Asia

Six of Asia’s Top 10 Chefs Are White Guys Who Don’t Even Cook Asian Food

Six out of the top 10 chefs profiled in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 are white males, and some in the culinary community, including TV host and author Anthony Bourdain, believe the list is “beyond ludicrous.”

Author and co-founder of Roads & Kingdoms, Matt Goulding, agreed with Bourdain’s sentiment, tweeting the following about the annual list:

Bourdain isn’t known for beating around the bush. He quoted Goulding’s tweet and said that the list, sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Aqua Panna, was “beyond ludicrous.

Launched in in 2013, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants takes a look at six voting regions: India & Subcontinent; South-East Asia — South; South-East Asia — North; Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau; mainland China and Korea; and Japan.

But the chefs featured in this year’s roundup presented a lack of diversity, recognizing just four Asians in the top 10 restaurants, which you can check out below:

  1. Gaggan; Bangkok, Thailand; Gaggan Anand
  2. Restaurant André; Singapore; chef-owner André Chiang
  3. Amber; Hong Kong, China; culinary director Richard Ekkebus
  4. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana; Hong Kong, China; Umberto Bombana
  5. Nahm; Bangkok, Thailand; David Thompson
  6. Narisawa; Tokyo, Japan; Yoshihiro Narisawa
  7. Nihonryori RyuGin; Tokyo, Japan; chef-owner Seiji Yamamoto
  8. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet; Shanghai, China; chef-patron Paul Pairet
  9. Odette; Singapore; Julien Royer
  10. Burnt Ends; Singapore; Dave Pynt

To add fuel to the fire, “Asia’s 50 Best” only includes two women: Le Moût Taichung’s Lanshu Chen, in Taiwan, and Bo.Lan’s Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava (who doesn’t even get her own photo) in Bangkok, Thailand.

According to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants website, the list is “created by the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia, each selected for their expert opinion of Asia’s restaurant scene.”


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