Xanty Elías wins the Basque Culinary World Prize 2021

Xanty Elías with his award.
Xanty Elías with his award.

Spanish chef Xanty Elías has been awarded the Basque Culinary World Prize 2021 for his work on food education for children through his initiative "Los Niños se Comen el Futuro" (Children Eat the Future). A jury chaired by chef Joan Roca, made up of some of the world's most influential chefs and international experts, selected the winner.


The prize, endowed with 100,000 euros, will promote Xanty Elías' initiative "Los Niños se Comen el Futuro", whose mission is to educate in the culture surrounding cooking and consumption and to promote a new generation of conscious consumers.

Through his project "Los Niños se Comen el Futuro" he has been working since 2018 for the incorporation of a cross-cutting subject of "Cultura Gastronómica Solidaria" as a subject of education in healthy eating in primary schools in Spain, convinced of the importance of educating in the culture around cooking and conscious consumption. The innovative programme, which has already won national and international awards, thus promotes a new generation of conscious consumers, which not only benefits young people but could also have an impact on society as a whole over the years.

Presentation at Tabakalera
Presentation at Tabakalera

For a gastronomy of solidarity

In the words of the winner, Xanty Elías: "Being the first chef with an award-winning Spanish project is a real dream come true, which gives us visibility and reinforces our goal. And it is in that goal where we are going to invest all the prize money in increasing the number of children trained in a culture of solidarity and conscious gastronomy, we couldn't be happier. We hope that society will understand that gastronomy is born in each one of us from a young age, generating a multiplying value in society".

Xanty Elías was chosen as the winner by a jury made up of some of the world's most influential chefs and experts. Chaired by chef Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), it also included other renowned specialists such as Elena Arzak (Arzak Restaurant), Gastón Acurio (Acurio Restaurants), Dan Barber (Blue Hill), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana), Manu Buffara (Manu), Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn), Trine Hahnemann (Hahnemanns Køkken), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Narisawa) and Enrique Olvera (Pujol).


"I want to increase the number

of children trained in a culture

of solidarity and

conscious gastronomy".

A transformative initiative

The Basque Culinary World Prize was launched in 2016 to provide testimonials on how gastronomy can be a transformative force, highlighting the work of enterprising men and women with a vocation for excellence; innovative and creative people; tenacious, but above all, committed to their society.

Since then, the award has received more than 900 nominations from 42 countries, with nearly 600 chefs nominated. To be considered for the award, chefs had to be nominated by another professional currently working in the world of gastronomy.

As in previous editions, in 2021 too, for three months, industry professionals and institutions nominated chefs from all over the world who demonstrate that gastronomy can be a driver of change in different fields.

Committed to society

On 15 July, the Basque Culinary World Prize announced Xanty Elías as the winner of the Basque Culinary World Prize 2021, and also made two special mentions, reiterating its interest in making current challenges visible and identifying profiles of enterprising chefs with a vocation for excellence, as well as innovative, creative and tenacious chefs, committed to their community and who set an example of the inspiring and contagious phenomenon of gastronomy.

For this reason, in addition to Xanty Elías, the jury recognised the work of two other chefs by awarding special mentions to Kia Damon (USA), for fighting for contexts of equality, for diversifying the references who stand up for this sector and for making the talent of normally excluded groups visible, and to Ana Estrela (BRAZIL/ITALY) for socially inserting people through cuisine.

In each edition, the Basque Culinary World Prize, through the winner and the special mentions, takes the opportunity to send a message and for the international community to perceive the different areas in which a chef can contribute value, and in this edition, it has done so by highlighting the area of food education, as well as areas of social integration linked to immigration or the diversification of talent.

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