#50BestTalks: The world’s top chefs discuss the life cycle of their food and their careers in San Sebastián
On Sunday, as part of the celebration of the upcoming unveiling of 2018’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Miele hosted the first in a range of #50BestTalks at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastián. Featuring some of the world’s best culinary talent – including five chefs from the top 50 – the event, Life Cycle, explored exactly that: the journey of food from the minds of the chefs to the mouths of the customers. The lineup, interviews and live demonstrations offered a rounded insight from figures at the very top of the food chain.
Though we hardly needed the pick-me-up, the day started with a coffee and a reception at the culinary center. From here we began an incredible programme which opened with Gestation, featuring Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca, Spain), Gaggan Anand (Gaggan, Thailand) and Eneko Atxa (Azurmendi, Spain). As part of a panel discussion with Farm Africa CEO Nicolas Mounard, the chefs addressed the charity’s Chefs for Change initiative, each of them charting the entire journey of one of their dishes, from the fields and oceans to the plate.
Next up was Birth, featuring the Clare Smyth of one of London’s top restaurants, Core. The UK restaurateur, newly titled best female chef 2018, celebrated her national produce by taking us through one of her innovative signature dishes in which British vegetables reign supreme. Smyth also discussed what it was like to step away from her mentor Gordon Ramsay and begin her own solo venture in 2017.
From here we were taken from the kitchen and back onto the farm as Dan Barber of New York restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns discussed his pioneering project with Row 7 seed company, which aims to provide flavoursome fresh produce around the globe. The US chef, winner of the Highest Climber award last year at No 11, also discussed his contribution towards lowering food waste and his aim to cause a revolution in the US agricultural system.
From America to Asia, our next talk was Understanding featuring Paul Pairet of Ultraviolet, China. The chef, owner of one of the most avant-garde restaurants in the world, spoke about his reinvention and reinvigoration of the dining experience, explaining how it is the job of the cook to keep their food in constant evolution.
And finally, dessert came in the form of Indulgence, hosted by Christina Tosi, founder of Milk Bar. The US Masterchef judge spoke about the evolution of her career and the success of her company whilst giving us a taster of some of her favourite treats. There was also a screening of clips from Tosi’s recent appearance on popular Netflix series Chef’s Table.
The editorial unit
Videos: Filippo L’Astorina / Laura Denti