What is San Sebastián Gastronomika?

Every year in October, the Kursaal conference center fills up with chefs, foodies, gastronomy journalists, culinary hopefuls and students, and vendors. They all gather for one of Europe’s most important hospitality industry conferences: San Sebastián Gastronomika.

The food conference officially kicked off Sunday night in San Sebastián, and today was the first day of talks. The main chef talks are held in the auditorium pictured above, from the Instagram feed of Chef Diego Guerrero, who spoke this morning. It gets packed out, the attendees in the front rows lucky enough to try the dishes the chefs bring to demonstrate for the crowd; the rest sit back and listen to the presentations. Spanish chefs make a strong appearance, and generally there is a featured country or international chefs that round out the lineup.

There are also smaller events, like “Cocinando Con” and “Cocina Privada”, which are closed door events with a very limited attendance, where you get closeup and personal with some famous chefs. For the somms that get dragged along, “Wine Sessions” feature topics of interest.

Another draw for Gastronomika is the Market, held in the rest of the building. It’s where the schmoozing happens. Walk around, grab a snack, rub shoulders with your fellow cooks and industry pals.

All this happens each year, each year with a different focus, and this year’s 20th anniversary version is a jumble of big names. A few highlights of this year include:

  • an homage to Juan Mari Arzak

  • a visit from the chef du jour, Jose Andres

  • the first-ever ensaladilla rusa championship

For more information and to attend: https://www.sansebastiangastronomika.com