Frequently Asked Questions

Applications and nominations for the 2021 selection are now closed. Please stay tuned to 50 Best’s social media channels to find out when applications open for the 2022 list.

What is 50 Next?

50 Next is a list of people who are shaping the future of gastronomy. Formed through robust research and analysis by 50 Best and the internationally renowned Basque Culinary Center, it showcases 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. The first list was published on 20 April 2021.

How was the list created?

50 Next invited applications and nominations at the end of 2020. 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 final list.

What are the categories?

Instead of a ranking, the 50 Next list is divided into seven industry-led categories: Gamechanging Producers; Tech Disruptors; Empowering Educators; Entrepreneurial Creatives; Science Innovators; Hospitality Pioneers and Trailblazing Activists. Each category is unranked and spans a wide range of different job types. These categories aim to show the diverse range of people on the list.

How can I apply for the 2022 list?

Applications and nominations are currently closed. However, please follow 50 Best’s social media channels and stand by for news on when applications open for 2022 – likely to be later in 2021.

What was the selection criteria for the 2021 list?

50 Next was open to applicants from all countries and backgrounds, specifically:

  • People aged 35 or under (Those over 35 but starting a new career path could also apply, provided they had a maximum of three years’ experience in their 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 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 

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. When 2022 applications reopen, 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 analysed all applications and performed robust research to discover the strongest candidates. We looked for people from all over the world whose work truly pushes boundaries and tackles challenges from unprecedented perspectives.

I applied for the 2021 list but wasn’t selected. Will I be considered for future lists?

If your application was strong but you were not selected for the 2021 list, we may consider your application for future editions of the list. You can also 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 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.

Is there a 50 Next event?

We are planning a physical event in early 2022 to celebrate both the 2021 and 2022 lists. This live event programme will be held in Bilbao, in the region of Biscay, Spain, the official Host Destination Partner to 50 Next, and will foment conversation and foster new relationships within the gastronomic community.

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 in 2022, once international travel restrictions are eased. 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. For the inaugural 50 Next list, we asked the leaders of the Best of the Best restaurants to provide an endorsement for one person from each category – you can read their endorsements here.