Cover Photo courtesy of The World's 50 Best Restaurants

The Oscars of the culinary world just revealed the first half of its prestigious list of the world's best restaurants ahead of the awards ceremony next week

In the lead up to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 ceremony, taking place on June 25 at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, the awarding body has released the list of restaurants that made it onto the 51 to120 ranking. 

Just for this year, it has expanded from 100 to 120 restaurants, in celebration of S.Pellegrino’s landmark 120th anniversary—one of the major sponsors of the event.

Notably, this year’s 51 to 120 list "marks the most expansive representation of geographic diversity we’ve seen during the 18 years that 50 Best has been celebrating culinary excellence", says William Drew, director of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

This includes restaurants in 25 countries across five continents, with the highest new entry being Uliassi in Senigallia, Italy, landing at  No. 61. Two new entries—St. Hubertus and Lido 84 (which also claimed the Miele One to Watch accolade)—are also from Italy. 

Dominating the catalogue, however, is the USA, with seven restaurants comprising one new entry, Atomix—debuting at No.119, though. Japan and Spain are a close second with six restaurants each, but only Spain can boasts restaurants with placings within the top 100. 

This year's extention also allowed Jade Dragon in Macau, China (No.103), Russia's Cococo (No.104), Tokyo, Japan's Il Ristorante Luca Fantin (No.107) and Sugalabo (No.120), Vea in Hong Kong, China (No.113) and Ernst in Berlin, Germany (No.118) to make the list. 

"The advent of S.Pellegrino’s landmark anniversary marked the ideal opportunity for us to extend the list for one year only. We hope to see as many of them as possible again next year,” Drew adds. 

More interestingly, this year's diverse showing also affirms a strong female presence, with Core by Clare Smyth, last year's World’s Best Female Chef honouree, debuting at No.66.

She’s joined by Elena Arzak of Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain (No.53), Pim Techuamuanvit of Nahm in Bangkok, Thailand (No.69), Helena Rizzo of Maní in São Paulo, Brazil (No.73), Garima Arora of Gaa in Bangkok, Thailand (No.95) and Anne-Sophie Pic whose eponymous restaurant in Valence, France earns its place at No.98.

This folllows the implementation of a gender-balanced voting Academy that was announced in early 2019, where more than 500 women make up 50 per cent of the total voting Academy of international chefs, food writers and travelling gastronomes.

It may be the less-celebrated half of the annual list of the world's best restaurants but it offers key insights into the future best 50. Berlin’s Nobelhart & Schmutzig, last year’s No.88, for example, climbed the ranking an impressive 31 places to No.57, followed by Indian Accent in New Delhi, which advanced 30 places from last year to the spot at No.60. 

Click here for the complete 51-120 list.