• The World's 50 Best Restaurants

About The Academy

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy is the mechanism used to create The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

None of the employees of any of the sponsors associated with the awards votes or has any influence over the results.

The Academy is comprised of over 1000 members, each selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene.

To create the Academy, and give it a fair representation of the global restaurant scene, we divide the world up into 26 geographical regions.

Each region has a chairperson appointed for their knowledge of their part of the restaurant world. These chairs each select a voting panel of 40 (including themselves) – ensuring a balanced selection of chefs, restaurateurs, food/restaurant journalists and well-travelled gourmets. All voters, aside from the Academy Chairs and Vice Chairs, must remain anonymous. A minimum of 25% of the panel is renewed each year.

To read more about how we create the list, please read our Manifesto

The Academy Chairs

The World's 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled from the votes of The World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy. We divide the world into regions, with a chairperson in each region appointed for their knowledge of their part of the restaurant world. These chairs each select a voting panel, who cast a total of over 10,000 votes. Select a region below to view the biography of each regional chairperson.

Andrey Zakharin – Russia, Central Asia & Eastern Europe

The editor-in-chief of Gastronom PH, Andrey Zakharin oversees a large range of top-end food publications including Gastronom and School of Gastronom, which have become Russia’s leading culinary and best-selling fortnightly magazines.

Cemre Narin – Turkey, Greece & the Balkans

Cemre Narin is an editor, cookbook author, event organizer and consultant based in Istanbul. She is the editor of all food and drinks content for the magazines Vogue and Condé Nast Traveller Turkey and also regularly contributes to other publications with articles on food culture. With former careers in marketing and psychology, she also works as a restaurant and trends consultant.
Instagram: @ceminers

Christian Grünwald – Austria, Switzerland, Hungary & Slovenia

Christian Grünwald has been the editor in chief of Austrian magazine A La Carte for over 20 years, a role that includes overseeing the Österreich A la Carte annual restaurant guide. The co-author of a number of chefs’ cookbooks, he also contributes to the Austrian TV show Frisch Gekocht (Freshly Cooked).

Christoph Teuner – Germany

Christoph Teuner has been a journalist for more than 30 years and is the anchorman of national German news channel n-tv. Since 2008 he has also been a prolific food writer for national newspapers and magazines, among which Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit, Welt am Sonntag, Falstaff Germany, Feinschmecker and Effilee.

Cristina Jolonch – Spain & Portugal

Cristina Jolonch is a journalist with more than 25 years’ experience writing for La Vanguardia, one of Spain’s biggest newspapers. She has travelled extensively in Spain and internationally as a writer and editor, and recently co-directed Snacks: Bite for a Revolution, a documentary film about about the gastronomic revolution that took place in Spain triggered by the influence of the legendary El Bulli.
Twitter: @cristinajolonch

Crystyl Mo – China & Korea

Crystyl Mo is a veteran food writer, entrepreneur and coach, who has been documenting China's dynamic restaurant scene for 15 years. The former Food Editor of Time Out Shanghai, Crystyl has contributed to publications including Travel + LeisureFood & WineCondé Nast Traveler and The New York Times T Style Magazine. She has been a featured commentator on CNN, National Geographic, the BBC and CCTV. She is also Partner and Strategic Advisor at Bon App, Asia's most popular bilingual social dining app.
Website: crystyl.com
Instagram: @crystylmo

Daniel Greve – South America (South, excl. Brazil)

Based in Santiago, Chile, Daniel Greve is an established food and wine writer with a career spanning nearly two decades. A professional olive oil taster, he has also been a presenter for TV programmes focused on food in Chile and Argentina, and was a restaurant critic for Qué Pasa magazine until 2015. He founded and runs Emporio Creativo, a food and wine publishing company that produces Jigger magazine, the Nirvino.cl website, as well as recipe books and culinary guides.
Twitter: @danielgreve
Instagram: @danielgreve

Diego Salazar – South America (North) & Caribbean

Diego Salazar is a journalist, editor, translator and food critic based in Lima. He lived and worked in Madrid from 2001 to 2012. He is a regular contributor for different media outlets, such as The New York Times en Español. He published the book on media, journalism and the internet No hemos entendido nada (Penguin Random House, 2018). He regularly writes about the media industry in his blog nohemosentendidonada.com
Twitter: @disalch
Instagram: @disalch

Eleonora Cozzella – Italy

Eleonora Cozzella is the editor of all the food and wine websites in the L’Espresso Editorial Group. She also collaborates on articles for the weekly magazine, L’Espresso, and is a critic on Italy’s leading restaurant guide of the same name.
Twitter: @ele_cozzella
Instagram: @ele_cozzella

Evelyn Chen – South-East Asia (South)

Based in Singapore, Evelyn is a former Zagat editor who contributes to numerous premium publications including New York TimesCondé Nast Traveller and CNN Travel, as well as writing her own well-established blog, Bibik Gourmand. She is also the Singapore destination expert for Telegraph Travel and has appeared in numerous food-related TV programmes including Asian Ace, 3 Chefs 1 City and The Toque 12.
Twitter: @BibikGourmand
Instagram: @bibikgourmand

Jade George – Middle East

Jade George co-founded Art And Then Some, an independent publishing house in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2011. She is editorial director of The Carton, a food culture magazine centred on Middle Eastern culture, and has previously worked as senior editor and food critic for Time Out Beirut.
Twitter: @thecartonfood
Instagram: @thecarton

Josimar Melo – Brazil

Journalist and culinary critic Josimar Melo is the food editor of Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil’s leading daily newspaper. He is also the host of the National Geographic channel show The Guide, where he travels the world looking at food and culture in different countries.
Twitter: @JosimarM

Lars Peder Hedberg – Scandinavia & Baltics

Lars Peder Hedberg is co-founder of Scandinavia media company Intellecta. He is also the founder and publisher of the influential White Guide, which covers the restaurant scene in the Nordic countries and is now expanding globally through the 12forward by White Guide apps, identifying the 12 eateries in each world city pushing gastronomy forward.

Litti Kewkacha – South-East Asia (North)

Based in Bangkok, Litti is a passionate and highly regarded gastronome. Born and raised in Thailand, he has also spent time living in Singapore and the UK. He oversees a range of leisure and hospitality businesses in the fast-casual and fast-food sectors under the Kacha Brothers umbrella, and his family founded and owns the Safari World and Phuket FantaSea theme parks. He travels extensively and has visited almost every restaurant featured on the 50 Best lists, as well as numerous others, sharing his experiences on his popular Instagram account @litsfree.

Mitchell Davis – East USA & East Canada

Mitchell Davis is a cookbook author and food and radio journalist. His articles about food, restaurants and travel appear regularly in magazines such as GQ, Food & Wine and The Art of Eating. He is also executive vice-president of the James Beard Foundation and author of cookbooks including Kitchen Sense.
Twitter: @KitchenSense
Instagram: @kitchensense

Nicolas Chatenier – France

Writer and consultant Nicolas Chatenier has immersed himself in the world of French cuisine for more than 10 years. In 2012 he published Mémoires de Chef, a detailed and vibrant account of the Nouvelle Cuisine movement in France in the 1970s. He is a regular contributor on food and restaurant issues to Le Monde, Vanity Fair and GQ.

Pat Nourse – Oceania, Australia & New Zealand

Pat Nourse is a freelance food and drink journalist. Based in Sydney, he has reviewed restaurants for a living for 17 years. He was managing editor and chief restaurant critic for Gourmet Traveller and edited the magazine’s national restaurant guide for 14 years. 
Twitter: @patnourse
Instagram: @patnourse

Rashmi Uday Singh – India, Central Asia & Subcontinent

Recently conferred the prestigious knighthood from the French Government, Chevalier ordre des Art et des Lettres and award-winning author of 37 books (including India's first restaurant guide), Rashmi Uday Singh studied journalism, literature, law, and management and trained with the BBC. Her weekly columns with The Times of India and TV shows (including Channel 4 with Gordon Ramsay) continue to be popular.
Twitter: @rashmiudaysingh
Instagram: @rashmiudaysingh
Website: rashmiudaysingh.com

