The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has today announced that its 2018 awards and event program will take place in the Basque region of Spain, with its flagship ceremony hosted in the city of Bilbao.
The 2018 location marks a return to Europe for the world’s most important annual gourmet gathering, after hugely successful editions in Australia this year and in New York in 2016. The move to Spain is part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ global tour, which it kicked off in 2016 following 13 years of the awards being held in the UK.
The announcement was made at an exclusive Basque brunch hosted at Eneko at One Aldwych in London, attended by award-winning chefs including Elena Arzak, Brett Graham, Isaac McHale and Eneko Atxa. Charles Reed, Group Managing Director of William Reed Business Media, the company that owns The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, was joined at the event by the President of the Government of Biscay, Unai Rementeria Maiz.
In 2018, the main awards ceremony will take place in Bilbao, the capital of the Bizkaia province in northern Spain, famous for its food culture, its regional autonomy and the landmark Guggenheim Museum. Associated events that form part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants program (such as 50BestTalks and the Chefs’ Feast) will also take place in other locations within the wider Basque region, including nearby San Sebastian, which is home to the Basque Culinary Center.
The region currently boasts four restaurants on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 list: Asador Etxebarri in Axpe (No.6),Mugaritz near San Sebastian (No.9), Arzak in San Sebastian (No.30) and Azurmendi near Bilbao (No.38). Furthermore, Nerua – located within the Guggenheim in Bilbao – appears on the 51-100 list at No.56, while Martin Berasategui in nearby Lasarte-Oria is ranked No.77.
In the 15-year history of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Spain as a whole has been very strongly represented with both El Bulli and El Celler de Can Roca topping the list to be named The World’s Best Restaurant on a number of occasions. Both Mugaritz andArzak have featured in the elite group of 50 for over a decade.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is working in partnership with the Government of Biscay to bring its prestigious events to a region of Spain celebrated for its outstanding gastronomy.