There were a number of surprises when the first ever shortlist of the World Restaurant Awards, an award created by IMG in partnership with Joe Warwick, Creative Director and Andrea Petrini, chair of the Judging Panel was announced.
The awards, the first of their kind in the restaurant world will be announced in Paris at the Palais Brongniart on 18 February.
Female chefs continue to make their mark with the ‘Arrival of the Year’ shortlist for new restaurants including Pía León’s Kjolle in Lima; and Chiho Kanzaki’s Virtus in Paris.
Historic destinations such as La Mère Brazier and Restaurant Paul Bocuse, both in Lyon, and the long-running Peter Luger Steakhouse in New York feature on the ‘Enduring Classic’ shortlist, which recognises restaurants open for at least 50 years
Restaurants celebrated for a particular dish featureon the ‘House Special’ shortlist which includes roast goose from Yat Lok in Hong Kong, a ‘hot dog’ from Porto’s Cervejaria Gazela, and grilled unagi (freshwater eel) at Tokyo’s Obana
Accessible,affordable, democratic dining choices make up the shortlist for ‘NoReservations Required’, including Mocoto in SãoPaulo, named after the Northeastern Brazilcow’s hoof stew that it began serving in 1973
Riley’s Fish Shack, a simple seafood grill on the beach by King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth in the North East of England, is shortlisted for ‘Off Map Destination,’ highlighting off-the-beaten track gems that are worth the journey
The sustainable sea food champion Saint Peter in Sydney with its fish butchery; and Massimo Bottura’s Refettorio (Milan,London, Paris and Rio de Janeiro), which feeds the vulnerable and hungry, while educating about reducing food waste, feature on the ‘Ethical Thinking’ shortlist
The judging panel of 100 (50 men and 50 women) restaurant journalists, influencers and culinary professionals from 36 different countries includes such famous names as Elena Arzak, Alex Atala, Massimo Bottura, David Chang, Hélène Darroze, Daniel Humm, Dan Barber, René Redzepi, Ana Roš, Yotam Ottolenghi and Clare Smyth.
The awards are designed to celebrate excellence, integrity and diversity, they break new ground in the international restaurant awards world by ambitiously combining annually-evolving curated categories, with nominations and inspections by a jury of globetrotting industry insiders.
An intense year of curating, nominating,inspecting and debating will culminate in the announcement of the winners of the 18 categories (12 ‘Big Plate’ and 6 ‘Small Plate’ awards) on February 18, as established and rising restaurant stars from around the globe gather at the Palais Brongniart in Paris to celebrate the very first edition of the awards.
Ahead of that and following the announcement ofthe longlist nominations at the end of last year, the released shortlistsconsist of five restaurants in each ‘Big Plate’ and three in each ‘Small Plate’category.
Recognising the need to promote more accessible restaurant experiences, where it is possible to just turn up and eat, the ‘No Reservations Required’ shortlist reflects a diverse range of affordable establishments from Clamato in Paris, where the menu changes according to the day’s catch, to Tokyo fish burger bar Deli Fu Cious, and northern Thai barbecue at London’s Kiln.
Along with considering environmental issues, the‘Ethical Thinking’ category is also concerned with how restaurants care for their employees,customers and the wider community. The shortlist includes Silo in Brighton on the South coast of England, a pioneering zero-waste restaurant where they mill flour, churn butter, make their own almond milk and recycle glass bottles into serving dishes.
The ‘Off-Map Destination’ shortlist highlights remote locations such as Mil Centro in Peru – which sits more than 10,000 ft above sea level in the Andes – where Chef Virgilio Martínez, working with his sister Malena Martinez chronicle and revive ancient ingredients and food practices that might otherwise be lost to time. Another far-flung gem, Wolfgat – a 20-seat dining room in a South African beach cottage – serves dishes where most ingredients on the plate are sourced from within a 10km radius of the restaurant, many of them from nearby rock pools and sand dunes.
