Stories from the frontline, dreams for the future: check out Food Meets Hope on 13 October

William Drew - 15/09/2020

To open the 50 Best Recovery Summit, gastronomic visionaries including Daniel Humm, Dominique Crenn, Richard Ekkebus and Daniela Soto-Innes share learnings and outline hopes for a fresh global gastronomic paradigm. Join us on Facebook on Tuesday, 13 October for Food Meets Hope by S.Pellegrino 

You might be curious to hear Dominique Crenn’s punchy response to the traumatic cocktail of Covid, racial injustice and climate crisis in the US. You can discover how the pioneering Richard Ekkebus is trying to reshape the luxury restaurant model amid intermittent hospitality lockdowns and political crackdowns in Hong Kong. Alternatively, find out from Bjorn Frantzén how things compare in Stockholm, where restrictions are minimal, to Singapore, where society is more tightly controlled – the acclaimed Swedish chef has restaurants in both cities.

All of the above and much more will be part of the upcoming virtual event: Food Meets Hope by S.Pellegrino, created by 50 Best in partnership with its long-time main partner, which premieres on Facebook at 15:00 UK time on Tuesday, 13 October. Travel-starved gastronomes, hungry foodies, curious chefs, hospitality workers and media alike are all welcome to join us for an hour-long forum focused on the positive responses, learnings and hopes generated by the unprecedented challenges of 2020 to date. 

Food Meets Hope has three core strands that make up the session on 13 October. The opening Recovery section will catch up with a selection of restaurateurs from across the globe who received grants as part of the 50 Best for Recovery programme that has replaced The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and live events this year. With the help of the gastronomic community and its partners, including founding donor S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, 50 Best has raised $1.24m, with the funds being distributed to non-profit organisations as well as direct to restaurants and bars to aid their recovery. This is your chance to see where and how those funds are being utilised, and to hear stories of resilience and hope from the hospitality frontline.

The second part of Food Meets Hope focuses on Inclusivity, with a series of personal viewpoints and experiences recounted direct to viewers. This will include a powerful testimony from US-Mexican chef and restaurateur Daniela Soto-Innes (current holder of The World’s Best Female Chef title); Brazilian-born chef and culinary researcher Ivan Brehm of Nouri in Singapore advocating new perspectives on identity via his ‘crossroads cuisine’ concept; and Black chef Erick Williams of Virtue in Chicago on his dreams for a more just and equitable future.


Virtue's Erick Williams at the pass

The concluding strand of the virtual event, free to attend for all, sees some of the foremost advocates for positive change in the global gastronomic scene discuss the Evolution of a more viable and sustainable restaurant model. Participants will include Julia Colagreco, director of Mirazur in Menton, ranked No.1 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019; Tim Raue, chef-owner of Germany’s top ranked Restaurant Tim Raue in Berlin; Richard Ekkebus of Amber in Hong Kong and culinary director for the Mandarin Oriental group; and Dominique Crenn, owner of a series of revered venues in San Francisco and recently published author of Rebel Chef. Together they will discuss how the restaurant model can be reshaped to reflect the fast-changing desires of diners.


Mauro and Julia Colagreco; their restaurant, Mirazur

Finally, as a supplement to the main event streamed on Facebook, 50 Best will conduct a series of interviews live on its Instagram channel over the three days of the wider Recovery Summit. Immediately after Food Meets Hope, at 5pm on Tuesday, 13 October, Bjorn Frantzén of Frantzén in Stockholm and Zén in Singapore offers his insights based on overseeing restaurants in different continents. At 10am on Wednesday, 14 October, May Chow of Little Bao in Hong Kong and Bangkok provides updates from the casual dining perspective. Finally, at 2pm on Thursday 15 October, Eleven Madison Park chef-owner Daniel Humm, whose restaurant is part of the ‘Best of the Best’ group of former world No.1s, sets out his own vision for recovery.


Zén, Singapore; Bjorn Frantzén; Frantzén, Stockholm

Food Meets Hope by S.Pellegrino provides the opening element of the Recovery Summit, hosted by 50 Best online from October 13-15, 2020. Bringing the global food community together, the Recovery Summit’s focus will be on exploring how the sector can thrive again.

The Recovery Summit forms part of the overarching 50 Best for Recovery programme, which was launched earlier this year in conjunction with founding partner S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Since the onset of the global pandemic, the 50 Best team has focused its resources on 50 Best for Recovery, providing tangible financial relief, as well as creating and collating helpful resources, for hospitality businesses as they emerge from the pandemic and seek actionable advice and support.

50 Best aims to play an ongoing role in reconnecting, reaffirming and rebuilding the restaurant sphere, for professionals and diners alike. Join us on Facebook on 13 October to be part of the positive process of reconstruction.

Note: all timings are UK. For regular updates on the extensive 50 Best Recovery Summit programme, check Instagram @TheWorlds50Best and Facebook @50BestRestaurants.

Imagery courtesy of: Nicolas Lobbestael; Nolis Anderson