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News: Dieuveil Malonga, founder of Chefs in Africa, in the top 10 list for € 100,000 Basque Culinary World Prize 2018

Dieuveil Malonga, born in the DRC and raised in Germany, is one of the 10 chefs named in the final list of the Basque Culinary World Prize.

LONDON, UK, UK, July 3, 2018 / -- Dieuveil Malonga, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and raised in Germany, is one of the 10 chefs to have made it to the list of the Basque Culinary World Prize.
Other than Malonga, chefs from Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Peru, Spain, Turkey, the US and the UK were named today as Top ten finalists for the Basque Culinary World Prize 2018, an award for trailblazing chefs whose work has had a transformative impact beyond gastronomy. The announcement was made at an event at Enrique Olvera’s Cosme Restaurant in New York City, which is listed in World´s 50 Best Restaurants.

With over 140 chefs nominated from over 42 countries, this year the prize received the largest pool of applicants to date. To be considered for the award, chefs had to be nominated by another professional currently working in the world of gastronomy - for instance, another chef, food writer or food supplier, or an institution.

Born in the Congo and raised in Germany, this young chef took advantage of the fame he achieved through participating in Top Chef (France) to showcase and support African gastronomic talent. With his Chefs in Africa platform, founded in 2016, Malonga advises chefs and apprentices and puts them in contact with companies, academies, hotels and restaurants that might recruit them or offer grants. Its objective is to offer an opportunity to all young people with a vocation for cooking, like he was himself, so that they can overcome the barriers they currently face, such as lack of training, employment and discrimination. More than 4,000 chefs from African countries or in the diaspora have joined this network. Institutions such as the World Tourism Organisation and UNESCO support its work.

Now in its third year, the prize is organised and promoted by the Basque Government under the Euskadi-Basque Country Strategy and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC), a world leading academic institution in gastronomy. In 2016, the prize went to Venezuelan María Fernanda Di Giacobbe, who won for her Cacao de Origen project in Venezuela, and in 2017 went to Leonor Espinosa for her Funleo project, a foundation that promotes "Gastronomy for development".

The winner, who will be chosen by an international jury comprised of the world’s most acclaimed chefs and experts in different aspects of food culture, will be announced on July 24th during the eighth annual meeting of the Basque Culinary Center International Council in Modena, Italy.

The Jury will be chaired by Joan Roca (Spain) and will include celebrated chefs such as Gastón Acurio (Peru), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Manu Buffara (Brazil), Mauro Colagreco (France), Dominique Crenn (USA), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan), and Enrique Olvera (Mexico). Leonor Espinosa, the BCWP 2017 winner, will also join the jury, together with experts in other disciplines such as food writer Ruth Reichl, director David Gelb, food historian Bee Wilson and interior designer Ilse Crawford.

The winner will be awarded €100,000 to devote to a project or institution of their choice that expresses the ethos of the prize: to transform society through gastronomy.
During the presentation of the ten finalists, Bittor Oroz, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy in the Basque Government, said:

“This award, which is part of the comprehensive Euskadi - Basque Country Strategy, aspires to associate values shared by Basque society such as the culture of effort, commitment, a “can-do” mentality, a dedication to innovation and competitiveness and equal opportunities for women and men, with the image of the Basque Country and make it our calling card at an international level.”

Joxe Mari Aizega, Head of the Basque Culinary Centre, said:

“We are delighted about the diversity of the profiles in areas such as innovation, education, environment, social and economic development and health. They all reflect – in their own way and context – the chefs’ commitment to society and give gastronomy an interdisciplinary dimension. They are inspirational stories for the industry and we are extremely excited to share them.”

These ten chefs reflects a movement started by pioneers including Ferran Adrià, Gaston Acurio, Dan Barber, Heston Blumenthal, Massimo Bottura, Claus Mayer, Jamie Oliver, Rene Redzepi and Alice Waters, amongst others.

Ishara Bhasi Callan
Apollo Strategic Communications
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