San Sebastian Gastronomika – Euskadi Basque Country 2020 will broadcast its most special edition free of charge on the internet from October 5th to 9th.
Some of the best restaurants in the Basque Country will become the setting for an edition that pays tribute to Italian chefs, the ‘Black Cuisines Matter’ movement and the cooking using their wrists favoured by the heterodox.
Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam, an activist with restaurants in Africa and America, is the latest addition to a list of over 70 presenters.
We know the dates (from October 5 to 9), the themes (Italy & Spain, Post-Bistronomy, Black Cuisine Matters, Future Paths and Haute Cuisine With Regard to Local Areas); the modus operandi (digital streaming after registration) and the mission (to help the sector and shed some light on the paths to come). We are ready for the most special edition of San Sebastian Gastronomika – Euskadi Basque Country; the longest and featuring the most presentations, the first 100% online and free. With more than 70 stars. From Ferran Adrià to Bittor Arginzoniz, including the young Ghanaian master of African cuisine Selassie Atadika, rice lover from Harlem, JJ Johnson, oenologist Louise Bryden from Maison Ruinart and sommelier Txomin Rekondo, winner of the Gueridón de Oro Award at the congress. In total, there will be more than 60 activities and more than 70 presenters spread over five days of live gastronomy. A television programme that will last more than 50 hours.
Spanish chefs will be well represented.
As a mainstay of Gastronomika, the best national chefs will of course play a part at this major congress, even in these strange times brought about by the pandemic. Basque masters Andoni Luis Aduriz, Josean Alija, Hilario Arbelaitz, Elena Arzak, Eneko Atxa, Martín Berasategui and Pedro Subijana will again act as hosts (this time even more so, as some of them will give up their restaurants for the presentations of other colleagues) and will be accompanied by friends that include Bittor Arginzoniz, Ángel León, Paco Morales, Quique Dacosta, Pablo González Conejero, María Gómez, Javier Olleros, Pablo Loureiro and Diego Schattenhofer.
Those chefs who seek visual contact with their customers and prefer more direct, immediate cuisine in which creativity is no longer the most important thing will also be at Gastronomika using the kitchens of their Basque colleagues in the section on heterodoxy. Pedro Sánchez (Bagá*, Jaén), Rafa Peña (Gresca, Barcelona), Nino Redruello (Fismuler, Madrid), Iván Domínguez (NaDo, A Coruña) and Sacha Hormaechea (Sacha, Madrid), are all outsiders who will discuss business models with a culinary personality and moderate prices on Tuesday. Some of them are also featured in the documentary ‘Cocina de muñeca’ (Cooking With Your Wrist), which will premiere at this year’s San Sebastian Gastronomika – Euskadi Basque Country and which also includes the following Jordi Vilà (Alkimia*y Alkostat Barcelona), Carlos Torres y Elisa Rodríguez (La Buena Vida, Madrid) and César Martín (Lakasa, Madrid).
Large international presence
To celebrate our twinning in solidarity with Italy, Carlo Cracco (Cracco*, Milan), Caterina Ceraudo (Dattilo*, Strongoli), Pietro Zito (Antichi Sappore, Montegrosso), Matías Perdomo (Contraste*, Milan) y Gennaro Esposito (Torre del Saracino**, Vico Equense) will be at Gastronomika 2020. Maura de Caldas (Colombia), Selassie Atadika (Midunu, Accra, Ghana), JJ Johnson (FieldTrip, New York, USA) y Pierre Thiam, the latest chef to be added to the “Black Cuisine Matters” section, will also be there to explore the theme of origin and roots .
Thiam is a multi-disciplinary chef and artist from Senegal, who spends most of his time in New York. Known for elevating the cuisine of West Africa to world-class cuisine, he runs the award-winning restaurant Nok by Alara in Lagos, Nigeria, and cuisine in the five-star Pullman hotel in Dakar, Senegal. Thiam is also the executive chef and co-owner of Teranga, an informal fast-food chain in New York, and is known for his work with his company Yolélé Foods, helping small farmers in the Sahel to open new markets for African crops.
