In the world of gastronomy, there are those who cook good food and there are those such as Mariá Fernanda Di Giacobbe, who cook food and improve society while doing so. The Venezuelan chef is the inaugural winner of the Basque Culinary World Prize.
A panel of internationally renowned chefs selected De Giacobbe, from a shortlist of 20 finalists. Thanks to her social projects such as “Kakao” and “Cacao de Origen” she stood out against 110 other chefs from over 30 countries. As Chair of the Prize Jury, Joan Roca explained that De Giacobbe’s work as “an inspiring project that exemplifies the great reach of gastronomy.”
With her winnings of €100,000 that can be presented to a project or institution of her choice, the award demonstrates how society can benefit from gastronomy. When asked about her win, the chef said “From now our work will take on a new dimension. We will bring the transforming power of trade to many more women ‘chocolate entrepreneurs’. “
She added that “This award is a reflection of hundreds of entrepreneurs, producers and chocolatiers and their learning, enthusiasm and hard work. It allows us to set new goals and open up new ways to connect with the world. We in Venezuela are tremendously grateful that the Basque Culinary Prize has placed this trust in us.” The award was the brainchild of the Basque Culinary Center (BCC), an internationally recognized academic institution in gastronomy as well as the Basque Government.