Andoni Luis Aduriz, One of The Brightest Minds In Gastronomy Today, Claims 50 Best Restaurants Icon Award 2023

Andoni Luis Aduriz, the famous chef behind Spain’s Mugaritz is honoured as the restaurant celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz shares the honor with all the dreamers who believe that things can be different; @The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – Icon Award 2023

Meet Andoni Luis Aduriz, the celebrated chef of Mugaritz in San Sebastián, Spain, who has just been named the recipient of the Icon Award 2023, ahead of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in June.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has announced the winner of this year’s Icon Award as Andoni Luis Aduriz, the visionary chef behind the renowned Mugaritz restaurant in San Sebastián, Spain. The Icon Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the culinary world, driving positive change and raising awareness within the industry.

Andoni Luis Aduriz is undeniably one of the most influential chefs of his generation. His culinary approach goes beyond mere evolution, focusing on creativity, innovation, and an interdisciplinary perspective. Aduriz’s culinary journey began with an after-school job at a pizzeria, and he later joined the prestigious El Bulli in 1993, an experience that he describes as life-changing. In 1998, he embarked on his own venture and opened Mugaritz, which has been listed in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants every year since 2005, including a ranking at No. 21 last year.

Aduriz is being honored with the Icon Award for his tireless efforts throughout his three-decade career to promote sustainable agriculture, reduce food waste, and foster a socially and environmentally conscious gastronomy industry. He fearlessly challenges long-standing culinary norms, rejecting industry dogma in favor of exploration and experimentation with food. Aduriz even questions the notion of whether dishes need to be traditionally “delicious” to hold value.

Situated on the borders of the Basque towns of Errentería and Astigarraga, Mugaritz’s name pays homage to the border (“Muga” in Basque) and the oak (“haritza”) that has watched over the region for two centuries. The restaurant prides itself on being a creative ecosystem, where inquisitive minds from the realms of science, arts, philosophy, and nutrition collaborate to push the boundaries of gastronomy. Aduriz describes Mugaritz as a research lab, using gastronomy as a medium to present their reflections and trials to all who visit.

@The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – Icon Award 2023; CopyrightLopez de Zubiria

Aduriz’s culinary prowess lies in his ability to transform ingredients in unexpected and imaginative ways. He incorporates pine needles to infuse dishes with a smoky flavor and uses soil as a seasoning. New additions to Mugaritz’s menu for 2023 include intriguing creations like “Face to Face,” an edible “skin” made with psyllium and cider, and “Bunch: Chives and Butter,” visually reminiscent of a giant communion wafer. These dishes coexist with more conventional treats like creamy cuttlefish, black shallot, and Idiazabal cheese.

William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, commends Aduriz as one of the most influential and beloved chefs of the 21st century. Aduriz’s constant pursuit of innovation and his ability to present a menu that is dark, thrilling, and unexpected while remaining exquisitely innovative have earned him this prestigious accolade.

Expressing his gratitude for the award, Aduriz acknowledges that being recognized as an “icon” is overwhelming and surprising. He humbly shares the honor with all the dreamers who believe that things can be different, those who dwell in uncertainty and seek references from individuals who have ventured down unconventional paths. Aduriz is grateful not only for himself and his team but also for the message they are sending to younger generations.

The Icon Award 2023 is voted for by the same gender-balanced Academy of experts that create The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking. It is one of several awards to be unveiled before the awards ceremony in Valencia. The program includes thought-provoking discussions at the #50BestTalks forum, collaborative dining events open to the public through the 50 Best Signature Sessions, a Chefs’ Feast showcasing the best produce and cooking from the Spanish region, and culminates in the highly anticipated awards ceremony.

Furthermore, renowned chefs from around the world will share their knowledge with local culinary students at a 50 Best educational event. The mission of 50 Best Restaurants extends beyond recognition and celebration; it aims to amplify diverse voices, promote positive messages, foster progressive discussions, encourage cross-border collaboration, and inspire greater exploration and discovery within the gastronomic realm.

@The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – Icon Award 2023