• The World's 50 Best Restaurants

About The Academy

The Academy

The Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy is the mechanism used to create The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Continuing its association with fine dining, Diners Club International® is the proud sponsor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy.

None of the employees of any of the sponsors associated with the awards, including the main sponsor and the Academy sponsor, votes or has any influence over the results.

The Academy is comprised of almost 1000 members, each selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene.

To create the Academy, and give it a fair representation of the global restaurant scene, we divide the world up into 27 geographical regions.

Each region has a chairperson appointed for their knowledge of their part of the restaurant world. These chairs each select a voting panel of 36 (including themselves) – ensuring a balanced selection of chefs, restaurateurs, food/restaurant journalists and gourmets.

To read more about how we create the list, please read our Manifesto

The Academy Chairs

The World's 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled from the votes of The Diners Club® World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy. We divide the world into regions, with a chairperson in each region appointed for their knowledge of their part of the restaurant world. These chairs each selected a voting panel, who cast a total of 6,552 votes. Select a region below to view the biography of each regional chairperson.

Andrey Zakharin – Russia, Central Asia & Eastern Europe

The editor-in-chief of Gastronom PH, Andrey Zakharin oversees a large range of top-end food publications including Gastronom and School of Gastronom, which have become Russia’s leading culinary and best-selling fortnightly magazines.

Cemre Narin – Turkey, Greece & the Balkans

Cemre Narin is a freelance food writer and cook based in Istanbul, and has been the culinary and restaurant editor of Vogue Turkey since 2010. A former clinical psychologist, Cemre has also lived and worked in the US and Jordan. She recently published her first cookbook, Icindekiler (Ingredients).
Instagram: @ceminers

Christian Grünwald – Austria & Switzerland

Christian Grünwald has been the editor in chief of Austrian magazine A La Carte for over 20 years, a role that includes overseeing the Österreich A la Carte annual restaurant guide. The co-author of a number of chefs’ cookbooks, he also contributes to the Austrian TV show Frisch Gekocht (Freshly Cooked).

Christoph Teuner – Germany

Christoph Teuner has been a journalist for almost 30 years and is the anchorman of national German news channel n-tv. Since 2008 he has also been a prolific food writer for national newspapers and magazines and is currently the editor of gourmet title Falstaff Germany.

Cristina Jolonch – Spain & Portugal

Cristina Jolonch is a journalist with more than 25 years’ experience writing for La Vanguardia, one of Spain’s biggest newspapers. She has travelled extensively in Spain and internationally as a writer and editor, and recently co-directed Snacks: Bite for a Revolution, a documentary film about about the gastronomic revolution that took place in Spain triggered by the influence of the legendary El Bulli.
Twitter: @cristinajolonch

Crystyl Mo – China & Korea

Crystyl Mo is a freelance food writer, editor, TV host and consultant who has been charting China’s burgeoning restaurant scene for over a decade. The former food editor of Time Out Shanghai, she has contributed to international publications including Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler, AFAR and CNNGo.
Website: crystylmo.com

Diego Salazar – South America (North)

Diego Salazar is a journalist, editor, translator and food critic based in Lima. He lived and worked in Madrid from 2001 to 2012. He is general editor for Perú 21 newspaper and associate editor for Etiqueta Negra magazine, and has published the book Perú en Boca del Mundo.
Twitter: @disalch
Instagram: @disalch

Dirk de Prins – Benelux

Following a career making radio programmes about food, Dirk de Prins is now editor-in-chief at Ambiance magazine, the top gastronomic publication in Belgium. He also contributes to food programmes on Radio 2, Belgium’s biggest radio station.

Eleonora Cozzella – Italy

Eleonora Cozzella is the editor of all the food and wine websites in the L’Espresso Editorial Group. She also collaborates on articles for the weekly magazine, L’Espresso, and is a critic on Italy’s leading restaurant guide of the same name.
Twitter: @ele_cozzella
Instagram: @ele_cozzella

Evelyn Chen – South-East Asia (South)

Based in Singapore, Evelyn is the local editor of Zagat and a former Time Out food critic who also contributes to publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller and CNN Travel, as well as writing her own blog, Bibik Gourmand.
Twitter: @BibikGourmand
Instagram: @bibikgourmand

Jade George – Middle East

Jade George co-founded Art And Then Some, an independent publishing house in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2011. She is editorial director of The Carton, a food culture magazine centred on Middle Eastern culture, and has previously worked as senior editor and food critic for Time Out Beirut.
Twitter: @thecartonfood
Instagram: @thecarton

Josimar Melo – Brazil

Journalist and culinary critic Josimar Melo is the food editor of Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil’s leading daily newspaper. He is also the host of the National Geographic channel show The Guide, where he travels the world looking at food and culture in different countries.
Twitter: @JosimarM

Kenneth Nars – Finland, Baltics & Central Europe

A writer living in Helsinki, Kenneth Nars has been the restaurant critic at Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet since 1998. He is also a contributor at Swedish Gourmet, Monocle, Helsingin Sanomat and at German magazine Norr.
Twitter: @KennethNars
Instagram: @KennethNars

Lars Peder Hedberg – Denmark, Norway & Sweden

Lars Peder Hedberg is co-founder of Scandinavia media company Intellecta. He is also the founder and editorial director of the influential White Guide, which reviews more than 500 Swedish restaurants annually, and Gourmet Magazine in Sweden.

