Larrabetzu, May 3rd 2017. Azurmendi becomes number one from the 100 Best Restaurants in the world according to Elite Traveler 2017. The list was released last night and it positions the 3 – star Michelin restaurant from Eneko Atxa as the best in the world, jumping from the second spot to number one and pushing Alinea who has lead the number one spot for 4 years.
Azurmendi and its journey to be number 1
Since 2014, when Azurmendi entered the list and reached spot number 7, Eneko Atxa’s restaurant has been making its way up and has also gained the recognition from Elite’s readers who last year positioned the restaurant on the second spot of the list.
“La casa” understood as “The House,” the way Eneko defines Azurmendi – is a unique place and the centre of a culinary ecosystem that works like a beating heart – a green heart. A restaurant that was born with the objective of preserving the environment and which has also been recognized as the most sustainable restaurant in the world according to the World’s 50 Best Restaurant.
Getting recognized in the middle of an international expansion
This recognition comes in a moment where Eneko’s cuisine is growing and expanding internationally. Eneko opened last year ENEKO at One Aldwych in London and he will add to his list ENEKO TOKYO that will open in September.
In addition to this, in a few days a new ENEKO restaurant will open in the same building of La Bodega Gorka Izaguirre, which is in the same complex where Azurmendi is located.
About Elite Traveler
Since 2013, Elite Traveler is a high end and lifestyle magazine that publishes the ranking of the 100 Best Restaurants in the World. The list is based by the votes received by its readers. During four years the number one spot was taken by Alinea fromChef Grant Achatz.
ENEKO ATXA. THE SUSTAINABLE HARMONY
Azurmendi is a unique place and Eneko has made of that green hillside, where Azurmendi is nestled, the centre of a culinary ecosystem that works like a beating heart – a green heart. It is the centre of a circular economy that provides work to more than 100 people.
The work with small farmers in the area, the recycling and the usage of local produce, 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 obsessions for taking care of the environment, and it can be reflected into different ways, such as: a smart building that regulates the temperature by itself through a geothermal system of heating and cooling which allows the warm and cold winds to enter the place. The daily delivery of the merchandise by only one truck from its own logistic centre to control its carbon footprint. As well as making sure that, all of Azurmendi’ s providers and vendors work according to its sustainable philosophy. The daily recycling and composting that is taken to centres where this compost is utilized. Also, the collection of rain water in rafts to be used during the entire year. They even recycle intellectual ideas on this unique “Enekosystem.”
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. Not everybody that looks at him are able to discover what’s behind him, not everybody that observes him are 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 guess the flavours of homemade food and the stews made by his grandmother on 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 DNA, 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.
Back in the day, Eneko was the youngest Chef in Spain to obtain 3 Michelin stars, a recognition that only 8 Spanish chefs have. It is an achievement that has shown evidence 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 he is part of the European’s Young Leaders.