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The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards heads to Bilbao in 2018

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After successful trips to New York and Melbourne, the World's 50 Best Restaurants returns to Europe in 2018

Recently returned from what he called “the most successful 50 Best awards programme yet” in Melbourne, group editor William Drew announced that the World’s 50 Best restaurants will take place in Bilbao next year.

“As a country, Spain has long been at the forefront of gastronomy and the Basque region, in particular, has an incredibly rich culinary culture,” said Drew. “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.”

The launch was attended by basque chefs Elena Arzak and Eneko Atxa who also played host to the event, which took place in his London restaurant Eneko at One Aldwych. “I am very excited that the awards will be coming to my country and even more so to my home city of Bilbao,” said Atxa. “There is so much diversity to the food culture in the Basque region and it will be fantastic to be able to share it all with chefs, restaurateurs, media and food lovers from around the globe.”

London chefs Brett Graham from The Ledbury and the Clove Club’s Isaac McHale represented the British restaurants on the list, which this year also counted Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

The Basque Country, home to so many well known restaurants including Mugaritz and Arzak, which has been on the list almost for as long as it has been in existence. “We are delighted to welcome the World’s 50 Best to our corner of the culinary world – we are a small region that lives and breathes food,” said Arzak. “It’s exciting and perhaps a little daunting because it’s a lot of responsibility.”

This will be the third year on the road for the 50 Best list. Having started out in London in 2002, it first left the UK in 2016 when it travelled to New York and Melbourne was the chosen destination for this year’s programme. “We look forward to returning to Europe and we are really excited to partner with the government of Biscay for this programme of events across the Basque Country,” said Drew. “The Basque Country is synonymous with great food.”

The exact date and full programme for the 2018 event will be announced in due course.

Tina Nielsen