International chefs debate about biodiversity in Xochimilco

They discussed the role of gastronomy in society and nature
Photo: EFE
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Recognized international chefs and biodiversity experts met in Xochimilco, in the south of Mexico City, to discuss the challenges posed by the relationship between humans and other forms of life, and the role of gastronomy in preserving them.

Under the motto “Biodiversity, environment and society,” some 200 specialists from different countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, shared their experience, vision and testimonies from an interdisciplinary approach.

Some of the people who participated are the Argentine researcher Soledad Barruti; American Matthew Goldfarb, a specialist in sustainable production and seed preservation; and Cristina Franchini, an expert on humanitarian action at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The event also included chefs such as Gastón Acurio (Peru), Michel Bras (France), Dominique Crenn (United States), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan) and Joan Roca (Spain), among others.

The meeting was held in chinampas, artificial islands dated from pre-Hispanic Mexico used for the cultivation of flowers and vegetables, which are still used in the boroughs of Xochimilco and Tláhuac. 
One of the central themes of the symposium was "how gastronomy can contribute to the defense of biodiversity and how to propose organic alternatives" to industrial production methods, such as the cultivation of transgenic crops, told to EFE Sasha Correa of the Basque Culinary Center (BCC), based in San Sebastián (Spain).

The meeting, an initiative of Mexican chef Enrique Olvera and the BCC, closed the activities of the annual meeting of this institution dedicated to boosting gastronomy as a driver of socio-economic development.

Chef Enrique Olvera. Photo: EFE

On Monday, it was announced that Colombian chef Leonor Espinosa won the Basque Culinary World Prize for her work in favor of her country's indigenous people and biodiversity, BCC director Joxe Mari Aizega told EFE.

The award, consisting of 100.000 euros, was given to Espinosa in recognition of her work which links the countryside with the city, for her support of the indigenous and African American community in her country, as well as the promotion of biodiversity.

The Basque Culinary World Prize, which was announced in its second edition from Mexico, is an award promoted by the Government of the Basque Country (Spain) and the BCC to distinguish chefs with "transforming initiatives."


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