The Academy

The Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy is the mechanism used to create the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. None of the employees of any of the sponsors associated with the awards, including the main sponsor, votes or has any influence over the results.

The Academy is comprised of 318 members, each selected for their expert opinion of the Asian restaurant scene. To create the Academy, and provide a fair representation of the continent, we divide Asia into six separate voting 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 53 (including themselves) – ensuring a balanced selection of chefs, restaurateurs, food/restaurant journalists and gourmets.

Learn more about the how the voting works

  • Crystyl Mo

    Crystyl Mo

    Academy Chair for: 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.

  • Litti Kewkacha

    Litti Kewkacha

    Academy Chair for: South-East Asia (North)

    Based in Bangkok, Litti is a passionate and highly regarded gastronome. Born and raised in Thailand, he has also spent time living in Singapore and the UK. He oversees a range of leisure and hospitality businesses in the fast-casual and fast-food sectors under the Kacha Brothers umbrella, and his family founded and owns the Safari World and Phuket FantaSea theme parks. He travels extensively and has visited almost every restaurant featured on the 50 Best lists, as well as numerous others, sharing his experiences on his popular Instagram account.

  • Nicola Lee

    Nicola Lee

    Nicola Lee - Academy Chair: South-East Asia (South)

    Based in Singapore, Nicola is a dedicated food and wine enthusiast and a writer for publications such as Tatler Asia and RadarList. Having studied hotel management, today she is a real estate developer by trade, while also contributing to Tatler’s Best Restaurant Guide for Singapore and various other country-wide food and wine awards. Nicola likes to track down rare Champagne bottles – her personal collection is second to none in Singapore – and has previously lectured in hospitality and tourism.

  • Siddhaarth Jalan

    Siddhaarth Jalan

    Academy Chair for: India & Subcontinent

    Siddhaarth Jalan oversees the restaurant, nightlife and hotel sectors for The Times of India and manages the multi-city Times Food & Nightlife Awards, the most prestigious national awards programme for the hospitality industry. He previously worked in the apparel sector and founded his own start-up before joining one of India’s leading experiential dining companies, Impresario. He travels extensively across the country, as well as internationally, and revels in discovering new restaurants and cuisines.
  • Susan Jung

    Susan Jung

    Academy Chair for: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan

    Susan Jung is the food columnist for Vogue Hong Kong. For almost 25 years, she was the food and drinks editor for the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong's main English-language daily newspaper. She's the author behind international cookbook Kung Pao & Beyond: Fried Chicken Recipes from East and Southeast Asia (Quadrille, Spring 2023), and also contributed to Signature Dishes That Matter (Phaidon, 2019).

  • Takanori Nakamura

    Takanori Nakamura

    Academy Chair for: 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.
  • Jung-Yoon Choi

    Jung-Yoon Choi

    Academy Vice Chair: China & Korea

    Jung-Yoon Choi is a chef with 20 years of experience working in Spain, Australia and Korea. She was trained at Alicia Foundation and El Bulli and is now head chef of the Sempio Korean Fermentation Culinary Research Center in Korea. She travels around China, Europe and the USA, cooperating with top chefs and gastronomy-related professionals to research on Korea’s fermentation food culture. JY represents the Academy in Korea.