London chef Santiago Lastra is amongst 50 younger folks shaping the way forward for gastronomy at Bilbao – The Upcoming

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The World’s 50 Best today unveiled the second edition of 50 Next, a list of young people shaping the future of hospitality. This year marks the first-ever live event celebrating 50 Next, which took place today at the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao, Basque Country. Designed to inspire, empower and connect the next generation of leaders, 50 Next celebrates people under 35 from across the food and beverage scene, from producers and educators to technology creators and activists. The list also includes applicants aged 35 and over who have recently embarked on a new career path.

A list but not a ranking, 50 Next specifically recognizes people and complements the annual rankings of the world’s 50 best restaurants and the world’s 50 best bars, as well as the lists of the top 50 regional restaurants and bars. It was established through solid research and analysis by 50 Next and the internationally renowned Basque Culinary Center following an overwhelming response to open calls and nominations, and a proactive search for candidates.

Building on the first edition of the list published in 2021, the second edition of 50 Next aims to showcase the diversity of the global gastronomic scene with people from 30 different territories across 6 continents. 50 Next delves into the broader meaning of hospitality and is organized into seven industry-led categories: Gamechanging Producers; tech disruptors; empowerment of educators; entrepreneurial creatives; scientific innovators; Hospitality pioneers and groundbreaking activists. Each category is unranked and encompasses a wide range of occupations, with those on the list recognized for their overall contribution to the gastronomic ecosystem, as well as their continued potential to drive meaningful positive change.

The Class of 2022 includes a wide range of pioneering individuals including: innovative thinkers Anusha Murthy and Elizabeth Yorke, who are inspiring conversations about Indian food systems; Dinara Kasko, the Ukrainian cake maker who started a pastry revolution; Jessica Naomi Fong, vertical farming advocate bringing fresh local produce to Hong Kong; Mmabatho Molefe, the chef who empowers black women and challenges misconceptions about indigenous cuisine; and Lefteris Arapakis, the fisherman fighting sea pollution in Greece. The youngest on the list is 22-year-old Mustapha Diyaol-Haqq, the Ghanaian programmer in charge of agricultural innovation. Full information about each person can be found here on the 50 Next website.

William Drew, Director of Content for 50 Best, said: “We are thrilled to announce the 50 Next Class of 2022 at a live ceremony where we can collectively celebrate the next generation of hospitality leaders and pay tribute to their incredible achievements. With the support of the Biscay Provincial Council, the Basque Government and the Basque Culinary Center, we are able to bring together this truly diverse group of young people and focus on nurturing talent and providing a platform for those fighting for a better future in gastronomy. We have no doubt that both the Class of 2021 and Class of 2022 will continue to do excellent work in their various fields and we look forward to following their projects for many years to come.”

Joxe Mari Aizega, General Manager of Basque Culinary Center, says: “50 Next reflects the diversity of profiles that shape the present and future of the hospitality sector. Today we announced the second generation of 50 Next, and from Basque Culinary Center we want to celebrate this unified view of gastronomy led by young people around the world. After two years of pandemic, we were able to share views and first-hand experiences. Young talents like the ones we presented today ensure that gastronomy continues to grow and become a tool of transformation. These profiles address professions that go beyond the kitchen and represent an ever-evolving industry from a 360-degree gastronomic perspective.”

Unai Rementeria, President of the Biscay Government, says: “50 Next is an inspiring and necessary event at a time when gastronomy and the entire food industry value chain are facing their own revolution. And we want this revolution to take place here in Bizkaia. We are looking for talents and projects that can grow in our territory and make Bizkaia grow. We support innovation and talent and have modern infrastructure, public engagement and the necessary ecosystem to make it happen.”

Bittor Oroz, Deputy Councilor for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Basque Government, says: “We have seen many changes around the world in recent years, often food-related, and the Basque Country wants to play an active role in these changes. We also face some future challenges that will require significant changes in society, people, businesses and economic systems. To face these challenges, the 50 Next Class of 2022, talented young people, are essential to lead this transformation of the future in which they will be the protagonists.”

To celebrate the unveiling of the Class of 2022 and to honor the Class of 2021, a one-day ’50 Next’ event was held in partnership with the Region of Biscay and the Basque Government. It featured the participation of legendary chefs Mauro Colagreco, Dominique Crenn and Joan Roca with a series of presentations, live interviews and interactive panels that unite today’s gastronomic leaders with the voices of the future. The day-long event covered some of the most pressing issues of our time, including challenging animal proteins, rethinking food waste, and unearthing and celebrating indigenous cuisines. The event culminated with a live ceremony where the 2022 list was unveiled.

The dining table

The 50 Next List 2022:

empower educators

Yi Jun Loh
Vinesh Johny
Camila Fiol Stephens
Caroline Cotto
Dinara Casco
John Paul Medina
Mariana da Silva Vasconcelos
Oscar Expo
Travinder Singh

Pioneering Producers

Corrado Paternò Castello
Dharath Hoon Chamlon
Jessica NaomiFong
Martin Texier
Pol Contreras Vilapriño
Rosanna Gahler
Yu Hsuan Cheng
Rahaf Allimoni

Hospitality pioneers

Deborah Fadul
Jackwing Yao
Lola Liu
Tiger Liang
Javier Rivero Yarza
Michael Adé Elégbèdé
Mmabatho Molefe
Santiago Lastra
Mette Brink Soberg
Zineb Hattab