The World Restaurant Awards took place on February 18, 2019 in Paris, “the birthplace of the restaurant in the western world” according to the organizers.
Created by IMG (a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries), The World’s 50 Best Restaurants cofounder Joe Warwick and Gelinaz! gastronomic roadshow creator Andrea Petrini, the ceremony aims at celebrating international restaurant excellence, integrity and diversity.
The cosmopolitan, multicultural and gender-balanced. judging panel included 37 different nationalities. As some of the 100 judging chefs, consultants, entrepreneurs…, we had Juan Arbelaez, Hélène Darroze, Zaiyu Hasagawa, Kylie Kwong, and Clare Smyth.
The judging panel was then in charge with awarding Big Plates and Small Plates, Big Plates championing excellence and integrity while trying to better promote the diversity of the world’s restaurant community, Small Plates recognizing contemporary cultural nuances to deserving restaurants and chefs all over the world.
France went home with two Big Plates:
And two French chefs collected tongue-in cheek Small Plates:
“Restaurant of the Year” went to South-African restaurant Wolfgat tucked away in a 130-year old ocean-side cottage, and providing a menu specialized in local seafood and plants. It also took home the “Off-Map Destination” award showing the World Restaurant Awards’ ambition to reflect the full breadth and depth of the international restaurant scene.
Finally, we must highlight that the “Event of the Year” went to the Refugee Food Festival. The category was designed to support forward-thinking initiatives. Winning Refugee Food Festival sees restaurants open and entrusts their kitchens to refugee chefs. It was founded by charity Food Sweet Food with the support of the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR).
To see the longlist of winners, check the World Restaurant Awards’ website out.