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World Restaurant Awards to be reformatted for TV next year

/ 04:56 PM October 28, 2019
FRANCE LIFESTYLE GASTRONOMY AWARDS RESTAURANT AFP Relaxnews

Chef Kobus van der Merwe’s South African restaurant Wolfgat was named Restaurant of the Year at the World Restaurant Awards 2019. Image: AFP/Thomas Samson via AFP Relaxnews

After its splashy launch in Paris early this year, organizers of the World Restaurant Awards have confirmed plans to scrap the red carpet gala in 2020 and instead reformat the awards as a televised event.

That’s according to Bloomberg food writer Richard Vines who first broke the news via Twitter this week.

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When the event was first announced, it was pitched as an alternative to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, an influential ranking that has been criticized for being opaque, Euro-centric, and a closed fraternity of the same winners year in and year out.

Unlike the 50 Best awards, the World Restaurant Awards were modeled after the Oscars and gave out awards in different categories like No Reservations Required; Original Thinking; and the coveted Restaurant of the Year. They also included more irreverent categories like Tattoo-free chef and Tweezer-free kitchen.

Interestingly, the results of the World Restaurant Awards were also criticized for being too Euro-centric following the event.

Though details for next year’s edition are sparse, organizers Joe Warwick and Andrea Petrini told Vines, “We believe extending our reach beyond a specific place, audience or moment in time is key to our continued progress.”

In a statement to Eater, organizers added: “As we look to the future, we believe extending our reach beyond a specific place, audience or moment in time is key to our continued progress, and are therefore working to evolve the awards into a television series. We are currently in discussions with various broadcasters and look forward to sharing more in the coming months.”

The inaugural event was also originally pitched as a live, televised broadcast out of Paris but that never materialized and was instead a red carpet gala event. CL/JB

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TAGS: Culinary Arts, Paris, Restaurants, Television, World Restaurant Awards
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