From Instagram Account of the Year to Ethical Thinking, these awards were refreshing.
The restaurant world is male-dominated, meaning the top awards are often given to eateries helmed by men.
But this week the World Restaurant Awards were awarded for the first time, and they refreshingly focus on inclusivity.
The awards boasted more “progressive” categories - including Instagram Account of the Year and Ethical Thinking - with a judging panel that attempts “to better reflect the true range and diversity of the international restaurant scene”.
Wolfgat, a tiny restaurant on South Africa’s Western Cape won the top award of Restaurant of the Year, with judges describing it as “a dream of perfect balance, unspoilt charm and accessibility”.
The restaurant was praised for “giving back to the community”, with a team of locals, many from fishing families and who had never worked in a restaurant before.
The Ethical Thinking Award, which recognises environmental and social responsibility, was given to Refettorio. The company, which has restaurants in Modena, London, San Francisco and more, was started by Lara Gilmore and her husband Massimo Bottura to tackle food waste and food insecurity.
The Refugee Food Festival, which started in Paris, won the Event of the Year category. It sees restaurants opening up their kitchens to refugee chefs and has expanded to 16 cities across the world.
The likelihood is that many of us have snapped an arty-looking picture of our food for Instagram, but the images on Alain Passard’s account, which won Instagram Account of the Year, are something else.
Judges said of Passard: “Shots of produce, lots of fruit and veg naturally, and some stunning plating are regularly interspersed with the occasional portrait of himself successfully playing the chef as gracefully ageing rock star.”
Other winners included Cork’s Ballymaloe House for Trolley of the Year, which awarded table side service, and Bo.Lan in Bangkok, Thailand, won Tweezer-Free Kitchen, an award celebrating a more rustic way of plating.