In fact, this blog originally started as an outlet for the scholarship recipients’ own thoughts and experiences here in Spain as participants in this prestigious program, which started in 2007 for the purpose of creating an international network of professionals who have first-hand experience with the range and quality of Spanish gastronomic products and culinary techniques.
Therefore, I think that from time to time it’s important to remember that the experiences of the young international chefs that participate in this culinary internship program don’t end when their edition of the program is over. Rather, the ultimate objective is for them to return to their home countries and work to increase the recognition and demand for Spanish products and cooking styles in their home countries.
Fortunately, the success of this unique ICEX program and the achievement of this goal has been proven time and time again. Take former ICEX chef Jeff Weiss, for example, whose experience in this program in 2009 inspired him to write the recently released tome Charcutería, the Soul of Spain. Or 2013 participant Geneva Melby, who returned to her native Seattle to host a six-course Spanish dinner based on what she had learned during her time in Spain.
Now, the latest news from a former ICEX chef comes from 2013 participant Rafal Wojtasik, who is getting ready to launch an ambitious Spanish tapas project in his native Poland.
Congratulations to all the ICEX chefs, past and present, and we look forward to hearing more from you in the future!