Selection Process

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.

How was the 2021 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 list, which was published on 20 April 2021.

What was the selection criteria?

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 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.

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. The list is not limited to those working in the industry but also those 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. 

How can I find out more?

Consult our Frequently Asked Questions for further information on the application and nomination process, or discover Our Partners, the Basque Culinary Center and the Biscay region of Spain. For further questions regarding the selection process, please visit our Contact Us page – and stay tuned for news on the 2022 selection process.

Discover the 2021 list: