I have just returned from a week long press trip which was in the colourful, vibrant and fantastic Mexico City, where I was invited by the Mexican Tourism Board to experience the culture, food scene and also to attend the 2016 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards ceremony, which was held in Mexico City’s Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral on Monday 26 September 2016.
This was the fourth annual edition of the list, which is a subset of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, an important reference point for me whenever I am travelling abroad. When I first received the invite I was super excited and it has definitely been one of the most interesting and exciting events of the year!
The renowned World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is produced by the British magazine Restaurant and is based on a poll of foodies which include international chefs, gourmands and restaurant critics. Most of the restaurants in the list have exceptional gastronomic twists and superb cuisine using unconventional and modern methods of cooking.
Our taster for the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants experience started on Sunday 25th September at the St Regis hotel, Mexico City, where we had a lovely brunch, filled with scrumptious Mexican food, desserts and ice cream, which was followed by the #50BestTalks on Latin Liquids.
The 50 Best speakers, who were fascinating, included Leonor Espinosa from Leo in Bogotá, Enrique Olvera from Pujol in Mexico City, Kurt Schmidt and Chabi Cádiz from 99 in Santiago and Carlos García from Alto in Caracas. They talked about different drinks from their regions and it was a fantastic, interactive experience, whereby we got a chance to try various drinks and cocktails. My favourite was the Venezuelan Rum and Chocolate pairing.
During my week in Mexico City, we also dined at several of the restaurants on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and some of these restaurants also feature in the Worlds 50 Best Restaurant List. My favourite from these was definitely Nicos, which had guacamole to die for, prepared at your table, along with scrumptious dishes and a family run vibe.
The awards ceremony itself was a glitzy affair, starting with a drinks reception, featuring some of the sponsors, followed by the unveiling of the new list. I attended as part of the media, alongside bloggers, journalists, tastemakers and restaurant critics from around the world.
Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016
Central, in Lima, Peru, was awarded the best restaurant in Latin America, and have retained their spot at the top for the third year running.
The full brand new list is as follows:
50 pure earth, Buenos Aires, Argentina
49 Andrés beef, Bogotá, Colombia
48 sweet homeland, Mexico City, Mexico
47 Tierra Colorada gastro, Asunción, Paraguay
46 la bourgogne, punta del este, Uruguay
45 tuju, São Paulo, Brazil
44 navel of the woods, Belém, Brazil
43 Osaka, Santiago, Chile
42 1884, Mendoza, Argentina
41 isolina, Lima, Peru
40 Harry Sasson, Bogotá, Colombia
39 heart of earth, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
38 Malabar, Lima, Peru
37 Nicos, Mexico City, Mexico
36 maito, Panama City, Panama
35 chila, Buenos Aires, Argentina
34 party, Lima, Peru
33 The Cabrera, Buenos Aires, Argentina
32 high in Caracas, Venezuela
31 Elena, Buenos Aires, Argentina
30 Rafael, Lima, Peru
29 criterion, Bogotá, Colombia
28 mocotó, São Paulo, Brazil (in the photo)
27 osso carnage and salumería, Lima, Peru
26 Aramburu, Buenos Aires, Argentina
25 Roberta Sudbrack, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
24 the house of the pig, São Paulo, Brazil
23 parador the footprint, José Ignacio, Uruguay
22 99, Santiago, Chile
21 Don Julio, Buenos Aires, Argentina
20 Ambrosia, Santiago, Chile
19 Pangaea, Monterrey, Mexico
18 lasai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
17 Olympe, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
16 Leo, Bogotá, Colombia
15 Amaranta, Toluca, Mexico
14 gustu, La Paz, Bolivia (in the photo)
13 the learn some things, Buenos Aires, Argentina
12 the sea, Lima, Peru
11 South 777, Mexico City, Mexico
10 Biko Restaurante Bar, Mexico City, Mexico
9 Tegui, Buenos Aires, Argentina
8 Maní Manioca, São Paulo, Brazil
7 Astrid and Gaston, Lima, Peru
6 Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
5 Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
4 Borago, Santiago, Chile
3 D.O.M., São Paulo, Brazil
2 Maido, Lima, Peru
1 Central, Lima, Peru
The whole experience in Mexico City, as well as the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards Ceremony awakened a desire for me to explore more of Latin America, particularly the food scene, so countries from this region now feature higher on my travel plans!
I am a strong believer that food and travel go hand in hand together and I have left Mexico City with a new love and appreciation for Mexican food, which is so different to the type of Mexican food we are exposed to abroad.
I tried things I would never try normally and I feel like I have learned so much! I now know how to make corn tamales too thanks to Casa Jacaranda in Mexico city. If you are ever visiting, this is a foodie experience not to miss!
For more information on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, go to: http://www.theworlds50best.com/latinamerica/en/
Disclaimer: I was invited by the Mexican Tourism Board to visit Mexico and attend the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. My trip was complimentary but all views and photos in this article are my own.