Foodies, get your bidding paddles ready for the auction of a lifetime

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Foodies, get your bidding paddles ready for the auction of a lifetime

50 Best for Recovery. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

50 Best for Recovery. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

 
Invest in for your future gastronomic experience with the World’s 50 Best Restaurant auction starting Friday.
 
As many in the restaurant industry question their future, food lovers around the globe worry their favorite spots may no longer exist by the time the coronavirus pandemic subsides. 
 
In order to offer a boost to restaurants and bars around the world, the William Reed group, which releases the World’s top 50 restaurants list every year, decided to invite those with a keen interest in food and beverages to step up.
 
Titled "50 Best for Recovery," the auction will have more than 100 items up for grabs. 
 
A full day with chef Mauro Collagreco of Mirazur, currently ranked No. 1 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list in his town of Menton in the south of France, or a Peruvian food safari in a valley close to Machu Picchu with restaurant Central’s Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon are just two experiences being offered. 
 
Or what about a farm visit with Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn?
 
Atelier Crenn. [50 BEST]

Atelier Crenn. [50 BEST]

 
Although no Korean restaurant or chef is taking part, other Asian spots in Hong Kong and Singapore are participating.  
 
Gastronomic experiences are also available, such as a four-day trip to Singapore to dine at Odette, which is ranked No. 1 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant list. Belon in Hong Kong is offering a chance to have dinner followed by a cooking class with its chef Daniel Calvert.  
 
While many of the offerings must be used by 2021, each varies — so if you're interested, make sure to check the fine print. 
 
Odette. [50 BEST]

Odette. [50 BEST]

 
“Right now, it’s so important to have something to look forward to,” said Tim Brooke-Webb, managing director for 50 Best, explaining that an entire industry is under threat, with bars and restaurants forced to close their doors possibly forever.  
 
“We have been working with top chefs, bartenders and our partners to put together more than 150 of the most incredible, unique and exciting experiences you are ever likely to find.”
 
The group is also trying to garner attention from sports lovers. Courtside tickets to the French Open Women’s Tennis Final with meals and a room at Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris for three days are being auctioned.  
 
Football fans can go to an FC Barcelona match and enjoy the tasting menu dinner at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, about two-hours away from Barcelona and known for its months-long waiting list. 
 
For those looking for something more relaxing, bid on a stay at Velaa Private Island in the Maldives. 
 
A food trip to Dominican Republic is also available.  
 
If you're more of a homebody, why not check out some of the rare bottles of Japanese whisky on offer, or 30-year-old rum with paired cigars. 
 
You can also bid on artwork created by culinary talents, such as a a lithography collage by Alain Passard of restaurant Arpege. 
 
“These bespoke events, gastronomic trips and exclusive products will create memories that last a lifetime, not to mention generating a collection of photos to make even the biggest social media influences envious,” said Brooke-Webb.  
 
Besides placing bids in the auction, you can also make donations. The company is also trying to raise funds with cookbooks released online.
 
Individual restaurants can apply for a grant from the William Reeds Group while part of the proceeds will also be distributed to other non-profit organizations that provide food to those in need across the world.  
 
To participate in the auction or donate, go to 50bestforrecovery.com. The auction starts Friday and lasts until July 12.  
 
BY LEE SUN-MIN   [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
 
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