The Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy is the mechanism used to create the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list. None of the employees of the organiser or 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 300 members, each selected for their expert opinion of the Latin American restaurant scene. To create the Academy, and give it a fair representation of the Latin American restaurant scene, we divide the region into five geographical regions.
Each region has a chairperson appointed for their knowledge of their part of the restaurant world. These chairs each selected a voting panel (including themselves) – ensuring a gender-balanced selection of chefs, restaurateurs, food/restaurant journalists and gourmands.
Learn more about how the voting works
Academy Chair: Central America
Based in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Lucia Barros is the director of Mister Menu, a digital platform and printed magazine that explores Central American gastronomy, ingredients and producers. She is also the creator of the magazine Nixtamal, which focuses on sustainability in Central American food culture, and of La Cosecha, a project that promotes sustainable development in Guatemala through coffee tourism.
Based in Lima, Peru, Paola Miglio is an established food writer, editor and campaigner. She is the restaurant critic for Peruvian newspaper El Comercio and an editor and partner at food site www.eltrinche.com, as well as a co-founder of La Higuera, a database of Latin American women in gastronomy. Miglio also co-edited a book charting the recent history of Peruvian food entitled El Gusto es Nuestro (2018).
Valentina Ortiz Monasterio has been involved in the world of gastronomy since she studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2000. With a law degree, she has worked as a consultant in public affairs for 17 years. She founded the online daily newspaper animalgourmet.com in 2013 and set up a vineyard and wine project in 2015 in Baja California.
Academy Vice Chair: Argentina & Uruguay
Marcela Baruch, based in Montevideo, Uruguay, is a journalist, sommelier and globetrotter. She has been food and wine editor of Galería, Uruguay’s leading weekly lifestyle magazine, since 2007 and also contributes to a variety of international publications. She is the co-author of three books and can be found blogging at Peregrina Gourmet.