in 2009.

After opening his restaurant, Nerua, in June 2011, he has received his first Michelin Guide star and 3 Suns in the Repsol Guide. At the beginning of 2011 he received the Chef of the Future Award from the International Academy of Culinary Arts.

In 2015, the prestigious magazine, Restaurant, included Nerua for the first time in its list of the 100 best restaurants in the world. It went straight in at number 68. In 2018 it has gone up to 57th place.