[Mexico: Yucatan] The Best Chef Awards 2023

Last month, I made my way to Yucatán in Mexico for events of The Best Chef Awards 2023! This is my second time attending the festivities and on the first day, we heard from a panel of speakers on the topic of “ORIGINS & FUTURE” at the beautiful mansion museum El Pinar in Merida. Speakers included Junghyun Park of Atomix, Rodolfo Guzman of Borago, Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil, Manu Buffara of Manu Restaurante, Mariana Poo of Traspatio Maya, and Wilson Alonzo of Ya'axche. The discussion on traditions and history was made all the more livelier during the Q&A session with comments from the legendary Ferran Adria of elBulli!

On the second day, we had the opportunity to hear about the unique ways of using Yucatán ingredients at the Food Meets Science event from Jordi Roca on Melipona honey, Karime Lopez on Maiz, Diego Guerroro on Achiote, Roberto Solis on Recado Negro, Debora Fadul on Papaya, and Albert Adria on Coconut. It was wonderful to see the local producers explaining the ingredients on stage with the chefs as well. 

The last day of The Best Chef Awards events culminated in the announcement of the Top 100 best chefs from around the world at the gala event held at the Yucatán International Congress Centre. Congratulations to Dabiz Muñoz of DiverXO on winning the Best Chef Award for the third year in a row! See the complete list here.

The list is completed with 10 special awards that recognize the work of chefs in specific fields:

- The Best Chef Pizza Award: Franco Pepe
- The Best Chef Dining Experience Award: Grégoire Berger
- The Best Chef Pastry Award: Jordi Roca
- The Best Chef FoodArt Award: Karime López
- The Best Chef Rising Star Award: Tala Bashmi
- The Best Chef New Entry Award: Albert Adrià
- The Best Chef Legend Award: Ferran Adrià
- The Best Chef Local Award: Roberto Solís and Wilson Alonzo
- The Best Chef Science Award: Rodolfo Guzmán
- The Best Chef Voted by Professionals Award: Rasmus Munk

Also, a special shout-out to Hong Kong representation on the list:
16. Danny Yip of The Chairman
35. Vicky Cheng of VEA and Wing
46. Agustin Balbi of Ando
53. Vicky Lau of Tate Dining Room
72. Guillaume Galliot of Caprice

It has been great to catch up with old friends and meet new people over these past couple of days - thanks The Best Chef Awards for having me in Yucatán!  

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