Just as actors receive Oscars and musicians earn Grammys, chefs and restaurants can also win prestigious culinary awards. These awards can help a restaurant or chef increase its visibility, and a Michelin star or placement on the World’s 50 Best List can be a real career boost for a chef.
The World’s 50 Best list was founded in 2002 by William Reed Media, a business-to-business company that started as a grocery information service in 1862. The annual list is voted on by an international panel of more than 1,000 food experts, including chefs, restaurateurs and writers. Judges are asked to remain anonymous and cannot vote for restaurants where they have a financial stake.
While the list is relatively new, it has become a coveted distinction for chefs and restaurants around the globe. The awards have also helped drive tourism to destinations on the list, which can make a significant difference for local economies.
One of the more prestigious culinary accolades is the James Beard Award. The Beard Foundation gives out a range of categories, from the Best Restaurant in America to Outstanding Bakery and Wine, Beer or Spirits. The awards are presented annually, and winners are honored at a ceremony that tours the country.
A win at the Beards can be a big career boost for chefs, and the honor comes with a significant amount of media attention. For a new or small restaurant, the recognition can be instrumental in helping it to gain traction with diners and attract a following online. It can also serve as validation for chefs and owners who have been working hard to grow their business and showcase the culinary skills they’ve honed.
In addition to the Beards, there are a number of other culinary accolades that can be considered the top culinary awards. These include the Michelin Guide and the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list. While the Michelin guide has historically awarded stars to expensive tasting-menu restaurants, it is slowly expanding its ranks to include more affordable eats outside of its Western European and Japanese comfort zones. For instance, the guide has awarded a star to Mexican mole temple Casa Enrique and Korean noodle soup spot Jeju.
There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting a culinary school, and the reputation of a program is critical. While a top-ranked culinary school may cost more in tuition, it can provide students with greater long-term employment prospects. Ultimately, it’s up to prospective students to research the schools they’re considering before making any final decisions. Doing so can help them find the best culinary programs to fit their career goals and lifestyle.