Worlds 50 Best Restaurants and new triumph for Rene Redzepi and Noma
Many expectations, hopes and emotions reach their culmination in this special evening at the end of April each year. For me, it’s not about one winner, it’s about celebrating all the great honest and passionate chefs who strive every day to do their best in exploring, testing, moving borders and innovating. It’s a celebration of passion dedicated to flavours, textures and colours which make each of us who enjoy them, happy.
Last night brought a nice surprise when it was announced that Danish restaurant Noma regained its title as The S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant. After nine years on the list and three consecutive wins in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Noma celebrates once again as it returns to the coveted No.1 position.
All audience was euphorically welcoming this result with a standing ovation. The food world loves Rene who has showed to many young passionate chefs who are creating in the less famous gastronomic destinations that it doesn’t matter where you are from, as long as you passionately follow your mission to do the best you can. But this means also stepping out of the comfort zone, exploring new ways, taking less easy roads. Rene is known for his meticulous attention to detail, innovative approach to foraging and experimentation with fermentation, usage of wild plants and less known ingredients – all driven by passion and a relentless curiosity and offering very strong emotional experiences of taste.
“We didn’t expect it at all, we thought we had had our moment on this list. I know that for the team, this is the biggest moment.” said Rene. “We came in here expecting nothing. The newspapers said Noma is over. We have a moment that is mind boggling! Every year there’s a rumour about who’s no.1. This year there was nothing – there is nothing better than a genuine surprise.”
El Celler de Can Roca, famous Spanish restaurant created by the Roca brothers which was last year’s winner, has moved to the No.2 spot with plenty to celebrate with Jordi Roca winning the inaugural title of The World’s Best Pastry Chef, sponsored by Cacao Barry®. Jordi is known for his creativity and irreverence when it comes to desserts; his vision matched by incredible skill and precision. Spain has seven restaurants on the list, three of which are in the top ten. Mugaritz is now at No.6, with fellow San Sebastian establishment Arzak remaining at No.8. New entry Azurmendi (chef Eneko Atxa) from Larrabetzu, near Bilbao, debuts at No. 26 and also picks up the Sustainable Restaurant Award, sponsored by Zacapa.
Italy has three restaurants between the 50 best with Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana remaining at No.3 for the second year running, Piazza Duomo on 39th and Le Calandre on 46th place. Davide Scabin’s Combal Zero is on 51st place.
For the first time the UK has two restaurants within the top ten with Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at No.5 (climbing two places) and Brett Graham’s The Ledbury at No.10 (up three spots from last year). The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award went to the legendary Fergus Henderson from St. John in London, recognising the fundamental contribution he has made to the UK’s culinary identity.
France boasts five restaurants on the list with Mirazur (chef Mauro Colagreco) moving up 17 places to No.11.
With seven restaurants on the list overall and two restaurants in the top ten, the USA, another key international gastronomic leader, matches Spain and France with the highest number of restaurants featured. Eleven Madison Park in New York moves up one spot at No.4 to claim the Best Restaurant in North America, sponsored by Acqua Panna title. Another title scooped by the USA is the One To Watch, sponsored by Dekton® by Cosentino, won by Saison, in San Francisco. Last year’s One To Watch, South Africa’s The Test Kitchen, enters the list at No.48.
South America also has reason to celebrate with Helena Rizzo’s Mani rising 10 spots to No.36 and Helena herself taking home the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award. Alex Atala’s D.O.M in São Paulo is placed at No.7 this year to once again pick up the accolade of being named Best Restaurant in South America, sponsored by Acqua Panna. Atala also receives the coveted Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Gaggenau which is voted for by the chefs on the list. The Highest Climber Award, sponsored by Lavazza, goes to Central in Lima Peru, now at No.15, having climbed an impressive 35 places.
Asia now boasts seven restaurants in the world ranking including the Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by Acqua Panna; Nahm in Bangkok, Thailand, which comes in at No.13 (up 19 places). Gaggan, also in Bangkok, is ranked No.17, scooping the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by LesConcierges.
Congratulations to all the chefs and their great teams!
1 Noma Copenhagen, Denmark
2 El Celler de Can Roca Girona, Spain
3 Osteria Francescana Modena, Italy
4 Eleven Madison Park New York, US
5 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal London, UK
6 Mugaritz San Sebastián, Spain
7 DOM São Paulo, Brazil
8 Arzak San Sebastián, Spain
9 Alinea Chicago, US
10 The Ledbury London,UK
11 Mirazur Menton, France
12 Vendome Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
13 Nahm Bangkog, Thailand
14 Narisawa Tokyo, Japan
15 Central Lima, Peru
16 Steirereck Vienna, Austria
17 Gaggan Bangkog, Thailand
18 Astrid Y Gaston Lima, Peru
19 Fäviken Järpen Sweden
20 Pujol Mexico City, Mexico