The Basque Country is a famous gastronomic location, attracting foodies and gourmets at all times of the year. It has a concentration of award winning restaurants from the most traditional ‘asadores’ and ‘pintxos’ houses to the most avant-garde restaurants in the world. It is the home of Arzak, Mugaritz, Akelare and many other renowned addresses. With 25 Michelin stars in total, 3 restaurants with 3 stars, and 4 in the list of S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants, excellence at this level cannot be a coincidence. Art, film, music and design also have deep roots in the Basque Country. This is the place where Maurice Ravel, Cristobal Balenciaga, Paco Rabanne were born; style and forward thinking are in the Basque blood!
Now, the Basque country will be the first place in Spain with a University fully dedicated to gastronomy, involving all possible areas, from culinary arts to scientific and technological aspects. The idea for the Basque Culinary Center (BCulinary) in San Sebastian first saw the light of day in March 2009, when a group of influential Basque chefs and the Universidad Gastronómica Basque Culinary Center de Mondragón came together. One of the aims of the project is to turn the Basque Country and Spain into a "Mecca" for worldwide haute cuisine, combining training, research, innovation and transfer of knowledge and technology in all the different areas of food and science by establishing a University of Gastronomy and Culinary Sciences, and a Research and Innovation Centre.
The focus of the Research and Innovation Center will be on education and eating habits, social alimentary responsibility, eating trends, innovation, technology, and other aspects related to food production, and their impact in the society. The four year degree in Haute Cuisine will not only concentrate on kitchen and dining room practices, but also on business management, science, technology, culture and art. Research, communication and transfer of knowledge between universities, technology centers, the industry and public organisations will play a central role at BCulinary, aiming to stimulate the industry and help chefs to widen their expertise.
The president of BCulinary is Ferran Adrià and the ‘Ambassadors’ are: Massimo Bottura (Italy), René Redzepi (Denmark), Gastón Acurio (Peru), Yukio Hattori (Japan), Michel Bras (France), Alex Atala (Brazil), Heston Blumenthal (UK), and Dan Barber (US). Together, they are known as the ‘G9’. The official opening date of the Basque Culinary Centre was the 26th September 2011.
As England gets ready to reopen its restaurants on 12 April for outdoor dining after the lockdowns, restaurateurs and bar owners respond to the new legislation with some exciting pop-ups and creative al fresco dining solutions. Find out more.