Steve Dolinsky – Mid USA & Mid Canada

Steve Dolinsky is Food Reporter for ABC 7 News in Chicago. He also covers food for Public Radio International’s “The World," travel sections in both The Chicago Tribune and Canada’s Globe and Mail, and he’s the co-creator/ producer/host of The Feed Podcast, with chef Rick Bayless. The show won the James Beard Award in 2015 for Best Podcast; that was Dolinsky’s 13th Beard Award – he’s also won previously for TV and radio excellence.
Website: stevedolinsky.com
Twitter: @stevedolinsky
Instagram: @stevedolinsky

Susan Jung – Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan

Susan Jung was born in California and moved to Hong Kong to work as a pastry chef before being offered a job at the South China Morning Post, where she reviews restaurants and writes weekly columns on cooking and the Hong Kong food scene. Her cookbook, A Celebration of Food, was published in 2012.
Twitter: @SusanJungHKFood

Takanori Nakamura – Japan

Takanori Nakamura is a leading Japanese columnist, contributing articles on fashion, culture, travel and gastronomy for newspapers and magazines as well as appearing on television. His series in Ryori Tushin Food Journal, where he cooks with top chefs, has been running for over 100 issues and has been published as a book.  
Website: dandy-nakamura.com
Instagram: @officedandynakamura

Tamsin Snyman – Africa

Based in Cape Town, Tamsin owns her own culinary consultancy and cookbook publishing company. She is an editor and cookbook author, and she publishes the works of celebrated local culinary icons. Previously the food editor for Shape Magazine, she now contributes to various South African food publications. Tamsin heads up the annual American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards in her country, which has been in existence for 18 years.
Twitter: @tamsinsnyman
Instagram: @tamsinsnyman
Website:  tamsinsnyman.com

Valentina Ortiz Monasterio – Mexico and Central America

Valentina Ortiz Monasterio has been involved in the world of gastronomy since she studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2000. With a law degree, she has worked as a consultant in public affairs for 17 years. She founded the online daily newspaper animalgourmet.com in 2013 and set up a vineyard and wine project in 2015 in Baja California. 
Twitter: @valeom

Virginia Miller – West USA & West Canada

Based in San Francisco, Virginia is an established food and drink writer. She grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and New York, before embarking on a career that has seen her work as an editor for Zagat, as national editor and VP for Table8, a critic for San Francisco Guardian and a Time Out columnist, as well as write for numerous international publications. She is equally fascinated by the drinks sector, regularly covering bars, cocktails and spirits for Liquor.com, Distiller and more. She launched her website, The Perfect Spot, in 2007.

Willem Asaert – Benelux

Willem Asaert, who is based in Antwerp, has been a food and restaurant writer for almost 20 years and is currently editor-in-chief of Culinaire Ambiance, the leading culinary magazine in Belgium. He has published numerous food-related books and served as a judge on several international cooking competitions. A graduate in economic history, he speaks four languages.

Xanthe Clay – UK & Ireland

Xanthe Clay is a Leith’s trained chef-turned-food writer with a regular column in the Weekend Telegraph. She contributes to publications including Good Food magazine, Olive, Food & Travel and Delicious, as well as working with the BBC.
Twitter: @XantheClay


The Academy Vice Chairs

Jung-Yoon Choi – China & Korea

Jung-Yoon Choi is a chef with 20 years of experience working in Spain, Australia and Korea. She was trained at Alicia Foundation and El Bulli and is now head chef of the Sempio Korean Fermentation Culinary Research Center in Korea. She travels around China, Europe and the USA, cooperating with top chefs and gastronomy-related professionals to research on Korea’s fermentation food culture. JY represents the Academy in Korea.
Instagram: @jyroots

Kenneth Nars – Scandinavia & Baltics

A writer living in Helsinki, Kenneth Nars has been the restaurant critic at Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet since 1998. He is also a contributor at Swedish Gourmet, Monocle, Helsingin Sanomat and at German magazine Norr. Kenneth represents the Academy in Finland and the Baltics.
Twitter: @KennethNars
Instagram: @KennethNars