Gastronomy is more than just cooking and eating. It is about preserving and sharing culinary traditions, as well as celebrating their importance in a culture.
The following gastronomy awards celebrate this rich heritage. They have been awarded to chefs, restaurants, travel destinations and other food-related professionals. The most prestigious are the Michelin Stars.
One of the most coveted accolades in the culinary world, Michelin Stars are awarded to restaurants that deliver exceptional dining experiences. Earning a Michelin Star is a major accomplishment for chefs, and can bring in media attention, new customers, and industry respect. It can also cause unmeasured joy when a restaurant is awarded one or more stars (so much so that ICC alumnus Gordon Ramsay has been known to shed tears of happiness).
In order to earn a Michelin Star, restaurants must meet several criteria. These include:
Worlds 50 Best Restaurants
The Worlds 50 Best Restaurants are voted for by over 1,000 global food experts. The list is seen as a boost for the entire restaurant industry, creating awareness and increasing bookings. It also serves as a guiding light for chefs in terms of establishing what kind of dining experience their restaurants should offer.
This year’s ceremony was held in Valencia’s modern City of Arts and Sciences complex, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. The pre-awards cocktail reception was a lively affair, with chefs and media conjecturing who would win this year’s top prize.
As part of the event, the Worlds 50 Best organization also releases an extended 51-100 list a few weeks ahead of the official awards ceremony. This gives us a glimpse at which restaurants are poised to jump into the top fifty next year. The Latin American region had a strong showing, with restaurants such as Central and Kjolle in Lima and Plenitude in Mexico making the cut.
The James Beard Awards
The James Beard Awards are America’s “Oscars of Food.” After a controversial year that saw the awards season for 2020 and 2021 canceled, this year’s ceremony in Chicago offered a chance to turn a new page.
The awards honor chefs, restaurateurs and other culinary professionals across the US. Candidates are vetted by a panel of industry professionals and voted on by the same group. The awards are based on a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability and a sense of place.
The awards are presented by the James Beard Foundation. The organization is a nonprofit and receives no government funding. Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the awards. Eater is partnering with the foundation to livestream the 2023 awards. Our editorial content is produced independently from the foundation. Click here to learn more about our editorial policy.
Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy
The Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy is a new prize awarded at the Grand Finale of S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy 2022-23, which is set to take place in Milan. This special award, voted for by the competition’s mentors, is given to the chef who demonstrates the most positive influence on society through food.
In addition to this new prize, all regional finalists took part in a series of inspiring workshops designed to encourage and inspire personal and professional growth. This included the ‘Cultural guardianship’ workshop, moderated by Fine Dining Lovers journalist Tom Jenkins, which looked at how chefs can celebrate and amplify culture whilst creating something new with familiar flavours.
He-Sen Liu, representing the Mainland China competition area, won this year’s Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy with his signature dish ‘Homemade oyster sauce with Shandong wagyu’. This was because he demonstrated a balance between tradition and evolution in his dish, whilst also celebrating the gastronomic heritage of his home country.