The World Restaurant Awards has also announced French entertainment legend, Antoine de Caunes as presenter of their first awards ceremony. A regular presence on television screens across the world, famously as one half of the presenting duo fronting Channel 4’s cult late-night show, Eurotrash in the UK, and as a documentary-maker and talk-show host. A veteran of feature films on both sides of the camera, he has also hosted the Césars – the French film industry’s answer to the Oscars.
Cécile Rebbot, Director of The World Restaurant Awards, IMG, said: “These awards have brought together the industry’s most passionate, curious and well-travelled culinary connoisseurs to create the ultimate restaurant road-map for food lovers around the world. This short list reflects our goal to shine a light on the incredibly diverse food, drinks,experiences and destinations that should be on everyone’s bucket list.”
Joe Warwick,Creative Director of The World RestaurantAwards, said: “These shortlists prove that there’s room for a new kind of international restaurant awards. One that acknowledges what’s wonderful about the restaurant world as it is and hints at how it can work to be even better in the future.”
Andrea Petrini, Chair of the Judging Panel added: “The shortlists are an intriguing, diverse collection of restaurants worthy of further investigation – as were all of those long listed. It’s taken a lot of work from everyone to produce the shortlists and we couldn’t have arrived here without the support of our judging panel. We’re looking forward to revealing the decisions that the inspection teams have arrived at on 18 February.”
The Short List of The World Restaurant Awards
- Enigma, Spain
- Ikoyi, United Kingdom
- Mugaritz, Spain
- Noma, Denmark
- Le Clarence, France
- Mil, Peru
- Bootshaus, Austira
- Wolgat, South Africa
- Tokuyamazushi, Japan
- Riley’s Fish Shack, United Kingdom
No reservations required
- Clamato, France
- Kiln, United Kingdom
- Mocoto, Brazil
- Deli fu cious, Japan
- Retrobottega, Italy
- Gazela/ ‘Hot Dog’, Portugal
- Yat Lok/Roast Goose, Hong Kong
- Obana/Unajyu, Japan
- Trishna/Soft Shell Crab, India
- Lido 84/Cacio e Pepe cooked in pig’s bladder, Italy
- Cub, United Kingdom
- Mugaritz, Spain
- Dersou, France
- Amass, Denmark
- Godenya, Hong Kong
Event of the year
- Refugee Food Festival (France and worldwide)
- Parabere Forum
- Al Meni, Italy
- Game at Lyle’s United Kingdom
- The Presidential Train, Portugal
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns, United States
- Food for Soul, Italy and worldwide
- Noma, Denmark
- Saint Peter, Australia
- Silo, United Kingdom
- Peter Luger’s, United States
- Paul Bocuse, France
- La Mere Brazier, France
- Hyotei, Japan
- Elkano, Spain
Collaboration of the Year
- Vespertine X This Will Destroy You, United States
- Mirazur X Huilerie Saint Michel, France
- Cafe Paradiso X Gort na Naim Farm, Ireland
- Single Thread Farm x Bloodroot Blades, United States
- Frantzen x Jacod Marsing-Rossini, Sweden
- Punk Royale, Denmark
- Vespertine, United States
- Chambre Separee, Belgium
- Astoria Seafood, Unied States
- Machneyuda, Israel
Tweezer-free kitchen of the year
- Bo. Lan, Thailand
- Racines, France
- Black Axe Mangal, United Kingdom
Trolley of the year
- Ballymaloe, Ireland
- Otto’s, United Kingdom
- The Grill, United States
Instagram Account of the Year
Red-Wine Serving restaurant
- Noble Rot, United Kingdom
- Roscioli, Italy
- Le Baratin, France
- Lisa Abend: The Food Circus, Fool Magazine
- Helen Rosner: What Jonathan Gold meant for food writing, The New Yorker
- Jonathan Gold: Anthony Bourdain Opened the Working Class Kitchen to the World, LA Times