The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has appointed Chef Fatmata Binta and world-renowned Basque Chefs Martín Berasategi and Pedro Subijana as Ambassadors for Sustainable Tourism, in the framework of the 8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism co-organized with Basque Culinary Center (BCC).
With this nomination, the UNWTO underlines the importance of sustainable food systems, cultural preservation and capacity building as examples of the joint transformative potential of gastronomy and tourism for the development and prosperity of communities around the world.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili highlighted the combined potential of gastronomy and tourism: “It is a privilege to have world-renowned chefs join us today in our mission to advance the role of gastronomy and tourism for our planet and people, strengthening communities, fostering sustainable food systems and changing lives.”
Chef Fatmata Binta
Originally from Freetown, Sierra Leone, her extensive travels and collaborations with internationally renowned chefs have led her to promote responsible and sustainable consumption, especially in Africa, in collaboration with the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Her exceptional dedication has earned her international recognition, including the prestigious Basque Culinary World Prize (2022) and the Best Chef Rising Star Award (2021). She founded the Fulani Kitchen Foundation in 2020, which aims to empower women in rural Ghana through food security.
Chef Martín Berasategi
The chef from Gipuzkoa with the most Michelin Stars in Spain – 12 between seven of his restaurants – began his culinary career at the age of 15. He achieved worldwide recognition for a family business and continues to be an exponent of the best Basque gastronomy around the world while maintaining his commitment to healthy cuisine.
Chef Pedro Subijana
Considered a visionary in the sector, author of several books and with a cooking programme for Basque television, he is co-founder of the New Basque Cuisine movement. Since 1975 he has headed the Akelarre restaurant, which has held three Michelin stars since 2007.
In addition, chefs Subijana and Berasategi are trustees of Basque Culinary Center, underlining their commitment to culinary excellence and education.
The three new UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Ambassadors join other prominent figures, who in addition to gastronomy, represent culture, sport, the arts and philanthropy.
8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism
The 8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, to be held in Donostia-San Sebastian between October 5 – 7, 2023, will focus on how tourism can foster rural development, generate economic resilience and preserve cultural heritage, and on the connections between product, gastronomy and tourism.
This year’s Forum is organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Basque Culinary Center (BCC), with the support of the Basque Government, the Provincial Council of Guipuzkoa, the City Council of Donostia – San Sebastian and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain.