Gastronomika returns for 2022 focusing on the UK: United Kulinary and life beyond London
“United Kulinary” is the slogan for the 24th San Sebastián Gastronomika Euskadi Basque Country food industry congress, this year a nod to gastronomy’s ability to unite cultures beyond politics and the United Kingdom. It will run from 2nd to 5th October this autumn, with a packed programme of activities. The world’s longest standing gastronomy congress will be showcasing the gastronomy panorama of the UK – which remains something of a mystery outside of the nation’s capital. There will also be Spanish chefs operating in the British island in attendance to explain their experiences and the success of Spanish products among the British people. Among the Spanish lineup of speakers are José Pizarro, Nieves Barragán, Quique Dacosta, Nacho Manzano and Dani García.
Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio is also on the initial list of confirmed speakers, along with Albert Adriá, Andoni Aduriz, Paulo Airaudo, Ricard Camarena, Benito Gómez, Lucía Freitas, Josean Alija, Begoña Rodrigo and Nandu Jubany. The programme features a grill symposium with the likes of number one Latin American grill master Pablo Rivero.
United Kulinary will showcase the fact that cuisine is alive and well outside London; the name highlights the industry’s potential to unite cultures. Registration is now available to follow the talks live online and in person, as well as take part in the other activities staged at the venue. This year features the return of the auditorium in the exclusive tasting area for presentations by speakers on the main stage.
UK cuisine, which has historically been enriched by its relationship with Commonwealth countries such as India and Pakistan, along with contributions from French, Chinese, Italian and Turkish cuisine, continues to absorb cultural, culinary and technical influences from all over the world – an example of gastronomy with no borders (despite the UK’s apparently increasingly insular political stance). The United States, Mexico, the Middle East and a number of Caribbean countries now form part of this hybrid configuration of new British gastronomy, represented at San Sebastián Gastronomika 2022 by some of the most interesting and groundbreaking chefs.
It’s a welcome from the people of the Iberian Peninsula to their counterparts from the UK, confirming the regions’ close links with one another and their various styles of cooking. The bond is demonstrated by the millions of British tourists who choose Spanish destinations for their holidays and acknowledge the importance of gastronomy when making their decision. Year by year this relationship pushes up the number of UK visitors seeking to gain an understanding of the Basque culture via the important facet of its gastronomy, while also immersing themselves in territory’s nature and rich heritage to gain an appreciation of its traditions. The role played by San Sebastián in this relationship of British tourists with gastronomy is also on the up and up year, by year, and recently The Times declared Donostia “best foodie city” ahead of another 15 capital cities worldwide.
United Kulinary will be a meeting point for the new British cooking formats, emphasising the philosophy of sharing and cooperating. The cuisine of the Basque Country is this year represented by the star cast of chefs mentioned earlier, plus appearances by Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch, Albert Adrià and more.
Exhibiting expert Gastón Acurio is the Peruvian chef who persuaded an entire country that gastronomy was the instrument that would help them retrieve their pride and identity, lighting the fuse to throw Latin American cuisine into the modern arena. The cooking of Argentinian chef Pablo Rivero has succeeded in turning a modest local grill in Buenos Aires into the best restaurant in all of Latin America on 2020 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Rivero, lauded as Latin America’s best grill master, will demonstrate the magic of flame in the kitchen, and his particular observance and understanding of the relationship of cookery with fire – the ultimate symbol of gastronomy. given its ability to transform foodstuffs.
The 24th Gastronomika’s featured Spanish chefs and entrepreneurs, who in the last 20 years have taken their cuisine to conquer the United Kingdom, include a number of big names. Pizarro, an ambassador of Spanish cuisine in the UK, has lived in London for more than 20 years; Barragán currently heads up the UK’s only Spanish restaurant with a Michelin star; and Dacosta, Manzano and García run their own businesses on British soil, contributing to making London (Europe’s most international and universal capital) home to the largest number of top-notch Spanish restaurants in the world.
San Sebastian Gastronomika Euskadi Basque Country became the world’s first international gastronomy congress 23 years ago. Its goals are to boost state-of-the-art and cutting-edge culinary and gastronomic knowledge, and showcase trends and processes in the world of haute cuisine. The 24th edition will (interestingly!) also be the venue for the National Russian Salad Championship, the Chickpea Cuisine Championship and the Grill Championship, going out live via the official congress website, where observers have tuned in in recent years from more than 100 different countries.
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Gastronomika: United Kulinary will run from 2nd until 5th October 2022 in San Sebastián. For further information or to register visit here.