Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 will be announced in March alongside new Essence of Asia initiative

Giulia Sgarbi - 21/01/2021

Following a year of extraordinary challenges, 50 Best will unveil a list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, on 25th March via a virtual awards ceremony. The awards will be preluded by the all-new Essence of Asia initiative, which will spotlight an unranked collection of local-hero restaurants from across the continent. Together, they will celebrate the many ways the hospitality sector has demonstrated its agility, resilience and importance as a cultural force in society

Although the global pandemic had a devastating impact on the restaurant scene in 2020, there are hopeful signs of revival across the Asian continent. As part of its commitment to support the recovery of the hospitality sector, 50 Best will announce the ninth edition of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list on Thursday, 25th March, through a digital awards show on Facebook and YouTube that will unite chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and gastronomes in recognition of the talent and dedication across Asia’s unique culinary landscape. For the first time, it will also unveil a new unranked restaurant collection: Essence of Asia.

Set to launch on Tuesday, 16th March, Essence of Asia will complement the annual ranking of Asia’s 50 Best. It will recognise establishments that represent the spirit of Asian gastronomy and those that have had a positive impact on their communities and local cuisine, whether during the recent crisis or over a sustained period.

The collection will include casual restaurants integral to Asia’s culinary ecosystem that preserve traditions, honour authentic flavours and provide a vital link to their communities. It will span the whole continent and will be created from personal recommendations from the chefs and owners of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 and 2021, as well as from the 50 Best Discovery online guide and 50 Best’s network of local experts.
The conversation around Essence of Asia will continue on 50 Best’s digital channels, with two instalments of the thought-leadership series #50BestTalks scheduled for March. Further details of these virtual events will be announced in the coming weeks, with several special awards also set to be announced in advance of the official ceremony:

- Icon Award on Thursday, 4th February, recognising an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry
- Asia’s Best Female Chef Award on Thursday, 25th February, celebrating an inspirational female cook whose work has impressed the voting Academy
- One To Watch Award on Thursday, 4th March, spotlighting a rising-star restaurant in the region
- Inedit Damm Chefs’ Choice Award on Thursday, 11th March, honouring a chef who is regarded as a leader by their peers.

The Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 awards programme aims to acknowledge local champions, celebrate the sector’s resilience and honour the leaders who have demonstrated innovation during the crisis. Since 2013, the ranking has been created from the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 300 leaders made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and regional culinary experts, with a 50/50 gender balance.

With travel restrictions in place throughout 2020, voters had limited dining opportunities and the voting process was adjusted accordingly. Previously, each Academy member voted for 10 restaurants, with at least four of these located outside their home country. This year, voters nominated a total of seven restaurants, including up to five from their home country, which they must have visited in the last 18 months. The voting process is independently adjudicated by professional services consultancy Deloitte.

Foodies and restaurants lovers anywhere in the globe are invited to join the digital countdown of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, through the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Facebook page and the 50 Best Restaurants TV YouTube channel on 25th March. The awards show will start at 8:30am London time (14:00 India time; 15:30 Thailand time; 16:30 Singapore/China time; 17:30 Japan time). 

While you wait for Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2021, relive the best moments of the 2020 edition in the video:

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