As the current holder of the title of number one on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list for his Osteria Francescana restaurant in Modena, Italy, Massimo Bottura will not contest the 2019 edition, instead he will join a list of previous winners in a new 'Best of The Best', hall of fame style category.
— massimobottura (@massimobottura) January 16, 2019
Speaking to Fine Dining Lovers, Bottura said he supports the change, “We at Osteria Francescana are honoured to take on a new role in the 50 Best Community. None of us started out in this business, nor fell in love with it, to win awards. But it was by living our dream, and achieving such distinctions from the 50 Best, that we found an incredible community of chefs and restaurateurs sharing our same passion. It has been a great honour that we know belongs now to the next generation of talent. We hope to contribute in many other ways to push the dialogue even further and make a positive impact on our world.”
Under rule changes issued by The World's 50 Best Restaurants, previous winners will no longer be eligible for the competition.
The below winners will be excluded from the 2019 edition of the competition:
El Bulli (2002, 2006-2009)
The French Laundry (2003-2004)
The Fat Duck (2005)
Noma – original location (2010-2012, 2014)
El Celler de Can Roca (2013, 2015)
Osteria Francescana (2016, 2018)
Eleven Madison Park (2017)
Interestingly, Noma enters The Best of The Best, with an 'original location' subheading, which seems to suggest it would leave Noma 2.0 eligible for this year's list.
A raft of changes announced by The World's 50 Best Restaurants organization included a number of rule changes, such a new 50-50 gender split on the voting panel.
How voting works:
Voting is strictly confidential before the awards’ announcement
Each Academy member votes for 10 restaurants; at least 4 of these must be for restaurants outside their home region
Academy members submit their 10 choices in order of preference
Academy members must have eaten in the restaurants they nominate in the last 18 months – and are asked to confirm this fact for each of their nominations
Academy members must confirm the date of their last visit to each of the restaurants they nominate
Academy members are not permitted to vote for restaurants they own or have a financial interest in – and are asked to confirm this fact for each of their nominations
Academy members cannot vote for a restaurant based on a dining experience that does not take place at the restaurant itself; for example, when a restaurant or chef stages dinners in different locations
Academy members cannot vote for a restaurant that is closed or will close within 3 months of the lists being published. They therefore cannot vote for a temporary restaurant or ‘pop-up’
Nominations must be made for the restaurant, not for the restaurateur or the chef (except in the case of special individual awards)
Academy members should remain anonymous with regard to being on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy