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The White Guide has announced this year's winners, naming those culinary pioneers doing great things for gastronomy at the annual Global Gastronomy Awards, held on 23 and 24 September in Mexico City.
The Swedish restaurant guide, based in Stockholm, mobilised to Mexican chef, Enrique Olvera's Pujol restaurant, in honour of the 2017 laureate, who was able to hand over the baton to this year's new winner.
Global Gastronomy Award Winner 2018
David Thompson was awarded this year's Global Gastronomy Award 2018 in recognition of his global contribution to gastronomy. The Australian chef who spent nearly two decades at the helm at Bangkok's Nahm, was recognised by the guide for his tireless work in protecting and promoting the culture and heritage of Thai gastronomy: “By exploring, recording and restoring the rich and partly lost treasures of traditional Thai cooking – from royal cuisine to street food – David Thompson has identified the key building blocks and original paths of an integrated Thai gastronomy that bridges the past and the future,” the guide reported.
Thompson, who was also the winner of the Asia's 50 Best Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, resides in good company where previous recipients of the award have included the inaugural winner, Ferran Adrià (ElBulli, Catalonia) (2007), René Redzepi (2010), Massimo Bottura (2014) and Dan Barber (2016).
Sustainability Award Winners
It was also a big week for Peruvian chef Pia Leon, not only being named Latin America's Best Female Chef 2018, but also scooping the Global Gastronomy Pre-plate Award 2018 along with sister-in-law Malena Matinez and chef husband Virgilio Martinez.
The famous trio behind Central restaurant were given the award for their pioneering Mater Iniciativa project in Peru: “For contributing to reduce pressure on biodiversity, increasingly threatened by monocultures, by promoting forgotten traditional and newly explored wild plants that have both culinary and nutritional value, and stimulate a demand for unusual produce through creative cooking.”
Completing the trio of awards was recipient Dra. Refugio Rodriguez-Vazquez of Mexico city for the Global Gastronomy Post-plate Award 2018, an honour that recognises efforts to reduce waste and other by-products of the food system, especially within the hospitality sector. According to the Guide, Rodriguez-Vasquez won “For developing cheap, fast and sustainable bioremediation techniques that use residual and waste products from food production to purify contaminated soil, and thereby turn a major problem into part of the solution.”