Smyth went on to emphasize the importance of cultivating better kitchen cultures so chefs of all backgrounds can thrive and rise to top positions.
Dominique Crenn's Atelier Crenn was notably absent from this year's list, too, and it's hard not to wonder whether Crenn's outspoken disdain for the World's 50 Best organization had anything to do with that, as many felt the San Francisco restaurant deserved recognition.
The victor has been in Spain seven times, the most of any country. In addition to El Celler de Can Roca's two wins, ground-breaking Spanish chef Ferran Adria's El Bulli, which he closed in 2011, took the prize a record five times.
The morning of the ceremony, Crenn posted a quote from Nina Shaw on Instagram that seemed to take aim at World's 50 Best for marginalizing women: "I don't need you to include me from what you excluded me from".
But above everything else, and as an introduction, William Drew, group editor of World's 50 Best Restaurants insisted on saying goodbye to American food icon and television host Anthony Bourdain, who died tragically earlier this month. The event has been held before in London, New York and Melbourne. At No. 18, Disfrutar of Barcelona received the Highest New Entry Award for 2018.
Italian chef Massimo Bottura talks with the press after receiving the Best Restaurant award for his restaurant L´Osteria Francescana during the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards in Bilbao. Peru's Gaston Acurio won the Diner's Club Lifetime Achievement Award.
And this year, they're quite right.
Indeed, women are rare sightings on the World's 50 Best list.
'To separate (male from female chefs) for me is unusual, but we don't see enough women coming through at the top and we need to do something about it, ' she said earlier this year.
Massimo Bottura accepted the award for the three-Michelin-star restaurant in Modena, Italy, saying, "This is fantastic". According to Eater's data from 2016, over 50% of the restaurants were European.
Run by chef Massimo Bottura, the restaurant in Modena, Italy, overtook last year's victor, New York's Eleven Madison Park, in the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards, which were handed out in Bilbao in Spain's northern Basque Country, famous for its avant-garde haute cuisine.