Hugely exciting news coming out from the team behind the World's 50 Best Restaurants award this month - the chance to win an exclusive, three-month double stage at both Mugaritz in San Sebastian and Atelier Crenn in San Francisco.
The inaugural 50 Best BBVA Scholarship is now open to aspiring chefs of 18 years or above with less than three years of cooking experience or those currently in culinary education. An outstanding prize waits at the end for the lucky chef emerging at the end of the three-stage judging process that will be overseen by the 50 Best team, host chefs Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, as well as representatives from BBVA.
Applicants have one month, between January 4th and February 6th, to register their applications, which they can do here.
Mugaritz, named the ninth best restaurant in the world in the 2017 '50 Best list', opened in 1998 and has been at the cutting edge of fine dining ever since.
Occupying an old country house in the town of Errenteria in Spain's Basque country; Mugaritz currently holds two Michelin stars, with Andoni Luis Aduriz one of the most creative and well respected chefs in the world. His menu is highly innovative to say the least, channelling age old flavours from the region to create an ever-changing, unique dining experience through a 25-strong tasting menu that aims to "feed the mind".
Loin of lamb smoked over eucalyptus and served with “its cultivated wool” was just one of the recent additions.
Atelier Crenn, with Dominique Crenn at the helm, came in at number 83 this year on the World's 50 Best list, and currently holds two Michelin stars.
Another creatively driven powerhouse, Crenn takes inspiration from the natural world and her own childhood growing up in Versailles in the creation of her highly original menu in the heart of San Francisco in the US, which includes truffled Iberico ham consommé around an island of smoked potato topped with squid, lardo and squid ink purée.
Chefs entering the 2018 Scholarship are not only up for the two stages with the two culinary masters, but also £1000 cash and two complimentary invitations to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 awards ceremony in Bilbao to receive the scholarship live on stage. Complimentary flights to all destinations will be provided by BBVA.
But what do you have to go through in order to win?
The first stage of the competition is a simple CV, which is filled out on the Scholarship website, with a reference from an employer/tutor.
From the applicants, a panel of judges will pick 20 finalists who will go on to the next stage of the competition.
Finalists will be asked to submit two separate videos of no more than two minutes each, with the first a demonstration of the dish of their choice and the second a piece to camera explaining their ‘food philosophy’, ambitions for the future and how the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship will create an opportunity to benefit their lives and careers.
Three finalists will then be selected, with the final stage a video interview between the 23rd March and the 10th April 2018. The winner will be revealed on 11th April.
Way of the Chef is in contact with the World's 50 Best and will provide material in the lead-up to the competition so stay peeled for stage advice, updates and even more stage experiences throughout the year! Who knows...we might even apply to the Scholarship!