Postcards from Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022

The 10th edition of the 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, sees the region’s gastronomic community come together in the city of Mérida in Yucatan, Mexico, for several days of culinary discovery, celebration and well-deserved recognition.

From traditional bites to the best of contemporary gastronomy, and from culinary conferences to star-studded awards ceremonies, enjoy these 24 postcards that summarize everything that happened at this year’s event.

1. People discover the culinary treasures of Yucatan
To start the celebration, the gastronomic community gathered at Ku’uk restaurant in Mérida, where the famous local chef Pedro Evia created a menu of the best dishes from the last decade of his restaurant. Highlights include the chef’s mole, made with dates and black persimmons and accompanied by sunflower petals and seeds, and Cerdo Pelón, a dish of Creole suckling pig cooked with lentils.

2. Latin America’s finest chocolatier crafts some delicious desserts
Dinner at Ku’uk culminates with dessert by Luis Robledo, who was named the Best Pastry Chef in Latin America in 2019, including a delicious combination of mandarin, hazelnut praline, goat cheese, green apple and arugula, as well as a unique truffle made with República chocolate of Cacao.

3. Mexico’s best bartenders shake up a storm
To complete the delicious dinner, Gina Barbachano from Hanky ​​Panky is joined by Gabriela Lozada from Brujas (No.13 and No.64 respectively in the World’s 50 Best Bars 2022) to provide guests with an amazing selection of tipples, including Casa Batlló. , featuring Tequila Ocho, mezcal and caprese cordial.

4. #50BestTalks: Cocina Conscious putting a focus on community and sustainability
At #50BestTalks, the 50 Best thought leadership forum held at the Hyatt Regency Mérida, an elite group of food personalities shine the spotlight on more ethical ways of cooking. The founder of Gastromotiva David Hertz, from Brazil, spoke about the power of social gastronomy to unite beyond borders, while Debora Fadul, chef-owner of Diacá in Guatemala City, proposed a new vision of gastronomy with producers at its heart.

5. Cochinita is taken steal the show
As part of #50BestTalks, traditional Mayan chef Rosalia Chay Chuc from the Yaxunah community reveals her secrets. cochinita pibil tacos, made exclusively with Creole pork cooked in an earthen oven, and shows how he makes his unique meat marinade (recado) on stage.

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6. The Chefs’ Feast provides a taste of Yucatecan culture
On the day before the awards ceremony, the area’s culinary community came together at the Chefs’ Feast at the Chablé Resort. They are served with an authentic display of Yucatan flavors, from handmade corn tortillas filled with Lechon (suckling pig) to black tacos the priest and raw bar with oysters, clams and octopus. Folkloric dance contributes to the cheerful mood and anticipation for the next day’s ceremony.

7. Latin America’s best chefs share tacos around the fire
With chefs and restaurants from all over Latin America reuniting for the first time since 2019, good times were had by all, and many took the opportunity to pose in groups for the cameras. In this photo, see if you can spot chefs Renzo Garibaldi, Mitsuharu Tsumura, Rafael Osterling, Virgilio Martínez, Pía León and Pablo Rivero, among others.

8. Guests arrive in style at the gala awards night
Aboard a sleek Volvo car, chefs, media and top food lovers in the region come together at the Centro Internacional de Congresos de Yucatán in Mérida. The red carpet and drinks reception was buzzing with anticipation and excitement.

9. Brazilians looking on point on the red carpet
Chefs from all over Brazil gather around the media wall as they arrive at the 2022 Latin America 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony for an epic team photo.

10. Talk, laugh and tipple tequila
Before taking their seats to retreat, guests are tempted by small bites including macarons, tacos and a selection of cocktails.

11. Chefs show their moves in the reception of drinks
360-degree cameras were popular at cocktail receptions, leading to multi-national snaps. In this photo, chef Carolina Bazán from Ambrosía Bistro in Santiago is joined by Jaime Rodríguez from Celele in Cartagena and Gerardo Vázquez Lugo from Nicos in Mexico City.

