A local Spanish newspaper has praised the World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ decision to hold its 2018 awards event in the country’s northern Basque region, with its flagship ceremony hosted in the city of Bilbao.
The Deia newspaper estimated that the event, slated for June 2018, will bring over 80 million euros (87 million U.S. dollars) of income for Bilbao as delegates and visitors from around the world flock to the city to attend the biggest international gathering for gastronomy, patronizing hotels and restaurants for four days.
It marks a return to Europe for the event in its 16-year history after being held in New York last year and in Australia this year. It’s also the third time the event is being held outside London.
The decision, announced at an exclusive brunch hosted in the Covent Garden restaurant of Basque chef Eneko Atxa, is a recognition of the Basque region’s profound culinary tradition.
“As a country, Spain has long been at the forefront of gastronomy,” William Drew, editor of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said while making the announcement. “And the Basque region, in particular, has an incredibly rich culinary culture.”
The region boasts the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world and currently has four restaurants in the 2017 list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Meanwhile, the event is also expected to draw visitors to such places as the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian and the cookery schools in Artxanda and Leioa, further raising awareness of the Basque cuisine.