World’s 50 Best has announced its new class of restaurants in a self-proclaimed “Oscars of the food world” award ceremony in Bilbao, Spain. The list has garnered criticism in past (all?) years for its limited diversity of price point and gender, focusing mainly on expensive tasting menu restaurants run by men.
That said, this year’s list has a notable exception: Dominique Crenn, whose two-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn not only did not make it to the top 50, it was also left off of the “runners up” list of 51-100 that the organization puts out ahead of the top 50. Last year the chef joined that list for the first time at #83; when it was not present this year, many posited that it indicated a move to the top 50. The chef was not present at the announcement ceremony — she’s in Rochester, NY for a charity event supporting women’s health and pediatric services.
Crenn, who was bestowed the title of “Best Female Chef” in 2016, has been outspoken against the lack of female chefs leading restaurants on the list. In recent days she’s posted several telling statements via Instagram, including the following quote from entertainment attorney Nina Shaw: “I don’t need you to include me from what you excluded me from. We are not diversity we are normal. I want you to normalize your side til it looks like our side and recognize we should have been there all along.”
Today I am reflecting ... Our industry has become a sport.. the pressure of being the best ???!!!!!why are we becoming a number, a part of a competition, why are we rated... we as cooks, we are feeding people soul, we have a responsibility to better this world, humanity through the production of food and the care of others. I rise choosing humanity, equality and mother earth . The pressure should be on making this world a better place for us, for our children. Humanity is the ultimate community, be present, be awake and listen to people needs. Quote of the day: “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. “Zig Ziglar
Meanwhile, other candidates that fell of the list entirely are two three-Michelin-starred restaurants: Manresa, positioned last year at #90, and the Restaurant at Meadowood, previously #84.
The Bay Area’s only representation on the top 50 remains three-Michelin-starred Saison. The restaurant has dropped nine spots on the list this year to #46; it debuted at #27 in 2016, and moved to #37 in 2017. Benu inched closer to inclusion this year, landing at #53, while French Laundry dropped to #86 and Single Thread joined at #91.
For more commentary and the full list, head over to Eater National.