Imagine a world where you could find the best producer of eggs in Italy at the click of a button. That is what Eneko Atxa, chef of three Michelin star restaurant Azurmendi has set out to do this year.
Called the Best Farmers award, his dream is to give farmers and producers the importance they deserve. “Today, chefs are considers as rockstars but if we can achieve that for farmers, maybe the world will be a better place,” Eneko told Food and Wine Gazette in Larrabetzu.
“During 2018, I want to create a platform that gives visibility to the best producers in the world. I want to give the possibility to people to look for the best produce at the click of a button. The aim is that in every part of the world you will be able to look for the best producer of a given product,” Eneko said.
He is not leaving anything to chance. The Basque chef, who has made a name for himself for sustainability and for his new concept JAKIN(N) which looks at the restaurant in a holistic manner (see story here) believes that the people who select the best vegetable producer and then explain why the choice was made. “We will give a description of the product, information about the producer, when the product is in season, why it is sustainable, what packaging is used for customers and how it is delivered to end customers.”
The aim is for the best producers of the world to be presented on the digital platform which is likely to be called www.bestfarmers.eco. “My aim is that for once it will not be the chef whose at the forefront but rather the producer.”
To achieve his dream Eneko is building an artificial intelligence tool that will enable him to fulfil his dream. “We will have an international presentation of the digital platform later this way. We want to give the Label of Best Farmers of the year and it will not be the same person each year.”
Eneko will appoint what he calls commissioners to nominate producers. “I am the first commissioner and I am showing it to chefs around the world. There is a lot of interest in the project,” he said.
“I hope to be in a position to launch this award in May. It is ambitious, it is a dream but we are developing the concept so that we can fulfil this dream and create this platform,” he said.
Unlike chefs who have their own vegetable gardens, Eneko does not believe that this is a sustainable approach. “We need our local producers. With our garden we can give an indication of what we do but each producer specialises in growing their produce. We need to value their work because they are an integral part of the community and also important to supply the region with their produce.”