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Bilbao to host the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards in 2018

Bilbao, Spain

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has announced that its 2018 awards and event programme will take place in the Basque region of Spain, with its flagship ceremony hosted in the city of Bilbao.

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.

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.

William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “We are delighted to be moving to the Basque region of Spain, and to be working with the Government of Biscay, on our 2018 edition of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. As a country, Spain has long been at the forefront of gastronomy and the Basque region, in particular, has an incredibly rich culinary culture. The area around Bilbao and San Sebastian is famous for its concentration of outstanding restaurants – ranging from internationally acclaimed destinations to its renowned pintxos bars – making it one of the world’s great food destinations.”

 Asier Alea, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, Government of Biscay, said: “Biscay is a food territory leading a new generation of Basque cuisine with strong traditional roots and a modern global perspective, so we feel it is a perfect fit for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. It is a privilege for us to host these prestigious international culinary awards in 2018, and we will ensure all visitors are made to feel at home in Biscay and the Basque country.”

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ annual announcement is a true celebration of global gastronomy, bringing together a unique community of visionaries across the culinary landscape. The awards are based on the votes of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 1,000 international leaders in the restaurant community.

 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.

To see more details on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process, visit www.theworlds50best.com/the-academy/manifesto

 Official partners

  • Government of Biscay – Official host partner
  • Diners Club International – Official credit card partner and sponsor of ‘The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award’
  • San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna – Official water partner
  • Miele – Official kitchen appliances partner and sponsor of the ‘Miele One To Watch Award’
  • Lavazza – Official coffee partner and sponsor of the ‘Highest Climber Award’
  • Estrella Damm – Official beer partner and sponsor of the ‘Chefs’ Choice Award’
  • Grana Padano – Official cheese partner
  • Silestone by Cosentino – Official worktop partner and sponsor of the ‘Sustainable Restaurant Award’
  • Aspire Lifestyles – Official concierge partner and sponsor of the ‘Highest New Entry Award’
  • Seedlip – Official non-alcoholic spirits partner

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