Surrounded by the most important artistic proposals that he offers from his Nerua restaurant at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Josean Alija continues to follow a path of his own with a pure style of cooking based on the senses.
He studied at the Leioa Catering School at the age of 14, and was one of the youngest students in his class. A few years later with more experience he began to work in the kitchens at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in late 1998, but in 2000 a motorbike accident left him in a coma for 21 days. When he woke up, he had lost his sense of taste and smell, so he had to start again from scratch. He did so really quickly and immediately afterwards won the Best Young Chef Competition.
In 2011 he opened Nerua, which is also at the Guggenheim Musuem in Bilbao, where by revisiting Basque cuisine he has received a Michelin star and is ranked 32nd in The 50 Best Restaurants. Alija was also named Best International Chef by Identitá Golose in 2009 and received the Chef of the Future Award in 2011 from the International Academy of Culinary Arts.