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EBRU BAYBARA DEMIR, FIRST FEMALE CHEF TO WIN NOBEL OF GASTRONOMY!

In a remarkable achievement, chef Ebru Baybara Demir has been awarded the prestigious Basque Culinary World Prize (BCWP) 2023, often dubbed the Nobel of Gastronomy. This recognition marks a significant milestone as she becomes the first Turkish female chef to bring this esteemed accolade to Türkiye.

Demir’s triumph stems from her outstanding gastronomic projects implemented in Mardin, where she has not only supported social development and biodiversity but also made substantial contributions to cultural integration. Her unwavering dedication to culinary excellence, coupled with her exceptional initiatives, has earned her this highly coveted title.

One of her notable endeavors involved leading relief efforts following the devastating earthquakes on Feb. 6. Beyond this, for over two decades, Demir has been at the forefront of addressing pressing issues such as refugee integration, the impact of climate change on the land, and social development through gastronomy-focused projects. Her tireless efforts and groundbreaking solutions have earned her the admiration and respect of the culinary community.

Expressing her gratitude, Demir stated: “I extend my heartfelt thanks to the jury who deemed me deserving of the Basque Culinary World Prize, often regarded as the Nobel of the gastronomy world. This award serves to emphasize the profound impact that food and cooking have on people’s lives and societies. I learned this valuable lesson 25 years ago when a group of women placed their trust in me, igniting a journey that would shape my life. Since then, my mission has been dedicated to initiatives that harness the power of food to benefit individuals, the environment, and society, completing the life cycle from soil to plate and back to the soil.”

Joxe Mari Aizega, the general director of the Basque Culinary Center, lauded the winners and said: “We received nominations from 800 talented men and women representing 42 countries. This year, we continue our commitment to professionals like Ebru, Nicole and Heidi, who strive to address the evolving needs of our time. Their inspiring stories and experiences demonstrate how they harness the social impact generated in their kitchens, entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and creativity to contribute to social integration, sustainability and gastronomy education.”

The BCWP, known as the “Nobel of Gastronomy” in global media, is celebrating its eighth edition this year, aiming to amplify the transformative power of gastronomy and highlight the inspiring narratives of chefs who utilize their culinary expertise beyond the confines of the kitchen. Generously presented by the Basque government and the Basque Culinary Center, the 100,000 euro ($107,400) prize will be utilized to support the winning chef’s chosen project, further fostering culinary innovation and societal impact.

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About İsmail Uğural

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