Eneko Atxa is one of the brightest stars in the younger generation of Basque chefs. His restaurant, Azurmendi, was the first in Biscay to win two Michelin stars. He has won several awards, including “Chef of the Future” and has appeared in countless media, all the way to Gourmet magazine.
David de Jorge
Michelin Stars: none yet, but he’s a TV star
David de Jorge is the right hand of Martín Berasategui and a genuine media beast. He tries to claim a natural and -in his words- “no-bullshit” cooking style for everyday’s life. He also hosts one of the most promising spanish cooking TV show these days, from behind Restaurant Martín Berasategui.
At the Zuberoa Restaurant, Hilario Arbelaitz offers a flavoursome, imaginative cuisine with strong contrasts, using the finest local products. Hilario sets out to woo diners with his exquisite creamy dishes and his cuisine might be considered to mark the highest level of gastronomic craftsmanship.
Student of the renowned master of chefs Luis Irizar, has managed to highlight his restaurant Akelarre with highest honors at prestigious gastronomic guides. His role as culinary master has been equally prolific in both European and American institutions and on television where he has recorded more than 1400 shows since 1992.
Over the next week, we’d like to introduce you to the people who make up the jury for BasqueStage. They are distinguished chefs, and in previous rounds have included such notables as Thomas Keller and Juan Mari Arzak. They are tastemakers not just in the Basque Country culinary scene, but also on the worldwide stage.
Today, we will introduce you to the president of this year’s jury and the chef who currently hosts BasqueStages, Martín Berasategui. Over the following days we will present the remainder of the jury, so stay tuned for a roster of some of the region’s most talented cooks.
Sammic Scholarship Jury President
After a lifetime dedicated to restoration, seasoned with awards and international recognition, Martin is one of the cornerstones for understanding contemporary cuisine.
As Sponsor of BasqueStage, he has been entrusted to lead the jury in the task of assessing the candidacies and selecting two young chefs that will be awarded with Sammic Scholarships.
In between famous chefs and up-to-the-moment tastings of their latest plates, Marco and Cameron have been hanging out in the Sammic San Sebastián Gastronomika booth. They’ve been sharing their experiences using Sammic machinery with the attendees of one of the the world’s biggest and best food conferences.
They’re also spreading the word about BasqueStage to the top chefs passing through. Heston Blumenthal, Grant Achatz, Alex Atala, Andoni Luis Aduriz: they’re all here.
If you’re in the neighborhood, make sure to drop by the Sammic booth and talk firsthand to two of the luckiest, most talented young cooks around!
It’s an exciting time of year for chefs in San Sebastián, and across the world. It’s November, which means….San Sebastián Gastronomika! This is a world class conference that tracks the latest in the food industry. It’s limited to insiders: journalists, cooks, chefs, manufacturers. For this reason, it maintains a prestigious reputation.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to be hosting the world’s foremost food conference in the land of Michelin stars. San Sebastián boasts the most Michelin stars per person, and so every year’s conference there are guaranteed to be a smattering of culinary heavyweights. Why? Because they’re local. Chef like Martín Berasategui, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Arzak, Subijana…the list goes on and on.
These and other chefs from around the world gather to share the latest trends, knowledge and gossip. It’s not to be missed, and Sammic, Marco and Cameron are all there. More from the front lines to come….
Yesterday was a big day. Chef Martín Berasategui gave a great speech at San Sebastian Gastronomika, which we tweeted live and at the end of which the names of the winners of I Sammic Scholarship were announced.
The organizers are proud of each one of the candidates and the demanding jury studied the best of them. But only 2 had to be the Winners, and at last we heard their names:
We are getting everything ready to welcome them. At the same time, BasqueStage team is already planning the next edition of Sammic Scholarships. If you did not win this time or did not manage to apply for the first edition, stay alert for 2nd Sammic Scholarship contest!
Starting today and until next Friday, we would like to inform you about each Chef jury memberfor the 2010 Sammic Scholarship. They will be ultimately deciding who are the two lucky winners that get an all-paid stage at Martín Berasategui’s restaurant in Lasarte, Spain.
As you probably know, Chef Berasategui himself will be announcing these two winners next Monday, 22nd of november, during the international congress San Sebastián Gastronomika. We are doing our best to give you all a comprehensive coverage of the congress itself and Martin Berasategui’s intervention and announcements.
Everyone involved with this project, from the staff members of Basque Stage, Chef Berasategui and his team and all 33 candidates and respective friends & families are excited to know the final veredict.
This decision will not be taken lightly and, as you will see these next days, led by Chef Berasategui, seven of the world’s most influential Chefs will be involved in deciding who makes it to San Sebastian starting January 2011.
So please, stay tunned these next few days and learn with us about these star Chefs, their backgrounds and their relationship with San Sebastián and Basque Stage.
Given the extremely high quality of the received candidacies it is not easy task picking up the winners of the 1st Sammic Scholarship among all the 33 candidates.
There are so many variables to consider that selecting 2 winners out of 33 is even harder than we had originally anticipated:
- The résumé gives us an insight of academic and professional background.
- The Essay shows us motivations and communication abilities.
- The Video reflects their culinary techniques, creativity and personality.
Finally, the candidates’ presence and activity in Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc) allows us to understand their networking scope, interests and quality of their productions. To all these variables we have to add each one of the jury member’s personal criteria and opinions, which add up to a really complex algorithm.
At this moment, each member of the jury member is individually studying each candidacy. Before the end of this week, they will all meet up and try to narrow the list down to the two winners. These two winners will be announced by Chef Martín Berasategui himself next Monday, November 22nd at the San Sebastian Gastronomika Culinary Congress and will start their Basque Adventure in January 2011.
Meanwhile, we will try to keep you updated. You should follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also enjoy all the submitted videos in our website and comment them in the video channel that we’ve prepared in Vimeo. We’ve had a great time watching all these videos.