50 Best prepares for the year ahead with a positive commitment to celebration, action and evolution. Director of Content William Drew outlines the organisation’s aims and charts some of its key initiatives for 2022
In the spirit of the holiday season, the 50 Best team has taken the opportunity to reflect on the unprecedented nature of the last two years to inform its hopes and ambitions for the future.
Our Hope for Hospitality is to acknowledge recent challenges, to take onboard the lessons we have learnt, and to build on the work 50 Best and its partners have been doing to support and benefit the wider hospitality community. We commit to pushing ourselves to keep doing better and to think more creatively and more inclusively, to cast a critical eye on our practices, our perceptions and our assumptions.
50 Best, in all its myriad forms – ranging from rankings to digital content, travel guides and immersive videography to special awards – will continue to pay homage to and celebrate the people and teams that comprise our resilient and talented industry, whether they’re in the spotlight or in the background, in a major city or a small rural town, part of a large operation or a small independent unit. In doing so, 50 Best will arm food and drink lovers with greater knowledge, inspiration and access.
Our Hope for Hospitality is for us all to improve and evolve, knowing there will always be challenges along the way, but also knowing that we have the tools and the passion to make meaningful change in our communities, and help create a more open-minded and inclusive world.
This is the 50 Best Hope for Hospitality 2022:
Recovery and rebuilding is ongoing, and 50 Best remains steadfast in its commitment to the hospitality sector and vision for the future. The new year kicks off with the launch of the highly anticipated Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants with the awards being held in Abu Dhabi in February 2022, shining a much-deserved and long-overdue spotlight on the region as a world-class culinary destination. An exciting line-up of consumer-focused events will bring some of the most distinguished chefs from around the world to the Middle East, in addition to celebrating local and regional culinary talent.
February will also witness the second edition of 50 Next, an annual collection of young people shaping the future of gastronomy, combined with the first live 50 Next event. Formed through robust research and analysis by 50 Best in partnership with the internationally renowned Basque Culinary Center, 50 Next showcases a diverse global selection of bright young minds who have turned their ideas into reality. The unranked list and its accompanying gathering in Bilbao, Spain aims to inspire, empower and connect young people who are truly pushing boundaries and tackling challenges from fresh perspectives across the food and drink ecosystem. 50 Best hopes that the recognition 50 Next brings will act as a springboard to take their revolutionary ideas to the global stage.
Champions of Change, an awards initiative that launched in 2021 as part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants overall programme, will further evolve in 2022, highlighting a select number of unsung heroes who are creating positive change and driving meaningful action. Each Champions of Change award will include a substantial monetary donation to the recipients’ causes, which all support long-term progress in the restaurant and food sphere, whether through helping others, developing inspirational blueprints or creating a healthier planet.
Deepanker Khosla, Viviana Varese and Kurt Evans, the Champions of Change 2021
2022 will see further additions to 50 Best Discovery, an in-depth collection of city guides and reviews for restaurants and bars, which operates as an extension of the prestigious 50 Best rankings globally. Nearly 600 new venues were added in August 2021, bringing the number of establishments on the search engine to above the 2,000 mark, with 81 global countries included. Additional entries are slated to be added in the upcoming year, casting a wider floodlight on the best restaurants and bars across the world, be they hidden, back-street noodle bars, secretive speakeasies or classic fine dining restaurants. By driving footfall to a greater range of hospitality venues than ever before, 50 Best believes it can be a catalyst for the recovery process.
These plans for 2022 represent the evolution of the 50 Best for Recovery programme, first developed in early 2020 in response to the pandemic. 50 Best pivoted from publishing its annual ranking and hosting live events to focus on fundraising and supporting the hospitality sector, which included raising $1.29m with the support of its partners.
50 Best for Recovery distributed grants to more than 200 restaurants and bars from 53 countries and donated to a series of non-profit organisations in the food and drink sector. 50 Best also launched its first charity e-book, Home Comforts: simple lockdown recipes from the world’s best chefs and bartenders, as well developing the online Recovery Hub, which collected content to offer advice, information and inspiring stories for the sector when it needed it most.
Further details of 50 Best events, including dates, timings, and locations will be available in the coming weeks. Please follow the 50 Best social channels, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for updates. We look forward to our incredible community – chefs, bartenders, gastronomes, media, food lovers and drinks connoisseurs – joining us on our journey in 2022 and beyond.