50 Next celebrates the next generation

The inaugural list turns the spotlight on the next generation breaking through in food and drink across the world

The team behind annual celebration of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in association with the Basque Culinary Center, has launched the inaugural list of those set to dominate and lead gastronomy in the future. Featuring people, aged 35 and under, from 34 countries and across six continents, these are touted as the next generation leaders in food and drink.

This first edition of 50 Next, a list of young people shaping the future of gastronomy. Designed to inspire, empower and connect the next generation of leaders, 50 Next celebrates people aged 35 and under from across the wider food and drink scene, from producers and educators to tech creators and activists.

“As the world of gastronomy strives to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic, it is more important than ever for us to support, empower and celebrate those at every level of the food and drink chain,” says William Drew, director of content for 50 Best. “By bringing together this truly diverse list of young people, we pledge to nurture, uplift and provide a platform for those fighting for a brighter future for gastronomy.”

Supporting the next generation

Chosen from a pool of 700 candidates, the 50 Next includes 24 women, 19 men and seven groups. The unranked list is divided into seven industry-led categories: Gamechanging Producers; Tech Disruptors; Empowering Educators; Entrepreneurial Creatives; Science Innovators; Hospitality Pioneers (supported by S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy) and Trailblazing Activists.

The class of 2021 includes ground-breaking Australian fish butcher Josh Niland, progressive agriculture advocate Cherrie Atilano from the Philippines, Ghanaian tech innovator Isaac Sesi, Mexican indigenous pioneer Claudia Albertina Ruiz and Jhannel Tomlinson, a Jamaican climate change champion who empowers women through coffee. The youngest on the list is 20-year-old Basque medical student Maitane Alonso Monasterio, who has invented a machine to preserve food.

“Since its inception 10 years ago, Basque Culinary Center has understood gastronomy to cover multiple sectors that encompass a 360°vision of the sector. The people on the 50 Next list selected by our team of experts represent this multidisciplinary, unifying and contemporary vision,” says Joxe Mari Aizega, general director of Basque Culinary Center, who has partnered with 50 best for this project.

“In a global context marked by the uncertainty brought by Covid-19 and the global challenges we face, it is vital to support and recognise young talent, something that the Basque Culinary Center is doing via several initiatives. The people on the list make up a diverse mosaic that will shape the present and future vision of the sector.”

With the much anticipated end of the pandemic in sight, the plans for 50 Next in 2022 will include live events to celebrate those on the 2021 and 2022 lists.

Tina Nielsen

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