Asia’s Hottest New Chefs, Full List of 2016 “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants”

Chef Kirk Westaway, Jaan

Gaggan is charming but check out these three hot new chefs on the 2016 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list: Kirk Westaway of Jaan in Singapore, Willin Low of Wild Rocket in Singapore, and Chele Gonzalez of Gallery Vask in the Philippines.

Although Jaan has always been on the list, it is the first time for all three chefs to be recognized by Asia’s 50 Best, Westaway taking over Jaan’s kitchen only last year: Jaan was ranked No. 29, Wild Rocket debuted at No. 38 and Gallery Vask debuted at No. 39.

Chef Kirk Westaway, Jaan, Asia's 50 Best, Wordl's 50 Best
Chef Kirk Westaway, Jaan (photo:

Westaway, an Englishman, took over the kitchen of Jaan from highly-acclaimed French Chef Julien Royer just last year. (Royer left Jaan to open Odette, a fine-dining restaurant at the National Gallery Singapore created with The Lo & Behold Group.) Royer left Jaan at No. 11 in the 2015 Asia’s 50 Best list yet top food critics have been impressed by how Westaway hit the ground running, maintaining the reputation of Jaan as a top French fine dining restaurant, and commend his immediate entry at No. 29 in the 50 Best list.

Chef Willin Low, Wild Rocket, Asia's 50 Best, World's 50 Best
Chef Willin Low, Wild Rocket. Photo:

Low, once upon a time a lawyer, has been a celebrity chef in Singapore for quite sometime now although very humble with his credentials, that it’s been a wonder he wasn’t on the list sooner. Over five years ago, he was already named by the New York Times as one of three chefs in Singapore who were “reinventing the city’s traditional food culture”. He has been doing modern Singaporean cuisine for around ten years, with two other restaurants in Singapore: Relish at Cluny Court and Wild Oats at Punggol Park.

Chef Chele Gonzalez, Gallery Vask, Asia's 50 Best, World's 50 Best
Chef Chele Gonzalez, Gallery Vask. Photo:

Gonzalez is a Spanish chef who sidelined as a DJ while working at Spain’s top restaurants including El Bulli, Arzak, Mugaritz and Nerua, before moving to the Philippines and eventually becoming “the cook” at Gallery Vask. A disciple of Mugaritz’ Andoni Aduriz, he has been at the forefront of modern gastronomy in the Philippines for the past few years, creating Kulinarya, a menu using Spanish modern gastronomy techniques using Philippine ingredients and playing with local flavors. He wowed international chefs and media at last year’s Madrid Fusion Manila.

Personal photos at the awards HERE.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2016 Full List of Winners

No. 1 – GAGGAN Bangkok, Thailand
No. 2 – NARISAWA Tokyo, Japan
No. 3 – RESTAURANT ANDRÉ Singapore
No. 4 – AMBER Hong Kong, China
No. 5 – NIHONRYORI RYUGIN Tokyo, Japan
No. 6 – WAKU GHIN Singapore
No. 8 – NAHM Bangkok, Thailand
No. 9 – INDIAN ACCENT New Delhi, India
No. 10 – LUNG KING HEEN Hong Kong, China
No. 11 – HAJIME Osaka, Japan
No. 12 – LES AMIS Singapore
No. 13 – 8 1/2 OTTO E MEZZO BOMBANA Hong Kong, China
No. 14 – BURNT ENDS Singapore
No. 15 – MINGLES Seoul, South Korea
No. 16 – L’EFFERVESCENCE Tokyo, Japan
No. 17 – CORNER HOUSE Singapore
No. 18 – FU HE HUI Shanghai, China
No. 19 – ISSAYA SIAMESE CLUB Bangkok, Thailand
No. 20 – QUINTESSENCE Tokyo, Japan
No. 21 – SHINJI BY KANESAKA Singapore
No. 22 – JUNGSIK Seoul, South Korea
No. 23 – EAT ME Bangkok, Thailand
No. 24 – TAKAZAWA Tokyo, Japan
No. 25 – MINISTRY OF CRAB Colombo, Sri Lanka
No. 26 – SUSHI SAITO Tokyo, Japan
No. 27 – THE CHAIRMAN Hong Kong, China
No. 28 – MR AND MRS BUND Shanghai, China
No. 29 – JAAN Singapore
No. 30 – LE MOÛT Taichung, Taiwan
No. 31 – LA MAISON DE LA NATURE GOH Fukuoka, Japan
No. 32 – TIPPLING CLUB Singapore
No. 33 – TENKU RYUGIN Hong Kong, China
No. 34 – FOOK LAM MOON Hong Kong, China
No. 35 – ROBUCHON AU DÔME Macau, China
No. 36 – IGGY’S Singapore
No. 37 – DEN Tokyo, Japan
No. 38 – WILD ROCKET Singapore
No. 39 – GALLERY VASK Manila, Philippines
No. 40 – L’ATELIER DE JOËL ROBUCHON Hong Kong, China
No. 41 – BO INNOVATION Hong Kong, China
No. 42 – KIKUNOI Kyoto, Japan
No. 43 – CUISINE WAT DAMNAK Siem Reap, Cambodia
No. 44 – WASABI BY MORIMOTO Mumbai, India
No. 45 – BUKHARA New Delhi, India
No. 46 – RAW Taipei, Taiwan
No. 47 – NIHONBASHI Colombo, Sri Lanka
No. 48 – TA VIE Hong Kong, China
No. 49 – LOCAVORE Bali, Indonesia
No. 50 – LA YEON Seoul, South Korea