Chefs and restaurateurs from Mexico to Chile landed in Bogotá this week for the fifth edition of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. The Colombian-themed ceremony at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo was a true celebration of gastronomy from across the region, with a series of special awards for individual chefs and restaurants in addition to the list of the 50 finest restaurants.
Here’s a visual recap of highlights from the ceremony:
One To Watch Award
Kicking off the ceremony, chef Felipe Bronze collected The One To Watch Award for his restaurant, Oro, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Felipe Bronze with Tim Brooke-Webb, Managing Director of Latin Amercia's 50 Best Restaurants, and on the red carpet
Best Pastry Chef
Next up was Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef, sponsored by República del Cacao. The award went to Japanese dessert maker Saiko Izawa from A Casa do Porco in São Paulo, Brazil. República del Cacao CEO Arnaud Monmarché stopped for a selfie with Izawa on stage, with the audience waving in the background.
Saiko Izawa, Latin America's Best Pastry Chef 2017, sponsored by República del Cacao, with Arnaud Monmarche, CEO, República del Cacao
Highest New Entry
The countdown was interrupted at No.36 for the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles. Francisco Ruano collected the award for his restaurant, Alcalde, in Guadalajara, to big cheers from the Mexican chefs present.
Francisco Ruano, Alcalde, winner of the Highest New Entry Award 2017, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles, with Wayne Conte, General Manager Americas & Japan, Aspire Lifestyles
Best Female Chef
Colombia’s very own Leo Espinosa of Leo and Misia in Bogotá collected her Latin America’s Best Female Chef Award and gave a passionate speech about her desire to use the award as a platform to encourage more women to join the industry.
Latin America's Best Female Chef Leo Espinosa with Hélène Pietrini, Director of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants
Best in Bolivia
The first of the Best in Country awards, at No.28 in the list, went to Gustu in La Paz, now the four-time winner of the Best Restaurant in Bolivia award. Head chefs Mauricio Lopez and Marsia Taha collected the trophy.
Mauricio Lopez and Marsia Taha of Gustu with presenter Marcela Vanegas
Best in Uruguay
Next, at No.22, was Parador La Huella in José Ignacio, the Best Restaurant in Uruguay. Co-owner Martín Pittaluga and head chef Vanessa González collected the award on behalf of the restaurant.
Best in Panama
At No.20, after making its debut in the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list last year, was Maito in Panama City, the Best Restaurant in Panama. Chef-owner Mario Castrellón collected the trophy.
Mario Castrellón of Maito, left, with Marcela Vanegas; Martín Pittaluga and head chef Vanessa González of Parador La Huella, right
Germán Martitegui of Tegui in Buenos Aires was shocked to receive the Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm, a recognition from his peers across the region. He later went up on stage for a second time to collect Tegui’s award for the Best Restaurant in Argentina.
Germán Martitegui, Tegui, winner of the Chefs' Choice Award 2017, sponsored by Estrella Damm, with Helena Gotsens Agusti, Latin America Export Manager, Estrella Damm, left; right with Marcela Vanegas, picking up the Best Restaurant in Argentina Award
Best in Colombia and Highest Climber
The next special award was a double: Harry Sasson restaurant in Bogotá won both the titles of Highest Climber, rising 23 places to No.17, and the Best Restaurant in Colombia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Chef Sasson collected the award.
Harry Sasson, Restaurant Harry Sasson, winner of the Best Restaurant in Colombia 2017, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, with Giorgia Concato, Business Developer Manager Latin America & Caribbean, S.Pellegrino
Before the countdown of the top 10, Guillermo González Beristáin of Grupo Pangea in Monterrey, Mexico, collected his Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award. He thanked his entire team and partner Cristina for the honour, ending with the words: “Go Mexico! Go Latin America!”
Guillermo González Beristáin, winner of The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award, with Efrain Forero, Diners Club International
Art of Hospitality
Astrid y Gastón in Lima, the first ever No.1 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in the inaugural edition in 2013, took The Art of Hospitality Award, a recognition of its impeccable service and overall dining experience. Chef-owner Gastón Acurio collected the award.
Gastón Acurio, Astrid y Gaston, Lima, winner of The Art of Hospitality Award 2017, with Charles Reed, Managing Director, William Reed Business Media
Best in Chile
For the fifth year running, Boragó in Santiago took home the title of the Best Restaurant in Chile, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, at No.5 in the list. Rodolfo Guzmán collected the award.
Rodolfo Guzmán, Boragó, the Best Restaurant in Chile 2017, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, with Roberto Caroni, Area Manager Latin America, Caribbean & Cruise Lines, S.Pellegrino
Best in Mexico
At No.4 was Enrique Olvera’s Pujol in Mexico City, which won the Best Restaurant in Mexico, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Olvera took the stage with General Manager Eréndira Díaz.
Enrique Olvera, and Eréndira Díaz, Pujol, the Best Restaurant in Mexico 2017, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, with Manuel Andres, Regional Business Head, Nestlé Waters Latin America
Best in Latin America
After the announcement of D.O.M. in São Paulo as the Best Restaurant in Brazil at No.3, it was time to find out if a new No.1 would be crowned. With former winner Central at No.2, there was applause all round as Maido in Lima, Peru, was named the new Best Restaurant in Peru and Best Restaurant in Latin America, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Chef-owner Mitsuharu Tsumura embraced Central owners Virgilio Martínez and Pía León before taking to the stage as the brand new No.1 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017!
Cesar Choy and Mitsuharu Tsumura, Maido, the Best Restaurant in Latin America and Peru 2017, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, with Giorgio Mondovi, IBU Director, S.Pellegrino
Watch the video highlights:
With thanks to all the partners of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2017: S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, ProColombia, Diners Club International, Estrella Damm, República del Cacao, Wines of Argentina, Juan Valdez Café, Cinco Jotas, Aspire Lifestyles, Príncipe de los Apóstoles and W Bogota.
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