50 Best for Recovery

Every day we are speaking to chefs, restaurateurs and customers who tell us new stories of hardship. And with each person we speak to, our resolve grows: in times of crisis, we need to use the strength of our network to help others.

50 Best for Recovery is our overarching programme, launched in May 2020 in partnership with S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, to help the restaurant sector overcome these uniquely difficult times. Our aim is to provide tangible financial relief for the industry, as well as to offer helpful resources for restaurant businesses as they emerge from the pandemic and seek actionable advice and support.

Here is how we are standing with the industry.

Recovery Fund

Launched with the generous backing of founding donor S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, our Recovery Fund is contributing to the global recovery of the hospitality sector. Funds are being raised through donations from 50 Best’s partners as well as a range of initiatives through which consumers can give back to their beloved restaurant industry.

As of July 2021, the Recovery Fund had raised US$ 1.29 million through its fundraising activities, of which at least 50% is going directly to independent restaurants and bars via grants, with additional donations being made to non-profits around the world supporting the industry while feeding the most vulnerable in society. The Recovery Fund remains open to receive further donations.

How were the funds raised?

Our fundraising activities include 50 Best's first ever e-cookbook, entitled Home Comforts: simple lockdown recipes from the world’s best chefs and bartenders, featuring the meals that the world’s most revered chefs are cooking for their families at home. The e-cookbook is available to download for a $10/£8 minimum donation to the Recovery Fund. Alongside Home Comforts, we hosted #50BestRateMyPlate, a social media contest that challenged foodies across the globe to recreate dishes from the book for the chance to win two VIP tickets to The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2021. Click here to watch our panel of chefs determine the winner. 

Donate $10 to download Home Comforts

The 50 Best ‘Bid for Recovery’ Auction ran from July 3-12, when food and travel enthusiasts were offered the opportunity to bid for out-of-this-world gastronomic experiences donated by the restaurants and chefs featured on our most recent lists. We are extremely grateful to everyone who participated in the auction, as all proceeds went directly into the Recovery Fund to help boost restaurants and bars around the world. 

We are encouraging all food and restaurant lovers to make a donation. No donation could ever be too big or too small, and every action – from spreading the word to buying the Home Comforts e-cookbook – will help hospitality businesses survive this crisis.

How were the funds distributed?

To support the 50 Best for Recovery programme in disbursing the funds raised through our initiatives, we established the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC, a not-for-profit community interest company that is distributing all proceeds of the Recovery Fund to restaurants, bars and non-profit organisations supporting the sector in the following ways:

Direct grants: the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC is making direct contributions to restaurants and bars with grants of up to US $5,000 per establishment. Applications were open between July 27 and August 2 and are currently closed. For all the information about the process, please see here. To view the full list of 217 restaurants and bars across 53 countries that received a grant in September 2020, please see here.

Non-profit organisations: the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC made additional donations to a number of charitable organisations that it has identified as supporting restaurants and their staff, as well as feeding those most in need. These include:

1 million meals: the World’s 50 Best Recovery CIC also joins forces with Social Gastronomy Movement, a global network of organisations across 38 different countries, in its Food Solidarity Fund intending to provide 1 million meals to those most in need with a donation of $127,000.

Recovery Summit

On 13-15 October 2020, we hosted a virtual Recovery Summit with a focus on exploring how the restaurant world can thrive once again.

The Recovery Summit featured nine inspiring sessions in a variety of compelling formats, now all available to watch on demand, for free, anywhere around the world. Click on the links below to catch up on all the action on our YouTube channel: 

  • Food Meets Hope by S.Pellegrino, charting positive stories of restaurant restructure, recovery and revitalisation; featuring Dominique Crenn, Tim Raue, Daniela Soto-Innes and Erick Williams, among others 
  • 50 Best Masterclasses, with SingleThread's Kyle Connaughton showing how to cook black cod marinated in shio koji and truffled rice porridge; Firedoor's Lennox Hastie revealing the secrets of cooking a full meal on the barbecue; and bartenders from Connaught Bar, Maybe Sammy and Galaxy Bar creating world-beating cocktails
  • Visions of Recovery chef interview series on Instagram Live, featuring Björn Frantzén, May Chow and Daniel Humm
  • #50BestTalks, presented by Miele: Rewriting the Menu, with leading gastronomic thinkers discussing how current events are transforming what we eat; featuring Clare Smyth, Julien Royer, Camilla Marcus and Garima Arora
  • New Horizons, an exploration of the future of fine dining, inclusivity and recognition, plus key announcements on the future of 50 Best

Or you can re-watch all the events with the playlist on our Facebook page: 

Catch up on the full Recovery Summit

Recovery Hub

On our Recovery Hub, we are gathering and generating content that offers advice, information and inspiration for the sector, as well as for food-lovers looking to play their part in sustaining and rebuilding our industry. Here, we are sharing inspirational stories from chefs around the world as well as championing ways in which the food world is giving back during the coronavirus pandemic.

Visit the Recovery Hub

The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2021

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was hosted in the city of Antwerp in Flanders – the Flemish-speaking northern region of Belgium – on Tuesday, 5th October. Returning after a year’s hiatus, an extensive event programme in Flanders culminated in the Antwerp awards ceremony, representing a key milestone in the ongoing revival of the restaurant sector.

The 50 Best for Recovery initiative continues with Champions of Change, one of several special awards which was announced as part of the lead up to the event programme for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. These individuals have utilised recent challenges as a catalyst for positive action and long-term progress, whether they are helping others, improving the gastronomic sector or creating a healthier planet. A substantial donation was made to each of the winners’ causes from the 50 Best for Recovery Fund, allowing the recipients to continue building their initiatives and supporting long-term progress in the restaurant and food sphere. Meet the Champions of Change.

The 50 Best team continues to offer its heartfelt support to all those businesses and individuals suffering from the effects of the global pandemic. We are hugely grateful to all those in the hospitality world who are dedicating their time and skill to help others, as well as to our partners.

As countries and restaurants around the world begin to emerge from the pandemic, while others still remain in lockdown, we believe emphatically that we will come through this stronger and more determined to connect and unify our food-and-drink community – consumers and workers alike – across the globe.