A great Basque task

(The Independent) “It’s a bit weird to be compared with Jamie Oliver,” says Xanty Elias, who recently received the Basque Culinary World Prize 2021 for his work addressing childhood obesity in his native Spain. “But we both want to change the mindset that isn’t just about fighting obesity but using gastronomy as a positive tool.”

The low-profile Spanish chef has long immersed himself in social projects that benefit his home community of Andalusia, focusing on the port city of Huelva where his Michelin star restaurant Acanthum was based. With the highest unemployment rate of any province in Spain, in 2017 he co-founded Fundacion Prenauta, a foundation with a start-up incubator that sources funding for the region’s entrepreneurs. But he quickly turned his attention to a more pressing subject: childhood obesity.

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