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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Entrepreneur Zimbabwe

Chido Govera is a Social Entrepreneur from Zimbabwe and a Young Global Leader Fellow with the World Economic Forum (WEF). She is the Founder of The Future of Hope Foundation, through which she fulfils her commitment to ending poverty, abuse, self-pity, and victimhood at the grassroots level in Africa through food security. The simplified sustainable mushroom farming method provides food security by converting organic residues into food, motivating people at different levels to take on entrepreneurial opportunities in both the developed and developing parts of the world. Committed to engaging women and girls in socio-economic development and to reach their full potential.

Geeta Bansal

Media United States

Geeta is a chef, food writer, and global traveler pursuing a passion and curiosity for food and those around it. She is on a quest to connect with chefs and cooks and share their stories, as she believe a chef's cuisine is reflective of the life they have lived and the story they have to tell. Geeta has a unique perspective that has been refined over years of travel for conversations, friendships, libations, and memorable tastings.

Selassie Atadika

Chef Ghana

After over a decade spent in humanitarian work with the United Nations and years of self-teaching in the culinary arts, Selassie Atadika completed course work at the CIA. Selassi brought her innovative approach to African cuisine home in 2014. Her food enterprise is Midunu, a culinary lifestyle company that celebrates Africa's cultural and culinary heritage in Accra which embodies ‘New African Cuisine’. Midunu employs underdog ingredients to deliver Africa’s bounty to the table. With an eye towards biodiversity and sustainability, it curates white-linen nomadic events, private dining, retail and lifestyle products, and a bespoke event space.

Mark Best

Chef Australia

Mark Best has been a star on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. He’s made-and-ridden media waves across the globe, and traveled broadly. Not content to simply run one of the country’s most progressive fine dining restaurants, he decided to open a bistro in Melbourne and another in Sydney. His vigilance, his rigor, his sharp intellect, his insatiable need to create new things is a large part of what makes up who he is as a chef and a restaurateur. Mark Best is one of the most independently minded cooks in the city. He makes menus of blood, he inspires young chefs, he serves what he likes. His priority has always been to challenge. To delight is just a side effect. To truly thrill is divine.

Arlene Stein

Entrepreneur Germany

Arlene Stein is the founder and Executive Director of the Terroir Symposium, a catalyst for creative collaboration and social and environmental responsibility in the hospitality industry. Since 2006, Terroir has convened international and Canadian industry leaders annually at a two-day symposium in Toronto—and since 2014 at off-shoot events across Europe and North America—for education, networking and inspiration. From her current home base in Berlin, Arlene travels globally to research responsible food systems and gastronomic innovations.

Margaret Lam

Media Japan

Margaret Lam was born in Hong Kong, moved to USA and is now based In Tokyo and Kyoto. She travels around the world for food and everything beyond. Kakigori Manic.

Alexandra Forbes

Media France

Alexandra Forbes is a food, drink and travel writer from São Paulo, Brazil. She started her career more than 20 years ago at Jornal da Tarde in her hometown and has since written extensively for Brazilian and international publications such as Lucky Peach and Food + Wine (U.S.), Gourmet Traveller (Australia), and Vogue, Casa Vogue and Glamour (Brazil). When she isn't travelling to eat or writing Alexandra volunteers her time at Refettorio Gastromotiva, a social project she co-founded with the non-profit Gastromotiva and chef Massimo Bottura. She currently lives in Bordeaux, France.

Pim Techamuanvivit

Chef United States

Pim is the chef/owner of Kin Khao in San Francisco and Executive Chef of Nahm at the Como Metropolitan Bangkok. Her new restaurant, Nari, is slated to open in the Spring of 2019 in San Francisco.

René Redzepi

Chef Denmark

René Redzepi is head chef and co-owner of noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. In February 2017, noma closed its original location after 14 years. In February 2018, noma reopened in a new location on Refshaleøen, with an even stronger focus on seasonality. In 2011, he founded MAD, a nonprofit organization that brings together a global cooking community with a social conscience, a sense of curiosity, and an appetite for change. In August 2017, MAD launched VILDMAD, a program and app for people of all ages designed to teach everyone how to be a forager, and how to cook everyday meals with wild ingredients.

Dan Barber

Chef United States

Dan Barber is chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the author of the The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food. Dan has developed a vision for regenerative cuisine—a way of eating that supports good agriculture and improves the soil's ability to create tasty and nutritious food. He recently founded Row 7, a seed company bringing together chefs and plant breeders in the development of new varieties of vegetables and grains that make an impact in the soil and at the table.

Yotam Ottolenghi

Chef United Kingdom

Yotam Ottolenghi is a cookery writer and chef-patron of the ROVI, NOPI and Ottolenghi restaurants and delis. He writes a weekly column in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine and has written seven bestselling cookbooks: PLENTY and PLENTY MORE (his vegetarian collections) and, co-authored with Sami Tamimi, OTTOLENGHI: THE COOKBOOK and JERUSALEM. NOPI: THE COOKBOOK, co-authored with Ramael Scully, was published in September 2015 and his baking and dessert cookbook SWEET in 2017 with Helen Goh. His latest cookbook Simple was published in Autumn 2018.

Ana Ros

Chef Slovenia

Ana Roš, is a Slovenian chef, a sport and travel enthusiast form the young age, a graduate in international and diplomatic science in Italy, a polyglot and much more. She has been awarded the world's best female chef in 2017 by Restaurant magazine. She is a self-taught cook and with her cuisine she wants to express the seasons, the locality, her own character, her travels and femininity. She and her life partner Valter Kramar own Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia), one of the leading restaurants in Europe which in June 2018 has been awarded the 48th best restaurant in the world by the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.

Mikael Jonsson

Chef United Kingdom

Mikael Jonsson is a Swedish former solicitor and food blogger turned chef based in London. He is chef and owner of Hedone restaurant, which received its first Michelin star in 2016 and is currently ranked 82 in the world in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.

David Chang

Chef United States

David Chang is the chef and founder of Momofuku. Since opening Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City in 2004, David has been honored as a Food & Wine “Best New Chef,” Bon Appétit “Chef of the Year,” and has won five James Beard Foundation awards including “Outstanding Chef” and “Best Chef New York City.” David has been recognized as a TIME 100 honoree, was named GQ’s “Man of the Year,” and has appeared on Fortune’s “40 Under 40,” and Esquire’s list of the “most influential people of the 21st century." David founded Majordomo Media in 2018, and has collaborated with Academy Award-winning director, Morgan Neville, on a Netflix original documentary series, “Ugly Delicious.”

Cathy Chao

Media Taiwan

Cathy's mantra is to enjoy a creative life, communicate with people, appreciate cool restaurants and chefs, and always draw inspiration from them.