Bay Area Chef Wins ‘Nobel Prize for Food’ for His Climate Change Solutions
By Ryan General
July 18, 2019
A chef in San Francisco recently won an international award for his efforts in creating climate change solutions through the food he prepares.
Mission Chinese Food co-founder Anthony Myint was awarded the “Basque Culinary World Prize,” from Spain-based nonprofit Basque Culinary Center on Tuesday. The recognition, which also includes a €100,000 ($112,182) cash prize, is widely regarded as “the Nobel Prize for food.”
“Chefs have the potential to create significant cultural change,” Myint was quoted as saying.
In a post on Instagram, Basque Culinary Center congratulated Myint, highlighting his efforts in fighting climate change:
“He was selected for using gastronomy as an engine to tackle society’s most pressing challenge: climate change. By combining research and practical tools, Myint partners with restaurants to find bespoke ways to reduce their environmental impact. Through his ZeroFoodprint project @zerofoodprint , and the Perennial Farming Initiative @perennialfarming , Myint explores the cross section between restaurants and the environment. He advises food businesses on viable options to reduce their carbon footprint, and even go carbon neutral. He has convinced dozens of high-end restaurants around the globe to join his crusade for sustainability– including Noma (Denmark) and Benu (San Francisco).”
In partnership with the state of California, Mission Chinese implemented an initiative last year that created an optional surcharge on restaurant bills to help farmers pay for more environment-friendly farming practices, ABC7 reports.
“Farming can reverse climate change,” Myint explained. “Applying compost instead of using fertilizer, cover cropping, rotating crops, plowing less”
“And so now it’s just a matter of how quickly we can change the food system,” said Myint.
Myint says he now hopes that his award will bring attention to his efforts and help inspire other chefs and restaurants around the world.
Dominique Crenn, the famed three Michelin star restaurateur from San Francisco, was one of the judges who voted to award Myint the prize.
“It’s time now, not just to say I’m going to do better, but to be radical and to wake up,” Crenn said.
Myint’s award is the fourth time Basque Culinary Center has given out the world prize.
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