The World’s 50 Best Restaurants announced that the winner of the American Express One to Watch Award 2021 is London’s Ikoyi, co-founded by childhood friends Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Odukale. The award recognises a restaurant that is considered to be a rising star on the global dining scene and aims to recognise and celebrate gastronomic excellence and innovation.
The restaurant was developed after an initial conversation Chan and Hassan-Odukale had that ignited a spark around the possibilities of African-inspired food. A period of intensive research ensued and what ultimately emerged was a series of dishes with unique international flavour proﬁles and a desire to forge a new culinary narrative.
Chef Jeremy Chan says: “We are extremely humbled by the recognition on the global stage and proud of our small, hard-working team. We are also grateful to our producers, without whom this success would not be possible.”
Since opening in 2017, Ikoyi has distinguished itself for its bold use of flavour, introducing new and original ingredient combinations and presenting them with indefinable style. The foundation of their dishes is a vast collection of global spices with a focus on sub-Saharan West Africa, which have been meticulously sourced, resulting in menus that surprise the senses with a balance of heat and umami. This cosmopolitan and contemporary restaurant is in constant evolution, building its own spice-based cuisine around British micro-seasonality.
The award seeks to recognise and celebrate the outstanding emerging culinary talent and fresh experiences. Previous winners include Lido 84, from Gardone Riviera, Italy, in 2019; SingleThread, California, US in 2018; Disfrutar, Barcelona, Spain in 2017 and Den, Tokyo, Japan in 2016.
Ikoyi, 1 St James’s Market, St. James’s, London