SINGAPORE - Next year, Singapore will host the annual and much-watched World's 50 Best Restaurants awards, deemed the Oscars of the global restaurant industry.
It is the first time an Asian country has been selected to host the global restaurant rankings' award ceremony, which started in 2002. Past host cities include London, Bilbao, Melbourne and New York.
The World's 50 Best Bars awards, now into the 10th year, will also take place here in 2021, making Singapore the first city, other than the bar awards' home-city of London, to be confirmed as a host destination.
These events as well as a stand-alone #50BestTalks food forum in 2020 and two more instalments of the Asian edition of the bar awards, are part of a three-year partnership between London-based 50 Best awards and events programme organiser William Reed Business Media and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
The announcement was made on Oct 2 prior to a six-hands celebratory cocktail dinner at Avenue restaurant in London, created by chefs of three of Singapore's top restaurants - French restaurant Odette, contemporary European restaurant Corner House and progressive Peranakan restaurant Candlenut; and the bartenders of three Singapore cocktail bars - Native in Amoy Street, Manhattan at Regent Singapore and Operation Dagger in Ann Siang Hill.
Odette is currently the only Singapore restaurant on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. It debuted at No. 28 this year.
A date for the restaurant awards ceremony has not been released yet.
Ms Melissa Ow, STB's acting chief executive, said the selection of Singapore to host the line up of 50 Best events "bears testament to Singapore's standing and clout as a destination at the forefront of the international dining and cocktail scene".
The STB also said that the 50 Best events will engage not just the industry but also the public.
For example, there will be collaborative dinners by top international and local chefs in conjunction with the restaurant awards, while the #50BestTalks, which centre on trends in gastronomy, will be open to the public.
The partnership is expected to have a knock-on effect, and spur growth and raise levels in the food and beverage industry, as well as drive global awareness of Singapore as a vibrant lifestyle destination and leading culinary capital.