Mason Florence – South-East Asia (North)

A native New Yorker, Mason Florence moved to Thailand in 2002 after 12 years in Japan as a correspondent for The Japan Times newspaper and Lonely Planet. As founder of Talisman Media Group, he has created several food publications including Bangkok 101 magazine.

Michalene Busico – West USA & West Canada

Michalene Busico is a nationally recognised editor and writer with experience in top posts across the US. Formerly food editor at both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, she is now dining editor of Robb Report and is a regular contributor on wine, spirits and cocktails. Her expertise spans food, fashion, design, real estate and travel and she is co-author of Gourmet Cooking on a Budget, an instructional cookbook dedicated to making great food accessible to every home cook.

Mitchell Davis – East USA & East Canada

Mitchell Davis is a cookbook author and food and radio journalist. His articles about food, restaurants and travel appear regularly in magazines such as GQ, Food & Wine and The Art of Eating. He is also executive vice-president of the James Beard Foundation and author of cookbooks including Kitchen Sense.
Twitter: @KitchenSense
Instagram: @kitchensense

Nicolas Chatenier – France

Writer and consultant Nicolas Chatenier has immersed himself in the world of French cuisine for more than 10 years. In 2012 he published Mémoires de Chef, a detailed and vibrant account of the Nouvelle Cuisine movement in France in the 1970s. He is a regular contributor on food and restaurant issues to Le Monde, Vanity Fair and GQ.

Pablo Banos – Central America, Mexico & the Caribbean

Editor and founder of Mi Vino Mexico and columnist for El Financiero, Pablo Baños has been involved in food and wine for 25 years. He is president of Gomez Cruzado, a winery in Spain, and is a member of the Mexican Association of Wine-tasting.
Twitter: @pablobanos

Pat Nourse – Oceania, Australia & New Zealand

Pat Nourse is deputy editor and chief restaurant critic for Gourmet Traveller, and is the editor of the magazine’s national restaurant guide. Based in Sydney, he has been reviewing restaurants professionally for 15 years.
Twitter: @patnourse
Instagram: @patnourse

Raquel Rosemberg – South America (South, excl. Brazil)

Raquel Rosemberg is a true porteña, from the city of Buenos Aires. Passionate about flavours, she works as a food journalist, editing her blog Sabores que matan, and writing for a publications including Argentina’s Clarín.
Twitter: @raquelrosemberg
Instagram: @raquelrosemberg

Rashmi Uday Singh – India, Central Asia & Subcontinent

Award-winning author of 36 books, Rashmi Uday Singh studied journalism, literature, law, and management and trained with the BBC. Her weekly columns with The Times of India and TV shows (including Channel 4 with Gordon Ramsay) continue to be popular.
Twitter: @rashmiudaysingh
Instagram: @rashmiudaysingh
Website: rashmiudaysingh.com

Steve Dolinsky – Mid USA & Mid Canada

Steve Dolinsky is a James Beard Award 12-times winner for his TV and radio work in the US and is currently a food reporter on ABC7 in Chicago. Steve can also be heard on Public Radio International’s The World, a co-production of WGBH-Boston and BBC World News Service.
Twitter: @stevedolinsky
Instagram: @stevedolinsky

Susan Jung – Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan

Susan Jung was born in California and moved to Hong Kong to work as a pastry chef before being offered a job at the South China Morning Post, where she reviews restaurants and writes weekly columns on cooking and the Hong Kong food scene. Her cookbook, A Celebration of Food, was published in 2012.
Twitter: @SusanJungHKFood

Takanori Nakamura – Japan

Takanori Nakamura is a journalist and television presenter born in Hayama (Japan) in 1964. He writes and commentates on luxury lifestyle covering fashion, culture, gourmet, travel and hotels.

Tamsin Snyman – Africa

With a background in professional cooking and publishing, Tamsin Snyman’s consultancy includes training chefs and re-designing menus. She is dedicated to South African cuisine and to ensuring that it receives the recognition it deserves. She is also CEO of the South African Barbecue Association and in 2000 competed in the World Barbecue Championships.
Twitter: @tamsinsnyman

Xanthe Clay – UK & Ireland

Xanthe Clay is a Leith’s trained chef-turned-food writer with a regular column in the Weekend Telegraph. She contributes to publications including Good Food magazine, Olive, Food & Travel and Delicious, as well as working with the BBC.
Twitter: @XantheClay