As patron of the Basque Culinary Centre (BCC), the D.O.Ca. Rioja is actively cooperating in the university training of future chefs, as well as in various educational and research projects. The BCC recently held its first graduation ceremony of its Degree in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, the first in Spain. To this purpose, its International Advisory Council, composed of several of the most influential chefs in the world, met at BCC headquarters in San Sebastian. The Council chair, Ferrán Adrià said that discussions were very enriching and announced a new online platform to promote the new professional dimension of contemporary chefs and the creation of an international award to be presented annually to a chef who has made an extraordinary contribution to the profession.


The advisory body chaired by Ferrán Adrià also includes René Redzepi (Denmark), Joan Roca (Spain), Heston Blumenthal (United Kingdom), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Michel Bras (France), Gaston Acurio (Peru), Yukio Hattori (Japan), Dan Barber (United States), Enrique Olvera (Mexico) and Alex Atala (Brazil). The Board of Trustees of the BCC consists of the chefs Eneko Atxa, Pedro Subijana, Juan Mari Arzak, Martin Berasategui, Karlos Arguiñano, Andoni Luis Aduriz and Hilario Arbelaitz.

The 54 students (19 women and 35 men from very different backgrounds) who completed the Degree in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts have become the first university graduates in gastronomy in Spain. Since its launch in September 2011, the Basque Culinary Centre has been training professionals to lead restaurant kitchens and businesses across the world and also to manage companies in the food industry. It is an innovative university education, adapted to the European Higher Education Area, based on four pillars: cross-curricular subjects (all students study cooking, service and waiting, business management, culture and science); hands-on training (70% of the total class time); personal development and team work. The Basque Culinary Centre consists of the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences of Mondragón Unibertsitatea —the first Spain— and a Food and Gastronomy Research and Innovation Centre.

The Control Board of the D.O.Ca. Rioja joined the Board of Trustees of the BCC in 2014 with the firm conviction of promoting synergies between the two institutions and the primary goal of developing projects in the areas of training, research and promotion. For Rioja —the only Designation of Origin among the seven trustees— Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts are an essential travelling companion in the pursuit of international success for its wines.