The organization behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and The World’s 50 Best Bars has today unveiled the first edition of 50 Next, a list of young people shaping the future of gastronomy. Designed to inspire, empower and connect the next generation of leaders, 50 Next celebrates people aged 35 and under from across the wider food and drink scene, from producers and educators to tech creators and activists. This year’s virtual announcement will be followed in 2022 with a live event in the region of Biscay, in the Basque Country of Spain, the official Host Destination Partner to 50 Next, once travel restrictions are eased.
A list but not a ranking, 50 Next specifically celebrates people, complementing the annual rankings of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Bars. It was formed through robust research and analysis by 50 Next and the internationally renowned Basque Culinary Center, following an overwhelming response to open calls for applications and nominations and a proactive scouting for candidates.
The inaugural list aims to represent the diversity of the global gastronomic scene, featuring people from 34 different countries across six continents. Delving into the wider meaning of gastronomy, 50 Next is divided into seven industry-led categories: Gamechanging Producers; Tech Disruptors; Empowering Educators; Entrepreneurial Creatives; Science Innovators; Hospitality Pioneers (supported by S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy) and Trailblazing Activists. Each category is unranked and comprises a broad spectrum of professions, with those on the list recognized for their overall contribution to the gastronomic ecosystem, as well as their ongoing potential to drive significant positive change.
The class of 2021 includes ground-breaking Australian fish butcher Josh Niland, progressive agriculture advocate Cherrie Atilano from the Philippines, Ghanaian tech innovator Isaac Sesi, Mexican indigenous pioneer Claudia Albertina Ruiz and Jhannel Tomlinson, a Jamaican climate change champion who empowers women through coffee. The youngest on the list is 20-year-old Basque medical student Maitane Alonso Monasterio, who has invented a machine to preserve food.
William Drew, Director of Content for 50 Best, says: “As the world of gastronomy strives to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic, it is more important than ever for us to support, empower and celebrate those at every level of the food and drink chain. By bringing together this truly diverse list of young people with the support of the Basque Culinary Center, the Biscay region and the wider 50 Best family, we pledge to nurture, uplift and provide a platform for those fighting for a brighter future for gastronomy. 50 Next allows us to connect today’s leaders with the next generation.”
Highlights from the list include:
- Inaugural 50 Next list features people from 34 countries across six continents, identified as next-generation leaders in food and drink;
- Seven categories recognize those working across gastronomy in production, tech, education, creative industries, science, hospitality and activism;
- Unranked list includes 24 women, 19 men and seven groups, with individuals ranging in age from 20 to 35;
- 700 candidates were considered from a pool of applications, nominations and talent directly scouted by the Basque Culinary Center, 50 Next’s Academic Partner;
- Live 50 Next event to follow in Bilbao in the region of Biscay, in the Basque Country of Spain, in early 2022.
As the first global list of its kind, 50 Next includes five people based in Africa, six in Asia, one in the Caribbean, 18 in Europe, seven in Latin America, two in the Middle East, three in Australasia and eight in the USA. While there are 29 countries of residence featured, there are 34 countries of origin, owing to the fact that many young innovators have left their home countries to settle in tech, business or educational hubs such as the UK and US.
Full information about the list and selection process can be found on the 50 Next website http://www.theworlds50best.com/50next/
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