The fifth edition of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2017 were just announced in Bogotá, Colombia and, as always, there were quite a few surprises.
Since the second year of the Latin America’s Best Restaurant list has been announced, Virgilio Martinez and Pia León’s restaurant Central has held the top spot. This year that honor moved down the street in Miraflores to Mitsuharu Tsumura’s groundbreaking Nikkei restaurant Maido. With Astrid y Gastón winning in the first edition in 2013, that brings the total number of restaurants to take the number 1 listing to three, all of them located in Lima, Peru.
Sergio Barroso’s excellent 040 in Santiago entered the Top 50 for the first time at 38, as did Villanos en Bermudas in Bogotá at 40. Gudalajara’s Alcalde was the highest new entry at 31, while Guadalajara’s La Docena entered the list for the first time. Laja, in the Valle de Guadelupe re-entered the list at 42. Amazonian restaurant Amaz in Lima entered the list at 47. Harry Sasson was the highest climber, rising to 17. Argentina had three new restaurants – Crizia, Proper, and Mihiguene – at 48, 49, and 50.
A handful of restaurants dropped off the list, including Rio de Janiero’s Roberta Sudbrack, which closed, and Santiago’s Osaka, which is moving. Others dropped off in Bogotá (Andrés Carne de Res, Criterión), Argentina (La Bourgogne, 1884, Pura Tierra, La Cabrera), Paraguay (Tierra Colorada Gastro), Brazil (Remanso do Bosque), and Mexico (Dulce Patria). Mexico City’s Biko is closing, but still made the list this year.
Mexico had 12 restaurants, Peru had 10, Argentina had 9, and Brazil had 8.
After two years in Lima and two years in Mexico City, the ceremony moved to Bogotá, Colombia for the first time, a sure boost for Colombian restaurants for the 2018 edition of the Latin America’s Best restaurant list. There was a big jump in Mexican restaurants on the list, moving up to 13, more than any other country. This year there were three Colombian restaurants on the list (Leo, Harry Sasson, and Villanos en Bermudas), all of which are located in Bogotá.
Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2017: Leonor Espinoza of Leo in Bogotá.
Lifetime Achievement Award 2017: Guillermo González Beristáin of Pangea in Monterrey, Mexico.
One to Watch Award 2017: Felipe Bronze of Oro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef: Saiko Izawa of A Casa do Porco in Saõ Paulo, Brazil.
Chef’s Choice: German Martegui of Tegui in Buenos Aires, Argentina.