Big change is coming to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards

Each year we post the listing for the San Pellegrino listing of the 50 best restaurants in the world, highlighting cookbooks from the chefs that helm these fine dining establishments. The list of winners was starting to sound like a broken record – Noma landed at the top five different times, and the top five contained many of the same names year after year. The parent organization of the awards must have felt the same way, because this year they announced huge changes to who is able to be on the list

cookbook covers

Beginning with this year’s awards, former winners are no longer eligible to win or even to be recognized as one of the World’s 50 Best. This elite group is getting its own list called “Best of the Best”, with the 2019 winner added to that list and unable to be in the top 50 again. In addition to this big shift, the organization announced that it would include a 50/50 gender balance in its voting academy, and will encourage those voters to “explore a diverse mix of restaurants.” 

All of these changes are responses to criticism leveled at the World’s 50 Best for being focused solely on incredibly expensive, male-dominated Eurocentric restaurants. While no one expects the list to be populated with unknown mom-and-pop joints, people are hopeful that the list will expand beyond its current confines. One interesting thing to note is that while the former Noma is not eligible to win, René Redzepi’s new incarnation of his award-winning estalishment is technically a new restaurant. 

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