In the lead up to the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2016 in New York City later today, the organisers have announced that 2017 will see the 16th edition head to Melbourne. It is hardly an accident that the powerful restaurant ranking program is moving away from London. Instead, moving to Australia is part of the brand’s newly launched global tour, which will see the Awards move to other gastronomic capitals around the world over the next few years.
Launched in 2002, the award ceremony will be hosted in collaboration with Tourism Australia and is set to be the second time that it is held away from its home base in Europe. The draw to Australia is based on its strong showing in the previous ranking, with notable addresses such as Attica, Quay, Sepia and Brae making the list in 2015. Tapping into Australia’s rich culinary market to boost its tourism, is not a new concept for the country’s tourism board. Last year, the organization tapped Danish chef superstar René Redzepi of Noma — a World’s 50 Best Restaurants alumni who has nabbed the top spot four times — to bring his Nordic cuisine to Sydney in a pop-up that opened at a new waterfront space in Sydney.
“The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list provides an annual barometer to the greatest food, wine and restaurant experiences from all around the world,” said Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan in a statement.
“The awards align closely with Tourism Australia’s global campaign focus on food and wine and provide another compelling chapter in our ongoing Restaurant Australia story which we continue to share with the world.”
It’s precisely this kind of alignment, however, that has been criticized by some of the event’s most vocal opponents, notably a group of disgruntled French gastronomes who accused World’s 50 Best organizers of favoring chefs from countries with which they built commercial ties
Last year, the group released their own version of the ranking dubbed La Liste, which they claimed was based on a mathematical algorithm based on hundreds of guide books and online reviews.
The winners of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards will be announced out of New York Monday night, starting at 8 pm EDT.
Catch the livestream of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants here.