In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants organization has confirmed to Robb Report today that it will no longer hold its marquee event in Moscow this summer.
The organization behind the prestigious, yet contentious, restaurant rankings had announced last November that Moscow would hold a series of events in July 2022 that would culminate in the awards. When we reached out to the World’s 50 Best to see if it still planned to go forward with the event in Russia, a representative responded, “At this current time, we are planning on holding the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 in London in July.”
As of press time, the organization hasn’t responded to Robb Report questions regarding the timeline of its decision, feedback it had received from sponsors or where in London the event will be held.
After taking a year off because of the pandemic’s devastating effect on restaurants around the globe, the World’s 50 Best resumed its rankings last October with events in Antwerp, Belgium. Once again, Copenhagen’s Noma took the top spot on the list, celebrating on stage with many of the proprietors of ranked restaurants watching from the audience. Feeling some wind at its back, a little over a month later, the World’s 50 Best announced it would head to Russia’s capital with the ambition to make the events even bigger.
“Following the successful return our live awards program in 2021, we have no doubt that the 2022 event program will allow the global gastronomic community to reconnect once more in person and celebrate the indomitable spirit of the hospitality sector on an even greater scale,” William Drew, the World 50 Best’s director of content, said last fall.
Holding the event can be a boon to the local restaurants, as the food cognoscenti descends from around the world not just to go to the awards, but to eat around town. When Eleven Madison Park was crowned the World’s No. 1 restaurant in 2017, it came one year after the awards were held in New York City for the first and only time. Though it may be small, this move by World’s 50 Best is a hit to Moscow’s tourism.