Chef Viviana Varese, the one and only Italian among winners of “Champions of Change”, the international recognition for commitment to LGBTQ + community in favor of social inclusion.
“Champions of Change”: in its first edition, the new initiative of 50 Best – an international organization that rewards the 50 best restaurants in the world – offers an important recognition to three “unsung heroes” of the hospitality world who have proposed and led a positive change despite the extraordinary context experienced in the last 18 months. Presented in collaboration with S.Pellegrino, Champions of Change recognizes and celebrates those who have used this difficult period to promote meaningful action within their community, which is part of the 50 Best for Recovery program aimed at relaunching the catering sector in the post-pandemic period.
Viviana Varese is one of the few female chefs in Italy to be included in the Michelin Guide with a recognized star at her restaurant, Viva, in Milan. Activist in favor of the LGBTQ + community and, more generally, a supporter of social inclusion, after having personally experienced episodes of discrimination, Varese is part of “Parabere Forum”, the non-profit association that aims to strengthen the role of women who work in hospitality. In spring 2021, the chef not only reopened Viva, but also launched the new W Villadorata restaurant in Sicily. A concept oriented towards the social inclusion of staff, regardless of gender, race, age and sexual orientation. In addition to hiring and training over-60 farmers who have lost their jobs, Varese collaborates with suppliers who employ people with disabilities to make the dishes and ceramics of her restaurants.
2021 offers opportunities for positive change within a sector that is being rebuilt and remodeled with greater attention to the issues of inclusion and sustainability, as evidenced by the important work done by the three winners. 50 Best for Recovery, which has promoted a fundraising campaign for the world of restaurants, will make a substantial donation to each of the causes supported by the chefs, ensuring new life for their projects and, thus, stimulating long-term progress.