12. Cooks from Central America wear coveted red scarves
The restaurant team from all over Latin America met on the red carpet wearing the iconic 50 Best red scarves. Central America stood hand in hand before the awards ceremony, along with restaurant representatives from Guatemala, El Salvador and Panama.

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13. Chef Jonatan Gómez Luna accepted it Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2022
Winner of the program’s only peer-selected award, affable chef Jonatan Gómez Luna received the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award in front of his worldwide peers. Gómez Luna deconstructs and reimagines traditional Mexican cuisine at his restaurant, Le Chique, in Cancún.

14. Who American Express One To Watch Award towards the Ancestors
Mauricio López and Sebastián Giménez lifted the trophy on behalf of Ancestral, an up-and-coming Bolivian restaurant using fire to breathe life into La Paz’s culinary scene.

15. Pía Salazar so Best Pastry Chef Latin America 2022, sponsored by República del Cacao
Known for her extraordinary avant-garde confectionery that showcases Ecuador’s endemic pantry, Pía Salazar was surprised by an individual award, while she and her husband Alejandro Chamorro, Nuema, were named The Best Restaurant in Ecuador.

16. Otéque appreciated by Gin mare Art of hospitality Award
A smiling Alberto Landgraf accepted the award on stage from the legend Massimo Bottura and Lara Gilmore of the Best of the Best restaurant Osteria Francescana. Showing the best taste of Brazil with panache and exquisite attention to detail, Oteque is a worthy winner of the coveted accolade.

17. Pablo Rivero is the inaugural Best Sommelier Beronia Latin America
The latest individual award in the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants program went to Don Julio’s restaurateur-sommelier, Pablo Rivero. Famous for traditional champions grill concept in Buenos Aires, Rivero’s restaurant is also home to a cellar with more than 12,000 labels.

18. Diacá take that Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award 2022
Restaurant chef Debora Fadul came out on top thanks to her produce-centric attitude, plant-forward menu and standout, contemporary Guatemalan fare. Fadul was joined on stage by Jordi Roca of the Best of the Best restaurant El Celler de Can Roca.

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19. Who Icon Award 2022 with Volvo presented by Rafael Rincón
Social entrepreneur, creator of Fundación Gastronomía Social and co-founder of Ñam, Chile’s first gastronomic festival, Rincón was honored at the award ceremony for his tireless efforts to change the world for the better through food.

20. Her name is Manoella Buffara
Latin America’s Best Female Chef
Game-changing chef Manoella Buffara was presented with the trophy by former World’s Best Female Chef Dominique Crenn. With its ingenious culinary creations and dedication to southern Brazilian products, Buffara launched Curitiba onto the gastronomic map.

21. Fauna praised and Highest New Entry Award 2022
Chef David Castro Hussong and pastry chef Maribel Aldaco Silva burst onto this year’s list at No.16. The couple took home the trophy honoring the limitless culinary creativity, experimental flavors and stunning images of Baja California.

22. Guy praised by Highest Climber Award
Grinning chef Mario Castrellón accepts the trophy with team members Cristina Perez and Rafael Reyes. Rising from No.42 to No.6, Maito made waves with his unique mix of Panamanian, Afro, Creole and Cantonese dishes.

23. Middle is crowned The Best Restaurants in Latin America 2022sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna
Central received the final award at this year’s award ceremony. Chef Virgilio Martínez and Pía León were joined by their team on stage as they celebrated the No.1 ranking in the regular annual vote for the first time since 2016.

24. See you next year!
After several days of celebrations, stimulating discussions and delicious Yucatecan food, the edition of the 50 Best Restaurants of Latin America 2022 has come to a close. Stay tuned for the announcement of next year’s 2023 edition.

Now catch the best moments of the celebration with the video:

List of 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America 2022sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, announced on Tuesday 15 November. Follow us on Instagramlike we are on Facebookfind us on Twittertag #LatAm50Best and subscribe to us YouTube channel for the latest news.

Reporting by Giulia Sgarbi and Chloe Vialou-Clark


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