50 Best today announces its Champions of Change 2022, heroes of hospitality creating positive change for their communities. Launched last year to celebrate the industry’s unsung heroes, in 2022 the accolade is given to two individuals and one pair driving meaningful action and creating blueprints for a better hospitality sector.
- Dieuveil Malonga – Chef of Meza Malonga in Kigali, Rwanda and founder of Chefs in Africa
- Koh Seng Choon – Social entrepreneur and founder of Dignity Kitchen in Singapore and Hong Kong
- Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina – London-based founders of #CookForUkraine
Dieuveil Malonga is the chef of restaurant Meza Malonga in Kigali, Rwanda, and founder of Chefs in Africa, an online platform that cultivates culinary talent in Africa by helping cooks overcome barriers such as discrimination and lack of training or equipment. Malonga’s mission is to “write a new story of gastronomy which has its roots in Africa and contribute to establish furthermore African cuisine as gourmet”.
Koh Seng Choon, based between Hong Kong and Singapore, is the founder of Dignity Kitchen, Asia’s first community food courts managed by people with disabilities, which also act as schools to train the disabled and disadvantaged to run hawker operations. Dignity Kitchen is part of Project Dignity, which supports people with disabilities through several initiatives, including a second-hand book shop managed by mothers and their challenged children, and Dignity Meal, a food security initiative for the disadvantaged.
London-based friends Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina launched food fundraising initiative #CookForUkraine in response to the war in Ukraine, where Hercules was born. #CookForUkraine aims to increase awareness of the humanitarian crisis and raise money to help displaced children and families, while providing a platform to share and promote Ukrainian recipes, along with the stories behind those dishes.
William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, says: “We are thrilled to recognise the incredible work that Dieuveil, Koh Seng, and Olia and Alissa are doing for their communities and we’re honoured to be able to support their brilliant initiatives.” Each of the three winners will also receive a substantial financial donation to their project as part of the prize.
Champions of Change is one of several pre-announced awards in the lead up to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 awards ceremony on 18 July.