The Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 celebrations took place in Macao on 25 and 26 March with a series of events that highlighted the culinary talent in the region and culminated in the announcement of Singapore restaurant Odette as The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Relive the best moments from the days of the festivities in 21 photo highlights.
André Chiang opens the celebrations
To start off the festivities for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019, chef André Chiang oversaw a special dinner for the Academy Chairs, sponsors and guests of Asia’s 50 Best at Sichuan Moon, his newly-opened restaurant at Wynn Palace in Macao. In the photo, Chiang shows off his sour-spicy soup.
Philippines at #50BestTalks
The team of Toyo Eatery, including chef Jordy Navarra, his two sous chefs and general manager May Navarra, were in attendance at thought-leadership event #50BestTalks at Wynn Macau. Toyo Eatery went on to win the award for The Best Restaurant in Philippines at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019.
Zaiyu Hasegawa and Den team at #50BestTalks, presented by Miele
To highlight how each diner’s experience is made special at Den, chef Zaiyu Hasegawa and his team recreated a series of scenes from the restaurant, from the moment they first receive a reservation enquiry over the phone until the client leaves the Tokyo eatery, showcasing the personal attention and detail-oriented focus that characterises the restaurant.
Garima Arora on the role of spice in Indian cuisine
As part of the #50BestTalks event, chef Garima Arora of Gaa in Bangkok gave a presentation on the importance of spices in her Indian cuisine. “As I grew up and started cooking, I started to appreciate the instinct my grandmother had in combining spices in such a harmonious way,” said Arora. “Spice is an amazing resource to create something new that surprises and delights us.”
Fabrizio Fiorani on the merits of sugar
The pastry chef at Il Ristorante Luca Fantin in Tokyo, Fabrizio Fiorani discussed how sugar is such a central component in desserts, demonstrating this on stage by making his dessert Zucchero, which features sugar in every component. “Without sugar, there wouldn't be desserts, and without desserts we wouldn't need pastry chefs!” said Fiorani.
Bo Songvisava at #50BestTalks: Vital Ingredients
On the theme of Vital Ingredients, chef Bo Songvisava of Bo.Lan in Bangkok shone a spotlight on salt and all its varieties in Thailand, including mountain salt, river salt and sea salt. “Salt is everywhere in Thai society, starting from the food,” said Songvisava. “We throw it at weddings to bring people together, we use it to expel the bad things from life. Without salt and chilli, there wouldn’t be Thai cuisine.”
During a panel discussion moderated by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy Chair Crystyl Mo, chefs from different corners of the world discussed innovative projects and initiatives they have undertaken to improve their restaurant’s impact on the environment. “I want to transfer the serious topic of sustainability to the bright side. Finding the solution to sustainability can be like a fun game,” said chef Shinobu Namae of L’Effervescence in Tokyo during the discussion.
Sushi at Mizumi after #50BestTalks
Following the #50BestTalks events, guests enjoyed lunches at different restaurants at Wynn Macau, including Il Teatro and Mizumi. In the photo, some of the delicious sushi prepared by the Mizumi chefs.
The atmospheric Chefs’ Feast, an evening of celebration for the chefs of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, took place at Pousada de Coloane in Macao overlooking the sea and under the light of colourful lanterns.
Fun, food and feast for the chefs
Some of the chefs of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 – including Thomas and Mathias Sühring, Hiroyasu Kawate, Takeshi Fukuyama, Gaggan Anand, Zaiyu Hasegawa and Yusuke Takada – celebrate on the red carpet at the Chefs’ Feast.
Award-winning cocktails from Himkok
Guests at the Chefs’ Feast enjoyed the cocktails shaken by the team of Himkok in Norway, No.19 on The World’s 50 Best Bars list and winner of the Sustainable Bar Award 2018, including their homemade Strawberry Wine and a cocktail called Gooseberry.
Awards reception at Wynn Palace
Wynn Palace in Macao provided a fantastic backdrop for the drinks reception, where delicious bites and drinks were served by the pool before the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards ceremony.
Chef Dharsan Munidasa poses on the red carpet. Munidasa’s restaurant Ministry of Crab received the award for The Best Restaurant in Sri Lanka at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019.
Miele One To Watch
Jimmy Lim of JL Studio in Taichung, Taiwan, collected the Miele One To Watch Award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 from Mario Miranda, Regional Managing Director of Miele.
elit™ Vodka Asia’s Best Female Chef
Garima Arora of Gaa in Bangkok, Thailand, collected her award as elit™ Vodka Asia’s Best Female Chef 2019. Gaa also received the Highest New Entry Award, debuting on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list at No.16.
Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm
An incredulous Zaiyu Hasegawa of restaurant Den in Tokyo was voted by his peers to receive the Chefs’ Choice Award, which he collected from Estrella Damm’s Maria Faus. Den was also voted as The Best Restaurant in Japan.
American Express Icon Award
When chef Seiji Yamamoto of Nihonryori RyuGin in Tokyo jumped on stage to receive his American Express Icon Award, his team and other Japan-based chefs followed him to pay tribute to chef Yamamoto’s contributions to Asia’s gastronomic scene by waving RyuGin flags.
Asia’s Best Pastry Chef, sponsored by Valrhona
Fabrizio Fiorani of Il Ristorante Luca Fantin in Tokyo was honoured to receive the title of Asia’s Best Pastry Chef 2019. Fiorani collected his award from Wenceslas Wedrychowski, Valrhona’s Area Manager for Asia Pacific.
The award ceremony included plenty of emotional moments, including when Taipei restaurant Mume was announced as No.7 in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the highest ever result for a restaurant in the Taiwan region. In the photo, chef Richie Lin and business partner Long Xiong celebrate with their peers.
The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna
Singapore-based restaurant Odette was named as The Best Restaurant in Asia 2019, the first time that a restaurant in the city-state has received this honour in the history of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Chef Julien Royer and general manager Steven Mason collected the award from Stefano Marini, Director of International Business Unit for S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
Celebrating the talent in Asian gastronomy
All the chefs representing the restaurants in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list took to the stage for an iconic group picture that includes many of the greatest cooks in the region.
Watch the highlights from the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants award ceremony in Macao:
With thanks to all our partners: S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, Macao, Wynn Resorts, Miele, elit™ Vodka, American Express, Estrella Damm, Valrhona, Douro Boys, The Dalmore, Gin Mare, Cinco Jotas, Aspire Lifestyles, Taipa Village, Frontier Tojo, Champagne Delamotte and Seedlip.
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