Seven inspirational quotes on diversity and sustainability from the world's leading restaurateurs

Laura Price - 10/09/2018

Ahead of this week’s #50BestTalks: Voices for Change, we look at some of the most thought-provoking quotes from the 50 Best family.

In the last decade, the power of social media has allowed chefs and restaurateurs at the top of their games to use their voices for positive change all over the world, from championing issues of sustainability to lending their influence to charity or offering opportunities to those less privileged. The rise of the chef as a voice for change has seen the likes of Massimo Bottura, René Redzepi and Dominique Crenn have power and influence on a par with many a celebrity or politician in their respective countries.

That is why The World’s 50 Best Restaurants created #50BestTalks, presented by Miele, a platform to share the ideas sparked by the most creative and forward-thinking chefs, and to inspire positive movements around the globe. That is why, on Wednesday 12th September, #50BestTalks provides the stage for Enrique Olvera, Daniela Soto-Innes, Gaggan Anand, Virgilio Martínez, Lara Gilmore and Dominique Crenn to talk about how they are championing diversity through gastronomy.

Ahead of what is sure to be an inspiring afternoon of talks, we look back at statements from some of 50 Best’s leading voices.

Dominique Crenn

“Equality is rarely on the menu at the finest restaurants. Gender equality doesn’t just happen, it’s the ingredient you have to forage for. The world is hungry for change.” 


Dominique Crenn, chef-owner of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, will speak at #50BestTalks: Voices for Change on September 12 about how to move the diversity debate beyond gender.

Massimo Bottura

“All together, we are creating a community, and this community can truly create a revolution in the food world and beyond. We have to feed the world, we have to fight waste.” 


Massimo Bottura, chef-owner of Osteria Francescana in Modena, spoke at #50BestTalks: Food Forward in June 2017, where he urged his fellow chefs to act to end hunger around the world. His wife and co-owner, Lara Gilmore, will speak about their shared Food for Soul project, in San Francisco on September 12.

Kamilla Seidler 

“You cannot change the world through one restaurant, but you can try and be as careful as possible with the decisions you make. It’s necessary to at least make the decision of wanting to do good.” 


After five years in Bolivia as the head of Gustu restaurant, Danish chef Kamilla Seidler is now spearheading a new movement for equality in gastronomy.

Clare Smyth

“I believe in a sustainable environment, not just environmentally and economically but also in the cheffing industry, where we have to keep educating people.” 


Clare Smyth, of Core by Clare Smyth in London, wants to use her title of elit Vodka World's Best Female Chef 2018 to help more women reach the top of the restaurant industry. 

Malena Martínez

“To understand diversity is to understand flavours, mysticism, tradition, innovation, colours, textures, culture, sustainability, nature, health, traceability, ecology, the history behind each ingredient, and above all, our identity.” 


Head of the Mater Iniciativa research project behind Central, Mil and Kjolle restaurants with her brother Virgilio Martínez and sister-in-law Pía León, Malena Martínez is one of Peru's most influential voices in exploring her country's biodiversity.

Joan Roca

“The more sustainable we are, the healthier we are. The more human we are, the better. Because to cook is to care.” 


Joan Roca, the chef and co-owner of El Celler de Can Roca, introduced a double team structure at his restaurant to help his staff to improve their work-life balance and avoid burnout. He spoke at #50BestTalks: Food Forward in June 2017 on why he believes cooking is caring

Yoshihiro Narisawa

“Eating is indispensable. To be able to continue eating, we need to think beyond nationalities and countries.” 


The chef-owner of Narisawa, winner of the first Sustainable Restaurant Award for The World's 50 Best Restaurants, is a champion of sustainability and a leading voice in Japan and across Asia. Yoshihiro Narisawa gave 50 Best his tips for creating a truly sustainable restaurant.

Watch talks from Dan Barber, Clare Smyth, Paul Pairet, Joan Roca, Gaggan Anand, Eneko Atxa and Christina Tosi at #50BestTalks: Life Cycle in San Sebastian:

Header images: Kamilla Seidler, Massimo Bottura, Malena Martínez, Yoshihiro Narisawa, Dominique Crenn, Joan Roca, Clare Smyth

#50BestTalks Voices for Change: Championing a Diverse Future takes place at Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco from 14:30 local time on Wednesday 12th September. Watch the livestream on The World's 50 Best Restaurants Facebook and follow on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for all the highlights.