A few days ahead of the release of the new Michelin Guide to France, La Listehas awarded prizes to various gastronomic players that have shown both commitment and innovation in the industry, as well as the ability to reinvent themselves during the global pandemic.
This list is drawn up under the aegis of Hélène Pietrini, former World's 50 Best director, now general director of La Liste. "Despite repeated closures and strained morale, the resilience, flexibility and capacity of restaurateurs to reinvent themselves has been exceptional. La Liste wanted to bear witness to and publicise the remarkable efforts of a sector essential to our culture, our economy and our well-being. From this crisis, we are seeing the emergence of trends, talents and non-negotiable values which will grow and remain. Gastronomy will change and reinvent itself," said Pietrini.
This year, there will be no unveiling La Liste's 1,000 best restaurants in the world, but instead new special prizes have been awarded to those who, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the lockdowns and the closures, had the courage to continue to fight and defend the profession.
In total, 30 chefs and projects from 18 countries were awarded by La Liste.
Discover all the award winners below:
New Destination Champion Award
"A restaurant and chef raising awareness of their region and actively working to position this location on the gastronomy map."
French Flanders - Florent Ladeyn, chef of the Auberge du Vert-Mont in Boeschepe.
Africa - Selassie Atadika, chef of Ghanaian restaurant Midunu.
"An innovative chef or restaurateur who has pivoted to new and creative business ideas to adapt to the pandemic."
France selection: Olivier Nasti, who launched a drive-in and farmers market, not to mention his take-away menus with famous chefs, and a food truck.
International selection: Dabiz Muñoz who created his GoXo concept during lockdown, a fast-casual offer developed and then adapted for delivery to Madrid and then Barcelona.
Digital Influencer Award
"A chef or restaurateur who has done innovative activities online during the pandemic."
Simone Zanoni, the Italian chef at the George at the Four Seasons George V, shares his recipes and good humour on his social networks daily, and now offers a range of accessories and grocery products to order online.
Game Changer Award – Inclusivity
"An exceptional chef or restaurateur who has campaigned to change kitchen and industry culture."
From Georgia in the United States, Mashama Bailey, chef of The Grey in Savannah, trained in Burgundy before embodying the cuisine of the southern US where she remains an emblematic figure in the gastronomic world.
Ethical and Sustainability Award
"A chef or restaurateur demonstrating exemplary dedication to ethical practices, sustainability and social responsibility within the workplace, industry and wider community."
France selection: Nadia Sammut and her free cuisine at L'Auberge La Fenière in Cadenet, where she aims to build a world with better taste.
International selection: Matt Orlando, chef at Amass in Copenhagen, a restaurant known for its zero-waste commitment, who recently opened Amass Fried Chicken following the same principles.
Community Spirit Award
"A chef or restaurateur showing an outstanding commitment to supporting frontline staff or fighting the financial and humanitarian crisis within hospitality."
The project "Chefs with Caregivers" led by the chef of the Elysée kitchens Guillaume Gomez and journalist Stéphane Méjanès.
Hong Kong, the Covid-19 Playbook developed by the founders of the Black Sheep Restaurants group illustrated the outpouring of solidarity and mutual aid in the sector.
Artisan and Authenticity Award
"Restaurants promoting the culinary heritage of a region or country through skill, produce and sourcing."
In his Ferme de la Ruchotte in Burgundy, Fred Ménager goes from farmer-breeder to cook.
Masashi Yamada brings the tradition of irori to life and cooks game and fish over an open fire in Japan.
Celia Florián cultivates in her restaurant Las Quince Letras the traditions of the Oaxaca region with corn, beans, peppers and chapulines (grasshoppers), in Mexico.
New Arrivals of the Year:
"Restaurants which managed to open despite the pandemic and have been praised across critics and media."
CocoCouture by Matilda Shnurova in Saint Petersburg
Kol by Santiago Lastra, ex head of Noma Mexico, in London
Euphoria by Jason Tan in Singapore
Ever by Curtis Duffy and Michael Muser in Chicago.
Château Castillonne is a caviar producer performing cold anaesthesia on sturgeon fish to harvest their eggs and help them live longer instead of ending their lives when harvesting their eggs. Find out more.
The Michelin Guide has published its listing for Washington D.C., with one new two-star and four new one-star restaurants. The Inn at Little Washington is the capital's only three-star restaurant. Take a look.