World’s 50 best restaurants awards 2013
Attending the Worlds 50 best restaurants award ceremony is each time a special emotion. For me it was the second time, but I didn’t enjoy less than last year. It’s wonderful to meet all the worlds top chefs in one place, seeing their friendly interactions and feeling the excitement each time a name of the list is announced. It’s a pleasure to meet old friends who gather there from all over the world and to get to know new people. Everybody is shining, even those who have this year lost some points and finished lower on the list than last year. It’s not so much about winning – it’s a pleasure to be between the best ones and to enjoy with colleagues and friends.
Everything starts with gathering in front of Guildhall. In the early evening around 6 pm starts to arrive first chefs and journalists and many interviews happen here, on the daylight in front of the famous building.
But the greatest excitement happens when winners (and winners are all who enter between 50, or even 100 best worldwide) are announced. Guest stand up for a standing ovation and hugs to the winners are seen also on the screens.
Who are this years main winners?
The no. 1 restaurant worldwide is El Celler de Can Roca. Last year on the second place, this year absolute winners. We somehow all knew it. It was a logical result of the years of intense work and of each year higher position on the list. Brothers Roca (Joan in the kitchen, Josep as sommelier and Jordi as pastry chef) are one of the most creative teams worldwide who sees cuisine as part of the larger cultural movement and who have just after their success in London expressed their view also through a very complex project of the gastronomic opera El Somni.
Some people thought that brothers Roca are not the good choice as they are not representing the main trend in the cuisine which is right now more autoreflective and existentialistic, but I suppose that on the other side in the times of recession there is deep need also this other trend which takes people at least for some beautiful moments to another world, world of magic where everything is possible. Brothers Roca have won because they make dreams come true.
The no. 2 is Noma. Rene Redzepi is, even if he has fallen one regarding last year, still keeping at the top. A wonderful compliment to this young chef who has somehow invented the Nordic cuisine and showed to all the world that also nations with not so famous culinary traditions can create cuisines which are exciting and which make foodies travel from all the world just to taste this wonderful diversity. Managing this – to create something so important practically out of nothing is something that requires all the respect and it is a good encouragement also to other countries worldwide that they can make it – if they develop something on their own instead of copying the strongest culinary nations.
No. 3 is Osteria Francescana. Finally Massimo Bottura has made it to arrive between the top three. We all have desired it for years. This wonderful man of great culture has really deserved it. Very humble person with very strong intellect and creativity who is with his feet and hands rooted deep in the ground of his territory looking for the best products and with head over the clouds letting himself inspire by arts and culture, is creating stunning gastronomical experiences. Always balancing between Earth and sky he perfectly catches the best of both adding to each of his creations that “something” which satisfies at the same time a simple person in research of taste, as also the intellectual who expects from this experience something more.
Alain Ducasse was selected this year by Diners Club International as the winner of the life achievement award. One of the biggest name of the worlds gastronomy is not only a great chef and wonderful person – his influence is much wider as many of the chefs who are between the best worldwide today have learned directly or indirectly from him. Monsieur Ducasse was not able to come to London so we have seen his presentation and short interview with him trough video made when award was given to him in Paris.
This years female chef of the year is Nadia Santini from the Italian 3 Michelin starred restaurant Dal Pescatore. The family run restaurant is beside the excellent cuisine known also for the great warmth and cordiality of the owners. A very special family that really deserves their recognition for all the love they are putting into making their guests happy on all the levels.
Complete list you can check here: http://www.theworlds50best.com/
What does it mean for the chefs being between 50 best? A lot! Many guests who eat in restaurants are not aware of the really hard work in the backstage which starts in the morning and ends late in the night. Work that requires as much intellectual activity as also hard physical work. In the recession which we have in the last years, many excellent restaurants fight to survive as there are less and less people who can afford such meals and many of those who could afford don’t have the culture to understand all the complexity. Awards put those restaurants into highlights and bring new guests. Humans are curious and awards, stars etc influence on our choices. So even if some people may have certain doubts if this is needed and how objective it is (taste is always subjective, but anyway) – I welcome it, because at least some of the best gain something out of it and anyway through it also others because awareness of good food raises and guests are becoming more open to try also something new.
Long live the good cuisine and great chefs who create it. Here is a cheers to you all!