City seeks chefs to spread San Antonio flavor worldwide through UNESCO Chef Ambassador Program
Calling all local chefs! The San Antonio World Heritage Office is looking for culinary ambassadors to represent the city's diverse food traditions for a two-year term jam-packed with domestic and international festivals and media opportunities.
The opportunity is part of Alamo City being named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2017. Tucson is the only other U.S. city with the designation, which recognizes each urban center's distinct food culture, from local know-how of traditional techniques to the widespread use of indigenous ingredients.
Applications for the program will be accepted now until 11:59 pm on May 31 and are limited to working local professionals well-versed in various cuisines. Up to six chefs will be selected to reflect the distinct flavor of their hometown.
"San Antonio is a beautifully unique and diverse city that is the result of a confluence of cultures over time,' explains Colleen Swain, Director of the World Heritage Office, in a release. "We still see those influences today, especially in our city's gastronomy, and we want to see that reflected in the chefs who are selected to represent San Antonio as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy."
Previous chef ambassadors have included some of San Antonio's leading lights, including Lilla Bernal (Culinary Institute of America), John Brand (Silver Ventures), David Caceres (La Panadería), Kelly Daughety (Ox Hunting Ranch), Jesse "Chef Kirk" Kuykendall (Hotel Havana and Milpa), and Stephen Paprocki (Chef Cooperatives).
"This has been a great experience. I am truly blessed to be part of the ambassador program," said Paprocki, the San Antonio representative at the 2022 Pueblos del Maiz Festival in Tucson. "I have learned about other sustainable culinary practices from traveling, and I've met some amazing chefs and new friends throughout this process."
Paprocki will share his experience during a question-and-answer session at Chef Cooperatives, 11911 Crosswinds Way, on March 6 at 11 am. Aspiring ambassadors can learn details about the program and the application process. More information, including selection criteria, can be found online.
Once selected, the chefs will soon prepare for a whirlwind two years. Previous ambassadors have globetrotted through other UNESCO Creative Cities such as other creative cities such as Alba, Italy; Merida, Mexico; Tucson, Arizona; Queretaro, Mexico; and Gaziantep, Turkey.