Published 28 April 2021
by Harriet Prior
With a return to normality on the horizon, it is good news that The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 awards is returning with a proper ceremony (goodbye, Zoom). The team took a break from the awards in 2020 to focus its efforts on fund-raising for the 50 Best for Recovery project, distributing grants to more than 200 restaurants and bars. This year, the awards are back and will be hosted in Antwerp on 5 October, with an extensive events programme planned, culminating with an awards ceremony.
With travel limitations and dining restrictions still in place across many parts of the world, votes from both early 2020 and 2021 will be combined. The World’s 50 Best this year aims to support the recovery of restaurants by inspiring diners to visit and experience the joy of restaurants again, both closer to home and far away. A greater focus this year will also be placed on long-term sustainability and inclusivity.
Live events will be centred on the cultural heritage of Antwerp. “The event programme will allow the global gastronomic community to reconnect in person, share experiences, celebrate resilience and brilliance, and ultimately help boost the restaurant sector when its needs support most,” says director of content William Drew. For those not able to attend in person, the awards and select events, including interviews and the #50BestTalks thought-leadership forum, will also be broadcast globally.
The October event programme will be preceded by special awards announced from June to September, including new initiative Champions of Change, recognising people who have used the last year as a springboard for positive action. The inaugural World’s 50 Next list, celebrating farmers, artisans and makers powering the supply chain in innovative ways, was also recently released. Those on the list based in the UK include Silo’s Douglas McMaster, founders of Redemption Rosters Ted Rosner and Max Dubiel, who offer barista classes in prison, and Abby Rose, who co-founded Farmarama Radio.