Elena Arzak is the 4th generation of her family to run the kitchen at Michelin 3 starred Restaurante Arzak in San Sebastián, Spain. Schooled in the tenets of The New Basque Cuisine Movement championed by her legendary father Chef Juan Mari Arzak and the vanguard of Spanish cuisine which followed in the early part of this century, she is very much her own woman in the kitchen. She has established a method of collaborative creativity with her team which fuels the continuous innovation of Arzak’s Basque, research based, contemporary cuisine.
Elena attended Hotel and Restaurant Management school in Lucerne, Switzerland, broadening her culinary knowledge in great European restaurants such as La Maison Troisgros, Pierre Gagnaire, Carré des Feuillants and Le Vivarois in France, Louis XV in Monte Carlo, Le Gavroche in London, Antica Osteria del Ponte in Italy, and El Bulli in Spain, among others. She returned to the family restaurant in the 90s, worked her way through all of the stations while creating original dishes along with her father who continually supported and challenged her.
In May 2001, Elena was given the Chef de l’Avenir Award by the International Academy of Gastronomy. In 2010, the Spanish Academy of Gastronomy granted her the National Gastronomy Award. To top it all off, in 2012 she was the recipient of the World’s Best Female Chef Award.
Currently, Elena shares the helm at Arzak with her father, Juan Mari. They are co-chefs and collaborators. Their shared history, culinary knowledge, passion and enthusiasm defines the characteristic spirit of their world renowned restaurant.