In recent years, the restaurant industry has stood out as one of the most creative sectors in constant search of innovation and excellence. It is precisely in situations like the one we are currently experiencing on a global scale, with the COVID-19 crisis affecting our economy, society and environments in an unprecedented manner, that hotel and restaurant owners and chefs from all over the world are demonstrating their firmest ever commitment to searching for innovative and ingenious solutions to problems previously unimagined. In this framework, various figures of national gastronomy have expressed their opinions, thoughts and proposals for the future that awaits the world of hospitality.


In a recent interview, Gironan Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, named best chef by The Best Chef Awards for two consecutive years, reflected on the prospects for the sector and remarked on the importance of local clientèle: "Obviously it will be difficult because we're coming from a marvellous scenario in which Spanish cuisine has shown itself to be very attractive for culinary tourism. But we will have to manage without foreign visitors for a while and our survival will depend on how well we manage our relationships with our local customers."


For his part, in recent declarations, Azurmendi's chef Eneko Atxa spoke about how the restaurant and food industry can do its bit to "cook up" a better future: he advocates "using the power of knowledge about food to cook up a better future and create a better society".  "We need to start contributing right now to understand that, faced with possible dramatic times and changes on the horizon, as is the case with COVID-19 at the moment, we need to put the necessary means in place and all work together in the same direction".


Renowned Basque chef Andoni Luis Aduriz invites us to reflect on the fact that all difficult situations also bring new opportunities: "If you think about it, this virus has managed to create the gastronomy equivalent of Spotify. You have access to anything you want from home, and you can create your own play list, a culinary one in this case. Before, this was impossible, because you could only get fast food delivered to your home, not food from the middle-high segment. Now both types of gastronomy will coexist as options for home delivery. They are compatible."


Other chefs like Nandu Jubany have shown themselves to be unstoppable when it comes to creating new initiatives. The Catalan chef has become a point of reference, offering live content on the social networks, and has even started his own line of masks for charity, with the goal of spreading smiles and helping in the investigation against the pandemic on behalf of the hotel and restaurant industry: "This crisis has been devastating for many families and companies, and I think it's very important to all pull together to try to bring a bit of happiness back. One day I saw my good friend Carlos Tejedor who had drawn a smile on his mask and I thought "what a great idea!" It's a well-known fact that smiles are contagious, so, when a chef comes face to face with a customer, or two chefs meet with masks on, we want to transmit a smile instead of the virus". 

Hard times bring out the best in us, and it's now more than ever that the hospitality industry is becoming a point of reference for effort, dedication and creativity. The future of this industry is in good hands.