The third generation of his family to occupy the Arzak restaurant since 1897, Arzak is a champion of his region’s traditional cuisine and has contributed to what is now commonly known as New Basque Cuisine.
Having taken over the restaurant in 1966, Arzak has received much praise for turning the restaurant into a landmark of both national and international gastronomy.
He now runs the restaurant with daughter Elena at his side, who was also shortlisted to receive the inaugural Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award, eventually losing out to Anne-Sophie Pic of Maison Pic in Valence, France.
William Drew, editor of Restaurant magazine, which organises the awards, said: “To announce good news to two of the world’s great chefs, Anne-Sophie Pic and Juan Mari Arzak, is a huge pleasure for me, the team at Restaurant magazine and the Electrolux World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. Both awards – Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef and the Lifetime Achievement Award – recognise those who have reached the top in what must be one of the world’s toughest trades. We wish both Anne Sophie and Juan Mari continued success.”
Arzak joins the likes of past winners Joel Robuchon, Gualtiero Marchesi, Paul Bocuse, Albert and Michel Roux, Exkart Witzigmann and Alice Waters.
He will be presented with his award at the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Awards ceremony held at London’s Guildhall on 18 April.