Another topic that the congress will reflect on will be the challenges facing the profession in the post-Covid era. To do this, Gastronomika will be joined by British chef Clare Smyth (Core by Clare Smyth**, London), the best chef in the world in 2018, Colombian chef Miguel Warren, (Barcal, Medellín), who won the Best New Chef Award at Bogotá Madrid Fusión 2019; Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino (ámaZ, Lima), and Spanish chef Marcos Fernández, who currently resides in the UK and is managing director of the Iberica Group, which has a number of restaurants there.
The 1st National Chickpea Completion
The two classic competitions at Gastronomika have been joined by another one this year. Narru (Bilbao), Txitxardin (Lasarte, Gipuzkoa), Balcón del Pirineo Ordesa (Buesa, Huesca), Saizar (Usurbil, Gipuzkoa), Pura Brasa World (Barcelona), Verum (Málaga), Casa Lola (Tudela, Navarre) and Asador El Esquinazo (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) are the restaurants that will take part in the 11th National Grilling Competition, the longest running competition at Gastronomika. Surtopía (Madrid), Chinchín Puerto (Caleta de Vélez, Málaga), Bar Fénix (Murcia), Hidalgo 56 (San Sebastian), Bar Nerva (Málaga), La Guisandera de Piñera (Madrid), Pan de Cuco (Suesa, Cantabria) and Petit Comité and Xerta Tapas, both in Barcelona, will compete in the 3rd National Russian Salad Competition – San Miguel.
Finally, in the new competition, the 1st National Chickpea Competition – Tierra de Sabor, chefs Víctor Martín (Trigo, Valladolid), Diego López (Pascuais Eventos, Lugo), Txema Martínez (Bodega Amposta, Barcelona), Xosé Gonzalez (Ceibe, Ourense), Pedro Martino (Pedro Martino, Caces, Asturias), Germán Carrizo (Fierro, Valencia), Charo Carmona (Arte de Cozina, Antequera, Málaga) and José Ignacio Herraiz (Raff San Pedro, Cuenca) will fight it out to be the first winner.
Stars involved in activities
Despite the fact that the congress will revolve around more than fifty virtual presentations with live cooking, San Sebastian Gastronomika – Euskadi Basque Country has programmed additional activities to run in parallel in which the richness, variety and trends offered by our cuisine in the different autonomous communities and food companies can be appreciated.
To explain all this, Sergio Humada (Txitxardin, Lasarte), Dani López (Kokotxa, San Sebastian) and Rubén González and Jon Urrutikoetxea (Hamabi, Pamplona), among others, will talk about oysters; Pablo Franco, director of the Regulatory Council’s Control Body and Fernando Salamero, president of the DOCa Rioja Regulatory Council, will guide us through a historical tasting of Rioja, and the oenologists from Maison Ruinart, Louise Bryden and Caroline Fiot, will explain how rosé champagne is made.
Extolling the virtues of Basque produce will be Roberto Ruíz (Hika Gastronomiko, Villabona), Francisco Carrasco (commercial director of Carrasco Ibéricos) and Jon Eizaguirre (managing director of Exclusivas Mardu); promoting Castilian products will be Jesús Sanz (co-owner of Quesos Campoveja) and Juanjo Losada (Pablo*, León); and looking at marine products, particularly bluefin tuna, will be Mario Sandoval (Coque**, Madrid), Hideki Matsuhisa (Koy Shunka*, Barcelona) and Alberto Durá (Angle**, Barcelona), as well as Martín Bersategui. Luis Arrufat and Alfredo Taboada, from the Basque Culinary Center, and Rebeka Barainka, chef at Galerna (San Sebastian), will also be taking part in the event to showcase traditional Basque cuisine.
Three major awards
The Tribute Award for a person’s career will be received this year by the Asturian chef based in Washington, José Andrés, for his humanitarian work and his permanent commitment to charity; the Gueridón de Oro will go to Txomin Rekondo, qwho has one of the best wineries in the world at his restaurant in San Sebastian, and the “Pau Albornà i Torras” Gastronomic Journalism Award will be presented to journalist Ignacio Medina for his contribution to gastronomic journalism in Latin America over the past ten years. The three will appear on the virtual stage of Gastronomika to receive congratulations and make a toast to a special congress, which will once again bring together the great family of gastronomy around one table, even if it is virtual.