Thomas Keller, one of the world's leading chefs, to take the San Sebastian Gastronomika 2022 Homage Award


Keller is one of the ultimate personalities in the history of cooking, an example for all chefs seeking excellence.

Thomas Keller (California, 1955), the United States' best chef and one of the ultimate personalities in the history of cooking, will be taking the Professional Career Award at San Sebastian Gastronomika Euskadi Basque Country 2022. The US chef is to the US what Joël Robuchon was to France in the 80s. Keller, a true neoclassical maestro, is an example for all chefs seeking excellence. He was the first and only US-born chef born to win three Michelin stars in two restaurants simultaneously, and the first US chef to be designated a "Chevalier" of the French Legion of Honour. His businesses are located in the most fascinating places to eat nationwide, among which his two flagships: The French Laundry, in Napa Valley, and Per Se, in New York. In his tireless search for perfection, no item or detail in his recipes can be more or less important than any other. The San Sebastian Gastronomika Euskadi Basque Country prizewinner thus adds to his list of countless awards, including the Culinary Institute of America's "Chef of the Year" and the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur” Awards. He holds an honorary Doctor's in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America, and has sold more than 1.5 million copies of his six cookery books.

The programme expands

With one month to go before San Sebastian Gastronomika Euskadi Basque Country, the programme is expanding to include another leading UK chef, Scot Isaac McHale, chef and owner of the two-star The Clove Club in Shoreditch, London. McHale was born in northern Scotland and grew up in Glasgow, a city in which he learned a great deal about cookery as he served his time, before he upped sticks to broaden his horizons in Sydney (Marque) and Copenhagen (Noma). He went back to England to continue his training with Tom Aikens in Elystan Street, before joining the original Brett Graham team at The Ledbury, where he worked for six years and earned two stars.

Post-The Ledbury, McHale founded the “Young Turks” with Ben Greeno and James Lowe, and ran a number of experimental pop-up restaurants and nightclubs with them in London. In 2013 he seized the chance to open The Clove Club, a restaurant that has finally consolidated the Scottish chef with his own brand of cuisine and chiefly organic ingredients, clearly showing the influence of his time at Noma.

His is another name on the list of UK chefs from outside London who will be at the Kursaal: Roberta Hall-McCarron, from The Little Chartroom restaurant in Edinburgh; Daniel Clifford, from the MidSummer House restaurant in Cambridge, with two Michelin stars; and the celebrated Simon Rogan from L'Enclume de Cartmel, with three of the red guide's stars. Chefs from a number of different communities in the UK, who will be explaining their experiences and the idiosyncrasy of a cookery format that has historically been enriched thanks to its relationship with countries forming part of the Commonwealth, such as India or Pakistan, or contributions by French, Chinese, Italian or Turkish cuisine.

Other awards

During the world's longest standing gastronomy event, José Polo, sommelier at the Atrio restaurant in Cáceres, will be taking the "Gueridón de Oro" Award for best floor service. San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country will also be handing over the Pau Albornà Award for the promotion of gastronomic culture to Sarah Jean Evans, a British writer and journalist and an expert on Spanish wines and sherries, Master of Wine, assistant editor of the BBC's Good Food magazine, a founder member of the Academy of Chocolate, and the fourth woman to join the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino. Evans, who writes the Spanish wine section in Hugh Johnson's Wine Guide, is one of the world's leading wine experts.






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