Judging Panel

Our cosmopolitan, multicultural, globetrotting, gender-balanced panel of restaurant experts includes 37 different nationalities. We've brought together star chefs and restaurateurs; influential figures in old and new media; book publishers, filmmakers, food system scientists, activists and campaigners.  


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Kylie Kwong

Chef Australia

Kylie Kwong has become synonymous with modern Chinese cooking in Australia. As a third-generation Australian, she has drawn on her southern Chinese heritage to reinterpret Cantonese cuisine, combining uniquely Australian ingredients with traditional Chinese cooking methods and flavours. The foundation of her food is locally grown, organic and biodynamic produce, with a strong focus on native Australian ingredients. Her celebrated Chinese eating house Billy Kwong, thrives on partnerships with the local community and long-term suppliers and producers: from rooftop honey and herbs to artisan wines, spirits and beers from innovative winemakers, distillers and brewers.

Rodolfo Guzmán

Chef Chile

Rodolfo Guzman is chef and owner at Boragó restaurant in Santiago, Chile. He is the father of two girls and two boys: Margarita, Olivia, Raimundo and Bernardo and husband of Ale.

Robbie Swinnerton

Media Japan

Robbie Swinnerton is a British-born journalist and food writer who has lived in and written about Tokyo since 1980. He has travelled extensively within Japan, throughout Asia and around the world. He grows his own ume fruit, makes them into umeboshi and umeshu, and never calls them plums.

Richard Vines

Media United Kingdom

Richard Vines is the chief food critic at Bloomberg, based in London, where he has worked for the company since 1995. Richard has been a professional journalist for 40 years, 13 of them spent in Asia. Before writing about food, he was a business journalist and also a lead writer for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, specializing in Asian politics.

Rebecca Mackenzie

Director Canada

Rebecca is President & CEO of the Culinary Tourism Alliance, working with stakeholders across the food tourism value chain. Rebecca and her team work with communities around the world to support the development of local economies through building new business partnerships and community-driven experiences that showcase a “taste of place”.

Rachel Khong

Media United States

Rachel Khong is a writer living in San Francisco. She was the Executive Editor of Lucky Peach magazine. She's the author of the novel, Goodbye, Vitamin, which was released in 2017 by Henry Holt, and received the California First Fiction Award by the Commonwealth Club. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Buzzfeed, and The Paris Review.

Paulo Barata

Media Portugal

Paulo has been a traveler and food photojournalist for more than 20 years, based in Lisbon. He loves to create food documentaries and portfolios with some of the most influential chefs in Portugal and beyond, and collaborates with several food and lifestyle magazines such as Público, Cook_ink, Dispensa, Up-TAP and Volta ao Mundo. Alongside Ana Músico, Paulo created and organises the international food festivals Sangue na Guelra and Symposium Sangue na Guelra, among other initiatives about food.

Paul Carmichael

Chef Australia

Lover of cooking and all things hospitality, Paul is from the Caribbean island of Barbados. He has worked with some amazing people along the way in Barbados, NYC, Puerto Rico and Australia. Paul lives in Sydney and cooks the food of his heritage at Momofuku Seiobo.

Olivier Reneau

Media France

Olivier Reneau is a freelance journalist for Air France Madame, Ideat, The Good Life and Les Echos SL. He works as a food critic for Le Guide Lebey and Identita Golose.

Nicolas Bourriaud

Media France

Nicolas Bourriaud (born 1965) is a curator and art critic who has curated a great number of exhibitions and biennials all over the world. In 2009 he curated the fourth Tate Triennial, titled Altermodern. He was the Director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, an art school in Paris, France, from 2011 to 2015. There, he curated "Cook Book" with Andrea Petrini, the first art exhibition including both chefs and artists. In 2015, he was appointed director of the OCO (Montpellier Contemporary) including La Panacée art center, the art school and the Contemporary Art Museum of Montpellier, France, the latter being scheduled to open in 2019.

Nicholas Gill

Media United States

Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work appears in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Bon Appétit, Fool, Saveur, New York Magazine, and many others. He is the co-author of the book Central,which was nominated for a James Beard award, and co-founder of the website NewWorlder.com.

Miguel Pires

Media Portugal

Miguel Pires is a Portuguese freelance gastronomic journalist and restaurant reviewer for national (Publico, Revista de Vinhos, etc) and international (Italy: Cook_Inc, Italy; USA: Eater.com 38 Essential Restaurants in Lisbon; etc ) publications. He's the author of the restaurants and gourmand shops book Lisboa à Mesa / Eat in Lisbon and co-author of blog Mesa Marcada. He’s also an amateur cook and Instagram activist.

Melinda Joe

Media Japan

Melinda Joe is an American journalist based in Tokyo, Japan. She is a regular correspondent for The Japan Times and Gourmet Sweden. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, Newsweek, Robb Report, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes Asia and Departures Magazine. Her work has taken her from the craggy cliffs of the Faroe Islands to the high-altitude salt flats of Chile. A certified sake and wine specialist, she has been a panel chair for the sake division at London’s International Wine Challenge since 2014.

May Chow

Chef Hong Kong

Named Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017, May Chow has garnered both critical acclaim and a loyal following of diners. Whether presenting a personal take on classic Chinese flavours in a casual American-style diner setting, or elevating traditional recipes with all the refinement and sophistication of fine-dining, Chow is committed to exploring, redefining and exalting the value of traditional ingredients and local culinary history. Chow burst onto Hong Kong’s foodie scene in 2013 with Little Bao; a hipster haven serving inimitable Chinese burgers. Five years later, the buzz around Little Bao has hardly died-down.

Alex Atala

Chef Brazil

Currently the most influential chef in Brazil, Alex Atala is renowned for his innovative cuisine focused on valuing the Brazilian ingredients, a credo which he has practiced since 1999 in the D.O.M. restaurant, his most awarded house. Firmly linked to his roots and looking towards the future, Alex is, above all, passionate about Brazil, nature, gastronomy, and life. Alex turns his creative energy into unforgettable experiences for those who have the opportunity to prove his experiments. With boldness and vision, Alex surpasses the boundaries of cuisine and acts as a responsible citizen, valuing the small producer, encouraging young professionals, and supporting the third sector.