Forbes by Karla Alindahao
For 20 years, World’s 50 Best celebrated the hospitality industry with annual rankings of the finest restaurants and bars on the planet. Now the UK-based organization is looking for future stars in the gastronomical galaxy with a new list—50 Next.
And if this inaugural list is any indication, the future is looking mighty bright and quite diverse—much more so than many of the other awards. Out of more than 700 candidates in the pool, results have yielded more women (twenty-four) than men (nineteen), all spread across seven categories within the industry: game changing producers, tech disruptors, empowering educators, entrepreneurial creatives, science innovators, hospitality pioneers, and trailblazing activists.
“50 Next invited applications and nominations at the end of 2020,” says William Drew, director of content for 50 Best. “We then teamed up with the trusted experts at the internationally renowned Basque Culinary Center to identify the strongest candidates from the application pool, as well as directly scouting for talent. Robust research and analysis was performed on all candidates to create the list.”
This new list, which was open to all applicants aged 35 and under, also considered those who were starting anew. Five recipients are based in Africa, six are in Asia, one is in the Caribbean, eighteen are in Europe, seven are in Latin America, two are in the Middle East, three are in Australasia, and eight are in the United Stated. And while 29 countries of residence are represented, the list makes it a point to highlight the 34 countries of origin—because many young innovators have left their home countries to settle hubs.
“We felt that it simply makes sense to present this list unranked and divided into seven categories. The breadth of disciplines and projects that these talented individuals are involved in—while all related to gastronomy in its widest sense—is so diverse that to rank them would feel arbitrary,” says Drew. “While the annual rankings of restaurants and bars remain at the core of what 50 Best does, the organization has moved beyond rankings in multiple ways, from 50 Best Discovery to 50 Best Explores, from its ongoing digital content to 50 Next. So, the aim is that in 2022 there will be a second edition of 50 Next with a completely fresh list of 50 names.”
Beyond that, the list is unranked. A brilliant move on the part of 50 Best, which is known for its rigorous rankings. This way you see every aspect of the food industry plus all of the characters that make this whole ecosystem work, not just the chefs. You’ll be delighted to see that the men and women who make your cheese, spirits educators, an organic winemakers, and a chemical engineer who is now the first female master distiller in Kentucky made the cut.
To read the full list of the recipients: https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlaalindahao/2021/04/20/50-next-inaugural-list-2021/?sh=4b1dd03e62df