The prestigious celebration of the very best in global gastronomy includes a series of events running from 16-20 June 2018 across the Basque region of Spain, showcasing the area’s outstanding culinary credentials to an international audience of industry professionals and food lovers.

This year, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants brings its high-profile events to the Basque Country in partnership with the Government of Biscay for a five-day celebration attended by world-leading chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, media and influencers, with local events open to the public throughout. Spain has long been a global leader in gastronomy and the Basque region, in particular, has an incredibly rich gastronomic culture. The area around Bilbao and San Sebastian is famous for its high concentration of outstanding restaurants, alongside its renowned pintxos bars, making it one of the world’s finest food destinations.

William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, says: “After recent editions of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in New York and Melbourne, we could not be more thrilled to be returning to Europe to host our event programme in Bilbao, one of the great food destinations of the world, in 2018. Come June, Biscay will undoubtedly be the place to be for those passionate about great food and inspirational restaurants.”

The flagship ceremony announcing the highly anticipated list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 will take place at Bilbao’s imposing Euskalduna Centre on 19 June and includes a glamorous red-carpet reception and post-awards celebration party.

The star-studded evening will be preceded by #50BestTalks, a culinary thought-leadership conference exploring food developments, restaurant trends and chefs’ stories, which takes place at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian on 17 June.

The 50 Best programme will also include a pre-event media conference and special art celebration at the world-famous Guggenheim Museum on the morning of 18 June. This is followed by The Chefs’ Feast, the private annual gathering of the greatest chefs on earth, who will experience a traditional Basque asador (barbecue) in the beautiful countryside of the Atxondo Valley.

Events in Biscay outside of the official 50 Best programme will include Bilbao’s famous White Night, an evening of open-air celebrations with music, stage arts, literature and eye-catching light and sound shows on 16 June, and an ‘After-After’ Party at the city’s San Mamés football stadium after the awards on 19 June.

The city’s local partners including hotels, restaurants and bars will be rolling out a host of initiatives for visitors and locals as part of Bilbao’s city engagement programme.

Unai Rementeria, President of the Government of Biscay, says: “It is a pleasure and a privilege for Bizkaia to host a gastronomic event of such international prestige. We are excited and working hard to make this edition of The World’s Best Restaurants unique and unforgettable. We guarantee all visitors that they will feel at home among us; we are a small territory in which, apart from pleasure, gastronomy is culture. Basque cuisine is a mirror of our values as a country: it is a mixture of tradition, respect and quality. We are looking forward to receiving you.”

All announcements and results, including the 2018 list, will be published online at www.theworlds50best.com