Shortlists and presenter announced for inaugural World Restaurant Awards

Cult French icon Antoine de Caunes – actor, writer, film director and TV presenter – announced as the host of the annual awards ceremony being launched in Paris.

  • Female chefs continue to make their mark with the ‘Arrival of the Year’ shortlist for new restaurants including Pía León’s Kjolle in Lima; and Chiho Kanzaki’s Virtus in Paris
  • Historic destinations such as La Mère Brazier and Restaurant Paul Bocuse, both in Lyon, and the long-running Peter Luger Steakhouse in New York feature on the ‘Enduring Classic’ shortlist, which recognises restaurants open for at least 50 years  
  • Restaurants celebrated for a particular dish feature on the ‘House Special’ shortlist which includes roast goose from Yat Lok in Hong Kong, a ‘hot dog’ from Porto’s Cervejaria Gazela, and grilled unagi (freshwater eel) at Tokyo’s Obana
  • Accessible, affordable, democratic dining choices make up the shortlist for ‘No Reservations Required’, including Mocoto in São Paulo, named after the Northeastern Brazil cow’s hoof stew that it began serving in 1973   
  • Riley’s Fish Shack, a simple seafood grill on the beach by King Edward's Bay, Tynemouth in the North East of England, is shortlisted for ‘Off Map Destination,’ highlighting off-the-beaten track gems that are worth the journey  
  • The sustainable seafood championing Saint Peter in Sydney with its fish butchery; and Massimo Bottura’s Refettorio (Milan, London, Paris and Rio de Janeiro), which feeds the vulnerable and hungry, while educating about reducing food waste, feature on the ‘Ethical Thinking’ shortlist
Food for Soul
Virtus in Paris, France, has been shortlisted in the Arrival of Year category, recognising restaurants that have launched between 1 Oct 2017 and 30 Sept 2018.
Food For Soul, spearheaded by Massimo Bottura, has been shortlisted in the Ethical Thinking category for its work feeding the vulnerable and hungry while educating about reducing food waste at refettorios around the world.

PARIS – 17 January 2019 – IMG, in partnership with Joe Warwick (Creative Director) and Andrea Petrini (Chair of the Judging Panel), have released the shortlists for The World Restaurant Awards. Designed to celebrate excellence, integrity and diversity, they break new ground in the international restaurant awards world by ambitiously combining annually-evolving curated categories, with nominations and inspections by a jury of globetrotting industry insiders.       

The judging panel of 100 (50 men and 50 women) restaurant journalists, influencers and culinary professionals from 36 different countries includes such famous names as Elena Arzak, Alex Atala, Massimo Bottura, David Chang, Hélène Darroze, Daniel Humm, Dan Barber, René Redzepi, Ana Roš, Yotam Ottolenghi and Clare Smyth.

An intense year of curating, nominating, inspecting and debating will culminate in the announcement of the winners of the 18 categories (12 ‘Big Plate’ and 6 ‘Small Plate’ awards) on February 18, as established and rising restaurant stars from around the globe gather at the Palais Brongniart in Paris to celebrate the very first edition of the awards.

Mocoto in São Paulo, Brazil, is named after the Northeastern Brazil cow’s hoof stew that it began serving in 1973. It has been shortlisted in the No Reservations Required category.
Pía León’s Kjolle in Lima, Peru, has been shortlisted in the Arrival of the Year category.

Ahead of that and following the announcement of the longlist nominations at the end of last year, the released shortlists consist of five restaurants in each ‘Big Plate’ and three in each ‘Small Plate’ category.

Recognising the need to promote more accessible restaurant experiences, where it is possible to just turn up and eat, the ‘No Reservations Required’ shortlist reflects a diverse range of affordable establishments from Clamato in Paris, where the menu changes according to the day's catch, to Tokyo fish burger bar Deli Fu Cious, and northern Thai barbecue at London’s Kiln. 

Along with considering environmental issues, the ‘Ethical Thinking’ category is also concerned with how restaurants care for their employees, customers and the wider community. The shortlist includes Silo in Brighton on the South coast of England, a pioneering zero-waste restaurant where they mill flour, churn butter, make their own almond milk and recycle glass bottles into serving dishes.

The ‘Off-Map Destination’ shortlist highlights remote locations such as Mil Centro in Peru – which sits more than 10,000ft above sea level in the Andes – where Chef Virgilio Martínez, working with his sister Malena Martinez chronicle and revive ancient ingredients and food practices that might otherwise be lost to time. Another far-flung gem, Wolfgat - a 20-seat dining room in a South African beach cottage - serves dishes where most ingredients on the plate are sourced from within a 10km radius of the restaurant, many of them from nearby rock pools and sand dunes.

Clamato in Paris, France, has been shortlisted in the No Reservations Required category, celebrating affordable and accessible restaurants.
Cub in London, United Kingdom, has been shortlisted in the Forward Drinking category for its innovative zero-waste cocktails and food pairings.

The World Restaurant Awards has also announced French entertainment legend, Antoine de Caunes as presenter of their first awards ceremony. A regular presence on television screens across the world, famously as one half of the presenting duo fronting Channel 4’s cult late-night show, Eurotrash in the UK, and as a documentary-maker and talk-show host. A veteran of feature films on both sides of the camera, he has also hosted the Césars - the French film industry’s answer to the Oscars.

Cécile Rebbot, Director of The World Restaurant Awards, IMG, said: “These awards have brought together the industry’s most passionate, curious and well-travelled culinary connoisseurs to create the ultimate restaurant road-map for food lovers around the world. This shortlist reflects our goal to shine a light on the incredibly diverse food, drinks, experiences and destinations that should be on everyone’s bucket list.” 

Joe Warwick, Creative Director of The World Restaurant Awards, said: "These shortlists prove that there’s room for a new kind of international restaurant awards. One that acknowledges what’s wonderful about the restaurant world as it is and hints at how it can work to be even better in the future.” 

Andrea Petrini, Chair of the Judging Panel added: “The shortlists are an intriguing, diverse collection of restaurants worthy of further investigation – as were all of those longlisted. It’s taken a lot of work from everyone to produce the shortlists and we couldn’t have arrived here without the support of our judging panel. We’re looking forward to revealing the decisions that the inspection teams have arrived at on 18 February.”