Chef Francis Paniego of Echaurren Restaurant in Ezcaray (La Rioja) has just been awarded the prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) for Best Head Chef, that is given out every year by the Real Academia de Gastronomía (Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy).
Paniego, who was nominated along with Ángel León (Aponiente, Puerto de Santamaría, Cádiz) and Jordi Cruz, Ábac (Barcelona), adds this award to his Michelin Star, Chef Millesimé 2012 award and the Best Restaurant Award that he received from España Gastronómica in 2001.
Paniego has long been an active collaborator with the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) and particularly the Young International Chefs Scholarship Program. Since this program began, Paniego has hosted these international chefs in his restaurant. One of the most memorable placements in terms of our blog was that of Canadian Miles Pundasack-Poe, who frequently wrote about his experiences in Echaurren at the beginning of this year. He was succeeded at the restaurant by Ana Luz Cruz Ramírez of Mexico. Curiously, both Miles and Ana tied for second place in the year-end culinary competition.
Here are a few links back to Miles’s posts about his time at Echaurren:
And another from last year’s participant Christofer Johansson:
Congratulations to Francis Paniego for this great achievement!