Young Dominican gastronomic talent begins specialization at a top Spanish culinary school

Elvis Hidalgo is taking a five-week workshop to perfect his culinary techniques at the prestigious Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian after having been the best performing student in the Diploma of Creative Cuisine, an initiative of businessman Danilo Diazgranados, taught by the INFOTEP School of Hotel Management, Gastronomy and Pastry.

Santo Domingo, June 2021 – After Elvis Hidalgo postponed his studies at the Basque Culinary Center in Spain due to the pandemic, today the 25 year-old student from San Francisco de Macorís is fulfilling his dream and attending classes at one of the most outstanding gastronomy schools in Europe.

Elvis has been attending the Culinary Techniques Improvement Training Program at the center based in San Sebastian-Donostia, in the Basque Country. It is a pioneering academic institution worldwide whose board of trustees includes eight of the best Basque chefs, such as Martin Berasategui, Pedro Subijana, Juan Mari Arzak, Karlos Arguiñano and Andoni Aduriz.  Its International Council also includes chefs of the stature of Ferrán Adriá, Michel Bras, Heston Blumenthal, Dominique Crenn, Joan Roca, Gastón Acurio and Massimo Bottura.

For five weeks, the young Franco-Macorisian will have the opportunity to consolidate his knowledge and acquire new skills in the preparation and presentation of dishes. He will also be able to experience a cultural exchange with cooking professionals from all over the world. This is an experience that will undoubtedly broaden his vision and allow him to grow professionally. 

“Having the opportunity to travel for the first time outside the country to a clear reference of international gastronomy is a dream come true. The first day at the school was a moment that will stay with me forever because, in addition to surprising me with its facilities, it was my first contact with people from all over the world who, like me, are food lovers. Yes, what I am experiencing teaches me that the sky’s the limit”, said the student from San Sebastian.

For his part, businessman Danilo Díazgranados, promoter of the experience, expressed the importance of continuing to promote initiatives that contribute to the development of the professional skills of young Dominicans in favor of the growth and consolidation of local gastronomy. 

“I believe it is extremely important to continue creating opportunities for young people passionate about local gastronomy who dream of continuing to make it known to the world. In the case of Elvis, I am proud of his perseverance and discipline to go further. Clearly, it is very important to help young people improve their technical skills in careers related to tourism to contribute to the economic development of the country,” said the businessman. 

Elvis Hidalgo obtained this scholarship at the end of 2019 after presenting the best performance in the Diploma in Creative Cooking, an initiative of Díazgranados and made possible with the organization and support of the INFOTEP School of Hospitality, Gastronomy and Pastry, located in Higuey, La Altagracia. This initiative, which lasted three months, involved 20 young people passionate about gastronomy who traveled from different provinces of the country to polish their skills and expand their culinary knowledge. 

Although Elvis’ trip was scheduled for May 2020, it had to be postponed due to the challenges of the pandemic.