A Look Inside Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards

Diners Club International Eduardo Tobon Alex Atala Latin America's 50 Best Awards

The 50 best restaurants in Latin America gathered in Lima on September 3 to celebrate their accomplishments at an awards event as vibrant as the foods from the region.

Diners Club International® was there as a sponsor of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014, recognizing in particular the work of Brazilian Chef Alex Atala, whom Forbes once called “the world’s most influential chef.”  Atala’s São Paulo restaurant, D.O.M., ranked third on this year’s Latin American list and also received “The S. Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Brazil” award. The restaurant came in seventh on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 list last April.

It was my honor to present the Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award – Latin America to Atala at the awards event that evening, recognizing his career as well as his success incorporating indigenous Amazonian ingredients into haute Brazilian and global cuisines.

alex atala eduardo tobon diners club lifetime achievement award

Our celebration of Atala started the afternoon before the awards event, when we hosted a private media event and book signing. There, I had the chance to sit down with the chef to ask him about what has inspired him, the key to his success and what’s next in his career. He also talked about the unique regional ingredients that have catapulted not only his career, but Brazilian gastronomy.

At the awards reception later that evening, guests had the chance to watch Peruvian visual artist Juan Pablo Egúsquiza “live paint” a brilliant homage to Atala, courtesy of Diners Club. The three-dimensional painting depicted a number of Amazonian ingredients used by the chef, such as pirarucu river fish, leaf-cutting sauva ants and manioc, a root vegetable.

Juan Pablo Egusquiza Diners Club Latin America's 50 Best event

Diners Club also interviewed a number of chefs who represented winning restaurants at the reception, so stay tuned to our social media channels as we release these interviews in the coming weeks.

Join us on this culinary journey exploring top restaurants around the globe as a key sponsor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2015.