The World Restaurant Awards will not have a ceremony for the second edition in 2020.
The World Restaurant Awards, which had its inaugural ceremony in February this year, is billed as an alternative, more inclusive restaurant awards that more accurately reflect the diversity of the restaurant industry. The 2019 Restaurant of The Year award went to the coastal restaurant, Wolfgat in South Africa.
The news broke yesterday when Bloomberg restaurant critic Richard Vines tweeted (and later deleted) that “The @worldrestawards won’t take place next year, After a single year the organizers are canning the event and plan on exploring the possibility of a TV version instead”.
The World Restaurant Awards organisers followed with a statement:
“As we look to the future, we believe extending our reach beyond a specific place, audience or moment in time is key to our continued progress, and are therefore working to evolve the awards into a television series. We are currently in discussions with various broadcasters and look forward to sharing more in the coming months.”
While the World Restaurant Awards last year were widely regarded as a success, albeit with some criticising it as being too Euro-centric, the awards were not streamed or televised. It seems organisers are now looking at new ways of presenting a new format for restaurant awards.
Set up by co-creators Joe Warwick, a co-founder of the World’s 50 Best, and Andrea Petrini, co-founder of culinary collective Gelinaz!, the WRA diverged from traditional restaurant awards like the Michelin Guide and the World’s 50 Best, in order to include more women and people of colour as well as restaurants that might traditionally be seen as falling short of ‘fine dining’ criteria.
The awards were split into two sections, Big Plates, geared to recognising restaurants that have been overlooked in the past, such as restaurants that don’t accept reservations as well as classic restaurants. The Small Plates section contained awards that were more ‘tongue-in-cheek’ such as “tweezer-free kitchen” and “tattoo-free chef”.