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Winners at the inaugural World Restaurant awards

The first edition of the World Restaurant awards took place on 18 February 2019 in Paris.

Restaurant of the Year was awarded to Wolfgat in South Africa, which also won the award for ‘off-beat destination.’

Wolfgat is a small, beach side restaurant in the Western Cape, which only offers 20 places per sitting, to keep their production sustainable, according to their website.

The food style is described as ‘seasonal, inspired by the weather, with a naturalist approach and minimum intervention’, and the judges said it ‘feels like a restaurant that’s giving back to the community.’

The winner of the ‘Forward drinking’ award went to Mugaritz in San Sebastián, of which judges said ‘Mugaritz’s wine programme is singularly ambitious. The restaurant’s cellar holds around 1,600 wines and some 90 sakes.’

The awards are divided into Big Plates winners – which aim to ‘champion excellence and integrity while trying to better promote the diversity of the world’s restaurant community’, according to World Restaurant Awards.

‘Small Plates’ winners recognise ‘contemporary cultural nuances’ and acknowledge the role of social media and attempts to subvert current gastronomic fashions. These include awards such as ‘tattoo-free chef of the year’ and ‘tweezer-free kitchen.’

The ‘Red wine serving restaurant’ went to wine bar Noble Rot in London, of which judges said ‘It’s hard not to fall in love with Noble Rot.’

It was praised as being ‘a driving force in making wine bars cool again, it does not fall into the trap – as so many fashionable new wave restaurants and wine bars do – of championing white wine over red.’

Top London wine bars – chosen by Decanter experts

About the awards

The World Restaurant Awards were created by IMG in partnership with Joe Warwick and Andrea Petrini to ‘celebrate restaurants as culture, considered in the same way as film, art and music.’

See all of the winners at World Restaurants awards:

Big Plates winners:

Restaurant of the Year
Winner: Wolfgat, Paternoster | South Africa

Arrival of the Year
Winner: Inua, Tokyo | Japan

Atmosphere of the Year
Winner: Vespertine, Los Angeles | United States

Collaboration of the Year
Winner: Paradiso X Gortnanain, Cork | Ireland

Enduring Classic
Winner: La Mère Brazier, Lyon | France

Ethical Thinking
Winner: Refettorio (Food For Soul), Various locations | Italy

Event of the Year
Winner: Refugee Food Festival, Paris (and worldwide) | France

House Special
Winner: Lido 84 (Cacio e Pepe), Lombardy | Italy

Forward Drinking
Winner: Mugaritz, San Sebastián | Spain

No Reservations Required
Winner: Mocotó, São Paulo | Brazil

Off-Map Destination
Winner: Wolfgat, Paternoster | South Africa

Original Thinking
Winner: Le Clerence, Paris | France

Small Plates winners:

Instagram Account of the Year
Winner: Alain Passard (@alain_passard), Paris | France

Long-Form Journalism
Winner: Lisa Abend, The Food Circus | Fool Magazine

Red-Wine Serving Restaurant
Winner: Noble Rot, London | United Kingdom

Tattoo-Free Chef
Winner: Alain Ducasse, Paris | France

Trolley of the Year
Ballymaloe House, Cork | Ireland

Tweezer-Free Kitchen
Winner: Bo.Lan, Bangkok | Thailand

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