Chef Fatmata Binta
Western-African chef Fatmata Binta won the 2022 Basque Culinary World Prize for promoting sustainable nomadic culinary culture and exploring the diaspora of Western African cuisine through her innovative pop-up project "Dine on a Mat".
Originally from Sierra Leone, Fatmata Binta, aka Chef Binta, has become a point of reference for nomadic and modern Fulani cuisine. The heir of the traditions of the largest nomadic tribe in Africa (with over 20 million people who move tirelessly through large territories), she’s committed to spreading the essence of this culture with her project "Dine on a Mat", a nomadic restaurant that has offered an immersive experience in three continents, showcasing the way of eating and interacting with food of the Fulani people. With her pop-up cuisine project, launched in 2018, Binta aims to present ancestral techniques, including the sharing of cereals, spices and most of all storytelling and conversations. “Dine on a Mat” allows her to transform the dining experience into a precious source of dialogue and understanding; of learning and sustainable practices.
The winner is nominated by a jury made of some of the most influential chefs in the world. This year, Binta was chosen with particular attention by the jury of the BCWP made of members of the International Council of the Basque Culinary Center, during the culinary summit which took place in Gerona under the name of “Comida que acoge” (Food that Welcomes), presided by chef Joan Roca (Spain, El Celler de Can Roca). Other important chefs are part of the jury such as chef Gastón Acurio (Peru), Michel Bras (France), Manu Buffara (Brazil), Mauro Colagreco (Argentina/France), Dominique Crenn (France/USA), Trine Hahnemann (Denmark), Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Pia Leon (Peru), Narda Lepes (Argentina), Elena Reygadas (Mexico) and Josh Niland (Australia).
The BCWP, having reached its 7th edition, continues to bet on the transformative potential of gastronomy, sharing inspiring projects of chefs whose positive impact goes far beyond food. In every edition of the award, with the choice of the winner and the commended projects, the BCWP takes the opportunity to send a message to the international community, showing the different areas in which a chef can have a positive impact on society. In 2021 the award highlighted the importance of educating future generations to a healthy diet. The BCWP continues now its mission, searching for examples of the transformative force of gastronomy.
On top of Binta, the jury awarded the activity of two more chefs who were commended:
● Douglas McMaster (United Kingdom) for the constant dedication to zero waste in gastronomy and for his pioneering project “Zero Waste Cooking School”.
● Edson Leite (Brazil) for focusing on the poor areas of Brazil and having created programmes of culinary training and personalised support for young people seeking a job opportunity through a training project called “Gastronomia Periférica”.
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso
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This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website www.identitagolose.com and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad
Leonor Espinosa and Fatmata Binta, both special guest speakers in the Auditorium at Identità Milano 2023: the Colombian chef will give a talk with her daughter Laura Hernandez on Sunday 29th January at 3.40 p.m.; the Sierra Leonean chef on Saturday 28th at 4.20 p.m.
Group photo for the speakers of 'Italy at the Basque Culinary Centre'. Left to right Gianluca Gorini, Luigi Dattilo, Paolo Marchi, Antonia Klugmann, Joxe Mari Aizega, Paulo Airaudo, Andrea Tortora, Richard Abou Zaki, Fabio Pisani, Pierpaolo Ferracuti, Franco Pepe. Only Federico Ceretto is missing
The second edition of Féminas, the International Congress of Gastronomy, Women and Rural Milieu organised by Vocento Gastronomía and promoted – by the Principality of Asturias - “to showcase and support women connected with the world of cuisine, the rural milieu and actively working to promote sustainable practices”. Identità Golose took part: here is our report