Mitsuharu "Micha" Tsumura from Maido, a restaurant known as much for its warm ambience as its cuisine, stressed the importance of teamwork in the kitchen on accepting the award:
“… It wouldn’t be possible without the team, sometimes this is not visible…. This message goes to all the people who work in the industry who break their back day-to-day to open restaurants and the people who work behind us where nobody can see them.”
Second and third place went to another two renowned restaurants in the 50 Best classification: Central in Lima, Peru, by Virgilio Martinez and Pía León and Pujol restaurant in Mexico City managed by Chef Enrique Olvera.
This year’s seventh edition of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, saw competition winners take the awards that mark excellence in global gastronomy in Latin America on the 10th October, at Usina del Arte, the cultural hub in the fizzy La Boca area of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Other awards included Highest New Entry restaurant to the venue regaled for the owner and chef’s strong environmental and social responsibility. These awards and winners were as follows:
LATIN AMERICA’S BEST PASTRY CHEF AWARD
The Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef Award was assigned to the Mexico’s King of Chocolate, chef Luis Robledo of Tout Chocolat in Mexico City.
CHEF’S CHOICE AWARD
The Chef’s Choice Award went to Tomás Kalika of Mishiguene in Buenos Aires.
SUSTAINABLE RESTAURANT AWARD
The Sustainable Restaurant Award 2019 was assigned to Central in Lima, confirming the achievement of chef-owners Virgilio Martinez and Pía León to showcase the diversity of Peru’s ecosystems.
HIGHEST CLIMBER AWARD
Alcalde (Guadalajara, Mexico) rightly took the Highest Climber Award 2019 with an impressive commitment to innovation and change within the sector.
HIGHEST NEW ENTRY AWARD
Kjolle (Lima, Peru) and led by chef Pía León who is on the list again with Mil at number 36.
ART OF HOSPITALITY AWARD
Lasai (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) has been given the Art of Hospitality Award for their notable talent in making people feel welcome and promoting the dining experience via the extra care they take in small details.
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED AWARDS
Three previously billed awards coming under the umbrella of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants were presented during the night. These were as follows:
THE MIELE ONE TO WATCH AWARD
Celele in Cartegena de Indias, by chefs Jaime Rodriguez and Sebastián Pinzon who took the Miele One to Watch Award 2019 for best emerging restaurant in Latin America. Located Colombia’s coastal side of the Caribbean, the restaurant offers much in the way of Colombian Caribbean cuisine thanks to the chefs’ constant research into products, techniques and recipes through their Proyecto Caribe Lab initiative. Serving an á la carte and two tasting menus since 2018, they are inspired by the fusion of Spanish, European, Africa, Syrian and Lebanese traditions.
Chef Rodríguez: “The idea behind our work was always to show people that Colombian Caribbean cuisine goes far beyond coconut rice and fried fish.”
THE NEW AMERICAN EXPRESS ICON AWARD 2019
No better trail-blazer than Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and his restaurant Amaz, to accept the new Icon Award 2019 sponsored by American Express, dedicated to a chef who has made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry for driving change and promoting environmental awareness.
With his far-reaching and impactful ventures, Schiaffino has introduced ají dulce, cupuazú fruit and paiche fish from the Amazon to Lima and the rest of Latin America through his avid promotion and protection of the rainforest and its indigenous communities. Furthermore, he has played an active role in reducing overfishing and encourages growth of the Amazon’s natural resources as an invaluable global food source.
“The biodiversity and indigenous communities of my country are two of my greatest inspirations. We can talk about individual icons, but I also think an icon can be a whole people, a whole community or indigenous community.” said Schiaffino.
LATIN AMERICA’S BEST FEMALE CHEF 2019
Carolina Bazán took the Latin America’s Best female Chef 2019 award for her running of Ambrosia and Ambrosia Bistro kitchens in Santiago, Chile. At only 23, she opened and ran the family’s first Ambrosia restaurant in Santiago. Its homely flavours were a great success and after her trip to France, in 2013 she overhauled Ambrosia’s menu and brought it to a new location. Adding to the previous success, she recently opened the Ambrosia Bistro where Bistronomy is the byword as much for ambience as it is for quality and excellent cooking. Her flavours are both intense while simple in preparation, and are associated with those Latin American ones she used to eat as a child but with a strong global influence. Her family also plays a big role in making her who she is today.
She says, “Being named Latin America’s Best Female Chef is an honour for me, not just because of what I’ve accomplished at my restaurants, but because of the balance I’ve had to instil in my personal and work life,” said Bazán. “I worked really hard for this, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my family. They are my priority in every aspect of my life.”
HAVE A LOOK AT THE FULL LIST: LATIN AMERICA’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS 2019
1 Maido (Lima, Peru) *The Best Restaurant in Latin America/The Best Restaurant in Peru
2 Central (Lima, Peru) *Sustainable Restaurant Award
3 Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) *The Best Restaurant in Mexico
4 Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *The Best Restaurant in Argentina
5 Boragó (Santiago, Chile) *The Best Restaurant in Chile
6 A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil) *The Best Restaurant in Brazil
7 El Chato (Bogotá, Colombia) *The Best Restaurant in Colombia
8 Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)
9 Osso (Lima, Peru)
10 D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil)
11 Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)
12 Isolina (Lima, Peru)
13 Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Peru)
14 Alcalde (Guadalajara, Mexico) *Highest Climber
15 Pangea (Monterrey, Mexico)
16 Sud 777 (Mexico City, Mexico)
17 Maito (Panama City, Panama) *The Best Restaurant in Panama
18 Maní (São Paulo, Brazil)
19 Rafael (Lima, Peru)
20 Mishiguene (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
21 Kjolle (Lima, Peru) *Highest New Entry
22 Harry Sasson (Bogotá, Colombia)
23 Oteque (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
24 Lasai (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) *Art of Hospitality Award
25 Tegui (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
26 La Mar (Lima, Peru)
27 Rosetta (Mexico City, Mexico)
28 Máximo Bistrot (Mexico City, Mexico)
29 Chila (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
30 Ambrosía (Santiago, Chile)
31 Nicos (Mexico City, Mexico)
32 Le Chique (Cancun, Mexico)
33 Parador La Huella (José Ignacio, Uruguay) *The Best Restaurant in Uruguay
34 De Patio (Santiago, Chile) *New Entry
35 Olympe (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
36 Mil (Cusco, Peru) *New Entry
37 Restaurante 040 (Santiago, Chile)
38 La Docena (Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico) *New Entry
39 El Baqueano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
40 Evvai (São Paulo, Brazil) *New Entry
41 La Docena (Guadalajara, Mexico)
42 Manu (Curitiba, Brazil) *New Entry
43 Mocotó (São Paulo, Brazil)
44 Osaka (Santiago, Chile)
45 Elena (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
46 Gran Dabbang (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
47 99 (Santiago, Chile)
48 Malabar (Lima, Peru)
49 Mayta (Lima, Peru) *New Entry
50 Narda Comedor (Buenos Aires, Argentina)