Frequently Asked Questions

Please note, applications for the 2021 selection of 50 Next are now closed.

What is 50 Next?

50 Next is a list of people who are shaping the future of gastronomy. Debuting in 2021 and formed through robust research and analysis by 50 Best and the internationally renowned Basque Culinary Center, it will showcase a diverse global selection of bright young minds who have turned their ideas into reality. A list but not a ranking, 50 Next aims to inspire, empower and connect young people who are pushing boundaries at every level of the food chain.

Who can apply for 50 Next?

50 Next is open to applicants from all countries and backgrounds. We are looking for:

  • People aged 35 or under* (If you are over 35 but starting a new career path, you can also apply, provided you have a maximum of three years’ experience in your chosen field)
  • People working at all levels and in all areas of gastronomy, or in disciplines that have a direct impact on gastronomy, including, but not limited to: Activists, bartenders, chefs, consumers, craft beer and spirits producers, designers, distributors, educators, entrepreneurs, farmers, fishers, food and drink writers, non-profit workers, researchers, restaurateurs, scientists, sommeliers, tech creators, winemakers and more
  • People who are pushing the boundaries of gastronomy and tackling challenges from fresh perspectives
  • People who have achieved results or shown clear progress through their work towards a particular goal 

*Applicants should be 35 or under on 22 February 2021

What do we mean by ‘gastronomy’?

For many people, gastronomy means fine dining, but at 50 Next and the Basque Culinary Center we celebrate the entire food and drink chain, from farmers and producers to food distributors, sommeliers and even consumers. You don’t have to be working in the industry to apply – we are also looking for people whose work has an impact on gastronomy, for example a scientist whose discovery directly affects food and drink, or an activist campaigning for better food policies.

Do I have to be a chef or bartender to apply for 50 Next?

No. As the younger sibling of the 50 Best lists, 50 Next celebrates people from all areas of the food chain, from farmers and producers to food distributors, sommeliers and even consumers. Chefs, bartenders, restaurateurs and bar owners are welcome to apply, provided they are pushing boundaries and shaping the future of gastronomy.

Is there an age limit for applicants?

As 50 Next celebrates the next generation of people shaping the future of gastronomy, we are looking for people aged 35 or under. However, if you are over 35 and starting a new career path, you can still take part, provided you have a maximum of three years’ experience in your chosen field.

I am over 35. Can I still apply?

Yes, if you have recently started a new career path. In order to apply, you should have a maximum of three years’ experience in your current field.

Can I nominate someone else for 50 Next?

Absolutely! 50 Next welcomes applications from teachers, co-workers, mentors, managers and even friends and family. Just complete the application form and tell us why the person you are nominating deserves to be part of the 50 Next list.

Can I nominate someone who is related to me?

Yes. You can nominate a co-worker, employee, sibling or friend – your relationship to them isn’t important; what matters is your nomination.

Do I have to be from a certain country to apply?

No. 50 Next is open to applicants from all countries in the world and we welcome diversity.

Are there any other restrictions on who can apply?

None of the employees of the organiser, or of any of the partners associated with 50 Best or 50 Next, are eligible to apply for the list. However, employees of the organiser and partners can nominate other people for the list.

How are the winners selected and who are the judges?

Together with our Academic Partner, the Basque Culinary Center, 50 Next will analyse all applications and perform robust research to discover the strongest candidates. We are looking for people from all over the world whose work truly pushes boundaries and tackles challenges from unprecedented perspectives. The inaugural 50 Next list will be published on 20 April 2021.

If I am not selected for the 2021 list, will I be considered for future selections?

If your application is strong but you are not selected for the 2021 list, we may consider your application for future editions of the list. However, you are also more than welcome to re-apply when applications open for the 2022 selection, as your achievements may have changed.

If I have been in the 50 Next selection one year, am I eligible to apply in subsequent years?

At the moment, people can only be listed in the 50 Next selection once, as we aim to give opportunities to as many people as possible in future years. All 50 people listed will have a dedicated profile on the 50 Next website, which will remain visible in future years.

Do I have to have a restaurant or bar to apply for 50 Next?

No. 50 Next is open to people working in every area of the food chain, including people who work outside gastronomy but whose work has a direct impact on the industry.

Is 50 Next a ranking?

No. 50 Next is a list, but not a ranking. Each of the 50 winners will be celebrated, with no hierarchy or competition.

When is the 50 Next list published?

The inaugural 50 Next list is due to be published on Tuesday 20 April 2021. We are planning a live 50 Next event in Bilbao at a later date to explore the future of gastronomy. However, the event is subject to review, depending on international travel restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Is there a prize for those who are selected for the list?

No. 50 Next does not reward prizes to those on the list, but the winners will be celebrated on our website and social media channels, as well as at the inaugural event. As part of the 50 Next and 50 Best families, those who are selected for the list will have the opportunity to make valuable connections with others from across the industry.

What is the Basque Culinary Center’s involvement?

As the official Academic Partner, the Basque Culinary Center has helped to develop the concept of 50 Next and is responsible for analysing the applications, researching the candidates and helping to select the final list, together with the 50 Next team. Find out more about the Basque Culinary Center.

How is Biscay involved with 50 Next?

Biscay is the official Host Destination Partner for 50 Next and will welcome the inaugural event at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, subject to international travel restrictions. Find out more about the Biscay region.

What is the relationship between 50 Next and 50 Best?

50 Next is part of the 50 Best family, which includes The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, The World’s 50 Best Bars, 50 Best Discovery and #50BestTalks. The 50 Best family is owned and organised by William Reed Business Media, an international company headquartered in the UK.

What is The World’s 50 Best Restaurants?

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is an annual celebration of the finest dining establishments on the planet, which has been running since 2002. In 2013, it launched Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants to shine a spotlight on underrepresented regions, and it runs the #50BestTalks series of live culinary forums held around the world. The family also includes The World’s 50 Best Bars, which has been celebrating the best of the international drinks industry since 2009 and launched its sister list in Asia in 2016.

What is the ‘Best of the Best’?

Over the history of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, eight restaurants have achieved the No.1 title – El Bulli, The French Laundry, The Fat Duck, the original Noma, El Celler de Can Roca, Osteria Francescana, Eleven Madison Park and Mirazur. As of 2019, these restaurants are no longer eligible for the list and have been elevated to a Hall of Fame called the Best of the Best. At 50 Next, we will draw on the expertise of the people behind these restaurants to help provide leadership and guidance to the young people selected for the list. Stay tuned to find out more.