Eneko Atxa Azurmendi
ENEKO ATXA. THE SUSTAINABLE HARMONY.
Azurmendi is a unique place and Eneko has made of that green hillside, the centre of a culinary ecosystem that works like a beating heart – a green heart. It is the heart of a circular economy that provides work to more than 60 people.
His work with small farmers in the area, the recycling and the usage of local products, and the preservation of autochthonous animal species that are in danger of extinction are some of the elements that defined Eneko’s passion for sustainability.
Azurmendi is the most sustainable restaurant according to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, but it is not only a title, it is linked to Eneko's respect for the environment, which is reflected in different ways, such as a smart building that regulates its room temperature through a geothermal heating and cooling system. Or in the daily delivery of merchandise by only one truck from its own logistic centre to control its carbon footprint, while making sure that all of Azurmendi's providers work according to this sustainable philosophy. He also compostes and reuse organic waste, collects rain water throughout the year, and even recycles ideas in what he calls the “Eneko system.”
Eneko is kind and humble but with a determined soul who elevates the human connection. He knows what he wants and the way he wants it. He builds it and pursues it every day in Azurmendi. This quiet Chef needs to be looked at twice carefully in order to be understood. When looking at him, not everyone is able to discover what’s behind him, not everyone that observes him is able to see deep down the layers of intellectuality, wisdom and hard work that are behind the front cover. His mantra : the path is what matters; the respect to his diner, environment and team, is always embedded in every conversation with him.
His cuisine – the perfect trilogy of flavour, texture and aesthetics – is rooted to the basque traditional cuisine. You can taste the flavours of homemade food and the stews made by his grandmother with every dish. He departs from this solid base to build textures and techniques to create outstanding dishes.
The strength of each dish is born from Eneko’s essence, the authenticity of its traditional flavour in order to honour what he defines as the highest potency of flavour. A cuisine that shares a story and gives the diner a gentle touch – it is a silent revolution with harmony and sustainability.
Eneko is the youngest chef in Spain to obtain 3 Michelin stars, a recognition that only 8 spanish chefs have earned. It is an achievement that is highlighted by making it to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants as the most sustainable restaurant in the world, and Best Restaurant in Europe according to OAD (Opinionated About Dinning). Eneko has also been awarded with the National Gastronomy award in 2015 by the spanish government and is part of the European’s Young Leaders.
- 1977 Eneko was born in the Basque Country.
- 2000 first prize in the third Spanish Young Chef Championship at the age of 25.
- 2005 nominated at the Pilpil Prize of basque cuisine for his innovative cuisine skills.
- 2006 nominated at the International Culinary Academic Conference of Madrid · Fusion up-and-coming restaurant division.
- 2007 obtained one star at the Euskadi Awards, in the restaurant division.
- 2008 received a Healthy Cook Prize at the Galicia Gastronomy Conference.
- 2010 received two Michelin stars.
- 2012 received three Michelin stars (for 5 consecutives years)
- MICHELIN GUIDE SPAIN & PORTUGAL
- 2017 received 3 stars
- THE WORLD'S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS
- 2017 Azurmendi ranked no.38
- Elite traveler World's Top 100 Restaurants Chart
- 2017 Azurmendi ranked no.1
- Top 100+ European Restaurants 2016 chart
- 2016 Azurmendi ranked no. 2.