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World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony in Antwerp next year
The cream of the culinary world will gather in Antwerp next May to find out the winners of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, an equivalent of the Oscars for fine dining. The port city succeeds this year’s host, Singapore, and recent locations such as Bilbao, Melbourne and New York.
Bringing The World’s 50 Best Restaurants to Antwerp is something of a coup in the Flemish government’s strategy for attracting high-profile events to the region. The unveiling of the prestigious list is attended by some of the world’s top chefs and restaurant owners, and attracts considerable coverage in the international press.
In recent years, however, it has also attracted criticism for its focus on a limited set of European restaurants, and an apparent blind spot regarding female chefs.
“The arrival of this top event fits in with our efforts to market Flanders as a gastronomic travel destination,” said Flemish tourism minister Ben Weyts. In addition to the award ceremony, there will be 10 side events, some of which will also be open to the public.
“We want to make it a festive week throughout Flanders,” Weyts continued, “so that we can show the whole world what every bar and restaurant in Flanders has to offer.”
William Drew, who directs the 50 Best Restaurants competition, gave Flanders his vote of confidence. “The region has high-quality products, excellent restaurants and a surprising amount to offer. We look forward to bringing the global food community together again next year, and helping them discover this hidden culinary gem.”
This year’s top three restaurants on the list were Mirazur in Menton, France; Noma in Copenhagen; and Asador Etxebarri in Axpe, Spain. Just one Flemish establishment made the cut, with Hof van Cleve in Kruishoutem squeezing in at 43rd place after being a runner up last year.
Photo: The world’s best chefs and food critics will be checking out Antwerp restaurants next spring