The future of gastronomy talks about zero waste, fermented, plant-based, alternative protein, circular economy, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and sustainability. And if someone doesn’t like it, there is no choice, because as Dana Joher, founder of Ave Pastelería and one of the 100 Young Talents 2024, the award that has been awarded since 2020 and every two years by the Basque Culinary Center, said, “We are the future . If we don’t do it, who is going to do it?”

The winners, nominated through an open form, met on May 13 at a day held near the university to get to know each other and present their projects. Some start from family tradition and others have discovered their own path, many have made a mistake and have started again, others are gripped by impostor syndrome but all are clear about their dream and have decided to pursue it. But not at any price.

Lucía Gutiérrez, co-owner of the Lur restaurant in the Arganzuela neighborhood (Madrid) and the youngest winner, at 21 years old, defined the common feeling that she shares with the vast majority of participants in this edition of the award: “we want to make gastronomy something better”. Financial sustainability, in terms of the team and for the planet, is one of the aspects that the young talents have constantly highlighted throughout the day and, ultimately, one of their biggest concerns.

Although working in the sector is their greatest dream and they are putting all their effort, effort and capacity for sacrifice to achieve their goals, they know that you cannot cost them their physical or psychological health. And neither is friendship. “Is it too risky to start a business with a friend? Will we end up badly? ”Wasked the baker Aitor Galpasoro, from the Galpasoro restaurant (Gipúzkoa), and ignoring the typical advice, he set up his business with his best friend. Putting care at the center, today the restaurant is going from strength to strength and their friendship has been strengthened. The nineties song A tu lado, which La Picaeta chose to close the special podcast that it recorded in the auditorium of the Basque Culinary Center, and which several of the winners passed through, wanted to symbolize the new types of work relationships that they establish and for which the young people of the sector fight.

The stories of sector change are repeated: the winegrower Álvaro Loza (Briñas, La Rioja), part of the 14% of award-winning viticulturists, winemakers, winemakers, as well as producers of new drinks, sommeliers and bartenders, trained as a mechanical engineer until the wine called him; The food designer María Magdalena Villaseca (Barcelona-Copenhagen) began doing a kitchen internship at the Enjoy restaurant until her skills as an industrial designer led to optimizing the design of the restaurant in all its links, both for cooks and cooks and for clients. ; Miguel Galán (Extremadura), with experience in finance and stock markets, is today part of the board of directors of the Atrio Foundation.

Likewise, professions that have practically been (or are) on the verge of extinction are also those chosen by some of the young talents (born until 1993). Alfonso David Hidalgo (Jaén), born in a family of potters, turned from traditional and decorative ceramics towards the production of creative tableware for haute cuisine restaurants, such as Bagá, in which he uses stoneware and high-temperature firing. In this sense, 8% of the winners belong to the primary sector. The harshness of agriculture, fishing or livestock farming does not hold back the new generations. Juan Miguel Suárez, who says he grew up under a pepper bush, is an agricultural engineer and in addition to growing vegetables in his native Almería, he had the idea with his partner to disseminate the work of the field through his account @agrosuárez in social networks. “In Almería we do great agricultural work, but no one sees it, so we saw it necessary to make it known.”

Bakers and pastry chefs, both with their own bakery or as part of restaurant teams, also have a notable representation among the winners (9%), such as Paula Arrate, from Somos Bakery (Gipuzkoa), Adrián Ciaurriz, from Chocolate Academy (Barcelona) , Aitor Galpasoro, from the Galpasoro restaurant (Gipuzkoa), Francisco Manuel Misut Molina, from El Celler de Can Roca (Girona), Mónica Rebollo, from Desde 1911 (Madrid), Minitzen Rivera, from the Bardal restaurant (Málaga), Ingrid Serra, from I Desserts (Barcelona) and Graziano Tracchia, from the DiverXO restaurant (Madrid).

The 100 young talents award has been distributed between 57% men and 43% women, many of them entrepreneurs, such as Alba Aguiar, from the D’Leria restaurant (Villagarcía de Arousa), Lucía Arenzana, from Luk beer (Madrid, Iris Jordán, from the Ansils restaurant (Huesca), Lucía Gutiérrez, from the Lur restaurant (Madrid), María Egea, from the Frases restaurant (Murcia), Vicky Maccarone, from the Alapar restaurant (Barcelona) or Alba de Luca, from the Deluca restaurant (Marbella) Geographically, Catalonia leads the medal table with 20% of the profiles, followed by the Basque Country and the Community of Madrid.

The restaurant industry, which in previous awards took a high percentage of the awards, today occupies 33% and consists of varied profiles: bistro-type restaurants and haute cuisine restaurants are on the list, but also other types, such as the bar lunches in the Algemesí industrial estate, La Mesedora, which honors the Valencian ritual of esmorzaret.