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Basque food, inspired by nouvelle cuisine in France, has laid the foundations for the innovative Spanish cooking of the 1990s and provided the Basque Country with a massive constellation of Michelin stars.

For all these reasons the Basque Culinary Center, due to open in October, seems apt: a university of food, inspired by the model of Slow Food’s centre in Bra, Italy, but keenly focused on science, innovation and the need to ensure that the Basque Country and Spain retain their global status as twin poles of contemporary haute cuisine. The board of directors comprises a multi-Michelin-starred roster of Basque chefs including Juan Mari Arzak (three stars), Pedro Subijana (three) and Martin Berasategui (six).

Located in a techno-park on the outskirts of San Sebastián, the BCC is housed in a curvilinear building by Vaumm Arquitectos looking vaguely like a stack of white plates. Its remit is to educate professionals, aspiring professionals and amateurs in the art of restaurant management and cooking science, with tuition pitched at all student levels. Waiters have their place too: the centre is advertising a course described as “Scenic Presence in the Dining Room: Elegance of Movement and Body Language”.

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