On the 27th of September have IMG in partnership with respected restaurant journalists Joe Warwick (Creative Director) and Andrea Petrini (Chair of the Judging Panel), revealed the categories for the inaugural edition of The World Restaurant Awards, taking place in Paris, France on 18 February 2019. This week, until 16th October, was the deadline for each member of the judging panel (there are 100 well selected members) to submit the nominations. It was quite a challenging work. We had to nominate 1-5 restaurants in each of the 17 categories and explain our choices. Each of the members of the judging panel has actually invested into this work, which seemed so easy at the beginning, a few days of work.
What are these awards about?
Pioneering in its field, The World Restaurant Awards is the first international restaurant awards with a gender-balanced judging panel focused on recognising and celebrating the diversity of the international restaurant scene. The awards ceremony will welcome the restaurant industry’s elite and other high profile attendees, mirroring the glamour and anticipation of awards in industries including film, music, art, design and fashion.
Following on from the success of The World Restaurant Awards workshop in Paris in May 2018, the innovative new awards will champion excellence, integrity, transparency and inclusivity. The award categories for the inaugural edition – which will change each year in collaboration and consultation with the judging panel – are:
• Restaurant of the Year (chosen from winners of all the ‘Big Plate’ categories)
• Arrival of the Year (new restaurants opened between 1 Oct 2017 – 30 Sept 2018)
• Off-Map Destination of the Year (restaurants in remote locations)
• Atmosphere of the Year (taking into consideration service, acoustics and ambience)
• Event of the Year (for restaurant residencies, pop-ups etc.)
• Ethical Thinking (recognising environmental policy, staff welfare, community engagement etc.)
• House Special (for establishments defined by one particular dish)
• Original Thinking (for restaurants excelling in terms of creativity and artistic expression)
• Enduring Classic (open for at least 50 years in the same location with the same concept, preferably – although not necessarily – with the same owners)
• Forward Drinking (recognising innovative drink offerings, be it wine, beer, cocktails, coffee, tea or a juice pairing)
• Collaboration of the Year (for a restaurant working with a farmer, forager, fisherman, winemaker or other supplier on an exceptional food, drink or design product)
• No Reservations Required (for accessible, affordable and authentic restaurants where it’s possible – hopefully – to just turn up and eat)
• Red Wine-serving Restaurant of the Year (considering red grape-loving establishments)
• Long-form Restaurant Journalism of the Year (for pieces over 1,500 words on (a) restaurants(s) or a subject connected to (a) restaurant(s))
• Trolley of the Year (for the tableside service of cheese, dessert, dim sum etc.)
• Tattoo-free Chef of the Year
• Tweezer-free Kitchen of the Year
• Instagram Account of the Year (must be restaurant-related)
Joe Warwick commented: “After the workshop in Paris, there was a clear consensus from the judging panel on the need for us all to recognise emerging talent, to reward both cutting-edge creativity and selfless social consciousness, and to shine a light on affordable establishments as much as luxury destinations, all of which has informed the final categories.”
Andrea Petrini added: “It’s important to pay attention to the full scale of the world’s great restaurants and chefs, but also to bring these awards into the 21st century by acknowledging the cultural nuances of today. For example, the pivotal role social media plays in the restaurant industry and, with tongue in cheek, to subvert current restaurant fashion with the ‘Small Plate’ awards such as ‘Red wine serving restaurant’, ‘Tattoo-free Chef’ and ‘Tweezer-free Kitchen.”
Justin Clarke, SVP & Managing Director of Culinary, IMG, said: “The reaction since announcing The World Restaurant Awards has been hugely positive, underpinning the continued need for investment in, and commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusion within the industry.”
The chosen categories reflect different levels of restaurant accessibility to form a truly democratic awards system. Additionally, each member of the 100-strong judging panel has been carefully selected on the basis of their global restaurant knowledge and experience.
Longlist nominations for these categories will be announced later this Autumn 2018.
For more information, please visit restaurantawards.world #worldrestaurantawards