Everything you need to know about 50 Next – the global list of young people shaping gastronomy

Mark Sansom - 20/04/2021

It’s here! The inaugural list of 50 Next has just been announced and the world is set to hear more about these exceptional young people making waves in food and drink. Gen-up on everything you need to know about the list and meet the Class of 2021 yourself with this five-minute read

In the hottest collab since this season’s The North Face x Supreme drop, 50 Best has just released the first-ever list of 50 Next, working with Basque Culinary Center, the Academic Partner for 50 Next, and Biscay, in the Basque Country of Spain, which is the official Host Destination Partner of the project.

With the prime motive to inspire, empower and connect the next generation of leaders, 50 Next celebrates 50 people (or small groups) aged 35 and under from across the wider food and drink scene, from producers and educators to tech creators and activists. They are united in the common goal of doing good for gastronomy and 50 Next brings them to the global stage for the recognition they deserve for their vital and future-defining work.

Usually, an unveiling of this scale would be accompanied by an all-singing, all-dancing 50 Best event to celebrate this assemblage of talent, but with social distancing and travel restrictions still in place, it has just not been possible to arrange a get-together. This year’s virtual announcement will be followed in 2022 with a live event in the city of Bilbao once the world opens up again.

A list but not a ranking, 50 Next was formed through research by 50 Next and the internationally renowned Basque Culinary Center, following an overwhelming response to calls for applications and nominations. As the food and drink world looks to the next stage of recovery, there is no better time to be introduced to the people setting the pace for the future of gastronomy. Here’s everything you need to know…

Where are the people in 50 Next from?
The 50 Next list features people from 34 countries across six continents
- It includes 24 women, 19 men and seven groups, with individuals ranging in age from 20 to 35
- 50 Next comprises five people based in Africa, six in Asia, one in the Caribbean, 18 in Europe, seven in Latin America, two in the Middle East, three in Australasia and eight in the USA
- 700 candidates were considered from a pool of applications, nominations and talent-scouting

How is 50 Next divided up?
The hive mind behind 50 Next looked at the entire food and drink ecosystem and split the candidates into seven categories:

- Gamechanging Producers
- Tech Disruptors
- Empowering Educators
- Entrepreneurial Creatives
- Science Innovators
- Hospitality Pioneers (supported by S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy)
- Trailblazing Activists

So, who are the people on this year’s 50 Next list?
We thought you’d never ask! Find each member of the 50 Next Class of 2021 below and click-through to discover more about them

Gamechanging Producers
Manuel Choqque, 33 – Cusco, Peru
- Clara Diez, 29 – Madrid, Spain
- Marianne Eaves, 34 – Lexington, USA
- Mark Emil Hermansen, 35 – Copenhagen, Denmark
- Louise Mabulo, 22 – San Fernando, Philippines
- Josh Niland, 32 – Sydney, Australia
- Jennifer Rodriguez, 34 – Mesitas del Colegio, Colombia
- Gian Marco Viano, 34 – Carema, Italy
- Mikel Zapiain, 33 and Ion Zapiain, 30 – San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

Tech Disruptors
Katerina Axelsson, 29 – San Luis Obispo, USA (from Russia)
- Matias Muchnick, 32 – New York, USA (from Chile)
- Jonathan Ng, 30 – Singapore
- Solveiga Pakštaitė, 28 – London, UK (from Lithuania)
- Abby Rose, 33 – London, UK, and Chile
- Isaac Sesi, 28 – Kumasi, Ghana

Empowering Educators
Mariana Aleixo, 33 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Cherrie Atilano, 35 – Makati City, Philippines
- Josh Gilbert, 29 – Gloucester, Australia
- Siddhi Karnani, 30 and Anurag Agarwal, 34 – Siliguri, India
- Ievgen Klopotenko, 34 – Kiev, Ukraine
- Dieuveil Malonga, 29 – Kigali, Rwanda (from Congo)
- Maureen Muketha, 25 – Nairobi, Kenya
- Edward Mukiibi, 34 – Mukono Town, Uganda
- Ted Rosner, 33 and Max Dubiel, 33 – London, UK (from UK and Germany, respectively)

Entrepreneurial Creatives        
- Ata Cengiz, 28 – Istanbul, Turkey
- Jon Gray, 35 – New York, USA
- Sana Javeri Kadri, 27 – Oakland, USA (from India)
- Adelaide Lala Tam, 27 – Rotterdam, Netherlands (from Hong Kong)
- Divya Mohan, 29 – Lund, Sweden (from India)
- Natsuko Shoji, 31 – Tokyo, Japan
- Thiago Vinícius De Paula Da Silva, 32 – São Paulo, Brazil

Science Innovators
- Maitane Alonso Monasterio, 20 – Sodupe, Basque Country, Spain
- Leah Bessa, 30 – Cape Town, South Africa
- Kisum Chan, 22 (from Hong Kong) and Lincoln Lee, 23 (from Malaysia) – London, UK – and Zheyi Chia, 22, and Jonathan Ong, 24 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Marc Coloma, 29 – Barcelona, Spain
- Kiara Nirghin, 21 – Stanford, USA (from South Africa)
- Leo Wezelius, 23, Angelo Demeter, 28 and Fredrik Åkerman, 24 – Stockholm, Sweden (from Sweden, Romania and Sweden, respectively)

Hospitality Pioneers, supported by S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy
- Jo Barrett, 32, and Matt Stone, 34 – Melbourne, Australia
- Ashtin Berry, 33 – New Orleans, USA
- Douglas McMaster, 34 – London, UK
- Diego Prado, 35 – Copenhagen, Denmark (from Chile)
- Claudia Albertina Ruiz Sántiz, 33 – San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico
- Marsia Taha, 32 – La Paz, Bolivia (from Bulgaria)
- David Zilber, 35 – Copenhagen, Denmark (from Canada)

 Trailblazing Activists
- Jamie Crummie, 29 and Lucie Basch, 29 – London, UK and New York, USA (from London and Paris, respectively)
- Friederike Gaedke, 29 – Berlin, Germany
- Bibi La Luz Gonzalez, 33 – Guatemala City, Guatemala
- Matt Jozwiak, 33 – New York, USA
- Maya Terro, 34 – Beirut, Lebanon (born in Ukraine)
- Jhannel Tomlinson, 29 – Kingston, Jamaica

Now watch this video to complete your education into all things 50 Next:

Keep an eye on the 50 Next website for more developments and for information on how to apply and nominate for next year’s list