The organisers behind The World's 50 Best Restaurants have today announced that the 2018 restaurant awards ceremony will take place in Bilbao, the capital of the Biscay province in northern Spain.
Following on from two hugely successful editions in New York in 2016 and Australia this year, the move to Spain is set to reflect the truly global flavour of the "Oscars" of the restaurant world. The ceremony had previously been held in the UK for 13 years.
Speaking at the announcement in London's Eneko at One Aldwych, William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, reflected: "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.”
Boasting the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita and a strong presence on the 50 Best list, including two in the top ten, Victor Arguinzoniz’s Asador Etxebarri in Axpe at No.6, Mugaritzat No.9, the location will make a fitting new home.
The event will be delivered with the support of the Government of Biscay with the intention of ensuring all visitors are made to feel "at home" for the occasion, where a global guest list will include an extensive range of events including the exclusive Chefs’ Feast, the official awards ceremony, and a special #50BestTalks live event featuring top chef speakers.
While the awards ceremony will take place next June in Bilbao, other events will take place in nearby San Sebastian, which is also home to the Basque Culinary Center. The exact location and date are yet to be announced.