After taste of ‘the brainy tongue’, Canberra chef heads to Azurmendi


After garnering years of experience working with leading celebrity chefs in Australia like Paul West (River Cottage), Adam Liaw (MasterChef), and Matthew Evans (Gourmet Farmer-SBS), Canberra chef Anshul Chandna is heading to Basque country to work at the three-Michelin starred Azurmendi.

Chandna, who shot to fame through the ‘Meet the Chef’ dinner events, which he was part of in his role as Executive Chef, University House at Australian National University in Canberra, says it was interacting with the various chefs that inspired him to chase his dreams.

Recently, he also completed a project known as The Brainy Tongue—a collaboration between the world’s top chefs and scientists, including Janice Wong and Heston Blumenthal.

“The Brainy Tongue Project explores the conceptual knowledge and understanding of food perception, through interactive seminars and experiments,” says Chandna, who migrated to Australia in 2007.

Finally, in mid-September, says Chandna, he ended up hearing from chef Eneko Atxa inviting him to come and work in his restaurant for the 2017 season.

Atxa runs Azurmendi in Larrabetzu just outside Bilbao, and has three Michelin stars and is ranked number 16 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

“It’s a chef’s dream come true,” he says, but adds he plans to return to Canberra.

“I plan to work with Eneko and hope to change my entire culinary vision by the time I come back to Canberra,” says Chandna, and adds that writing a book is also in the pipeline.


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