Heute Abend werden zum zehnten Mal die S. Pellegrino Top50-Awards in London vergeben. Wir haben den Herausgeber William Drew kurz dazu interviewt.
Sternefresser: Just briefly, since when are you in charge of the awards' organisation and how did you get there?
William Drew: I have been the editor of Restaurant magazine, which founded and organises the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna (please note change in title from your title above) for almost three years. I have been a journalist for almost 20 years, working for a range of magazines and newspapers.
Sf: Without a doubt, the W50B awards are one of the biggest chef's gatherings throughout the year. How many of the Top100 chefs have confirmed to attend the ceremony?
W.D.: We don’t publicise in advance who or how many are coming, but last year we had 47 of the top 50 there and this year we hope to have even more! The chance to celebrate their success together is one of the prime attractions for the chefs to attend.
Sf: Due to the high public attention, being part of the list seems to be very important nowadays. What do you think does it mean for a restaurant to be on the list?
W.D.: It is undoubtedly very good for business – most restaurants on the list see an upsurge in international enquiries and visitors in particular. However, it also means a lot for the chefs, restaurateurs and teams working hard behind the scenes because it is an affirmation and recognition by their industry peers that they are doing an outstanding job.
Sf: Is there anything new about this year's voting process or ceremony?
W.D.: The voting process is broadly the same, but we have expanded the numbers of voters in each of the 26 regions around the world: now each regional academy comprises 36 voters, rather than 31. So in total we now have well over 900 voters worldwide, each of whom chooses the seven best restaurants that they have experienced in the previous 18 months. At least three of those seven must be located outside of their home region. What constitutes ‘best’ is left up to the judgement of the individual voters.
Sf: When you look at the list: what style of cooking is regarded to be up-to-date? Do you see any upcoming culinary trends?
W.D.: I will let you decide what you think is up to date. Trend-wise, there are many. For example, the revival and reinvention of local culinary traditions, updated for a contemporary audience; the practice of gathering ideas and techniques from around the world, but the simultaneous focus on local ingredients and sourcing; the rise of ‘new’ gastronomic regions such as South-East Asia, Peru and Brazil, following the lead of the Nordic countries, which in turned followed Spain...
Sf: Which restaurant will have this year's honor to host the chef's lunch on the day after the awards ceremony?
W.D.: Sushisamba on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower in the City of London. It should be a spectacular event.
Sf: A lot of people are thrilled to receive news about 2013's ranking. So we have to ask: Will you give us a little hint what to expect?
W.D.: I’m afraid the answer is no!
Sf: It was worth a try. Two personal questions at the end: How many of the current Top50 restaurants have you visited? Which one was your favourite?
W.D.: I’ve eaten in perhaps 10 of last year’s 50 Best, but I wouldn’t like to say which was my favourite.
Sf: What is your favourite experience during the last years in which you organize the awards?
W.D.: I’ve been lucky enough to dine in some of the world’s greatest restaurants, but the biggest thrill is in putting the event together and specifically in witnessing the excitement, sense of celebration and electric atmosphere as the list is revealed. A glass of Veuve Clicquot after the event is also pretty welcome, too.
Sf: Thank you for this interview, William.
W.D.: My pleasure.