Chicago’s Alinea voted Best Restaurant in North America in year when US dining scene dominates the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards
The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards has tonight named Grant Achatz’s restaurant the Best in N. America coming in at number seven topping a meteoric rise for the chef up the list of the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants in the past few years.
The USA has no fewer than three restaurants in the top 10 alone this year; the others being Daniel (number 8) and Thomas Keller’s Per Se at number 10. Daniel, the much feted New York restaurant which is a temple to seasonality is also the highest riser shooting up 33 places to break into the top 10.
Beyond the top 10, familiar names such as Le Bernardin at number 15, Momofuku Ssam Bar at number 26 and The French Laundry at 32 remain within the 50. Eleven Madison Park makes its first appearance on the list debuting at number 50. There’s also a re-entry for Wylie Dufrene’s WD-50 which has been absent from the list for four years.
- The S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant & The Acqua Panna European Best.
- Restaurant: Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Eckart Witzigmann.
- Restaurant Magazine Chef of the Decade: Ferran Adrià, Spain.
- The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in North America: Alinea, Chicago, USA
- The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in The Middle East & Africa: La Colombe, Cape Town, South Africa.
- The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in South America: D.O.M, Sao Paolo, Brazil.
- The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Asia: Les Creations de Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan.
- Chef’s Choice Award: The Fat Duck, Bray, UK.
- The Highest Climber: Daniel, New York, USA.
- Highest New Entry: Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland.
- Restaurant Breakthrough Award: Marque, Sydney, Australia.
Beyond American shores, the 2010 winner of the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants is Copenhagen’s Noma. Run by 32 year-old head chef Rene Redzepi, Noma has taken the coveted top slot with the most votes from an Academy of over 800 international critics, journalists and food experts in the awards organised by the UK’s Restaurant Magazine.
Situated on Copenhagen’s dockside in a stylishly converted 18th century shipping warehouse where most dishes are served by the chefs themselves, Noma leads the trend in ‘cold climate cuisine’. Famous for taking truly seasonal and local ingredients, many of which are unheardof outside of the Nordic region, and creating dishes such as radishes in edible soil that acutely demonstrate nature on a plate, the restaurant has quickly established itself as a place of pilgrimage. Copenhagen is no longer the last stop on the gastronomic subway.
After four consecutive years at the top (2005 through to 2009), Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli finds itself in second place this year. El Bulli’s domination of the list for such an extended period marks an outstanding achievement and is recognized today as Restaurant Magazine presents Ferran with the first ever ‘Chef of the Decade’ award.
The UK’s Fat Duck completes the top three restaurants and confirms Heston Blumenthal’s reputation as one of the most exciting and admired chefs in the world. As an additional accolade Heston also takes this year’s ‘Chefs’ Choice’ award after being nominated by his peers as the ‘Chefs’ chef’ – praise indeed. On the British front, Claude Bosi’s Mayfair restaurant Hibiscus also represents an exciting new breakthrough to the top 50.
The amount of movement in this year’s list clearly demonstrates that this is not a static account of established restaurants but an at-a-glance guide to the best talent in global dining. Consumers may argue about what makes a good restaurant or not and of course opinions may differ but this list confirms the wider trends on the global scene and sets the tone for the year ahead.
Paul Wootton, editor of Restaurant which organises the awards said: “This year’s list is an exciting one that highlights in particular the wealth of young, dynamic chefs bringing new ideas to the world of gastronomy. René Redzepi’s rise to the top shows that the Academy members who vote are keen to recognise this new wave of talent rubbing alongside those with more established international fame. Whether Ferran Adrià’s considerable achievements at the top of the list are ever matched in future is another matter entirely, however, and we have celebrated his feats with our new award for Chef of the Decade. We are very much looking forward to the next 10 years with the list continuing to inspire debate and court opinion all over the world.”
Europe performs particularly well at the higher end of the list with Spanish and Italian restaurants taking five of the places in the top 10.
More Asian, Australasian, South American and Japanese restaurants are present this year. The French style of cooking still features strongly with the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in South Africa (La Colombe, 12) and the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Asia (Les Creations de Narisawa, Japan, 24). However, Quay was named as Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Australasia (27) and D.O.M - Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in South America, 18 - and both break away from the classical into the defiantly modern.
Unsurprisingly for those S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy members, Mexico City has had its first entry into the list with Biko. Opened by Basque chefs Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso, dishes like the Foie 100% Cotton Candy perfectly demonstrate why they have named their style as ‘evolution cuisine’. Biko has entered the list at 46 this year and could be one to watch in years to come.
Other notable new entries onto the list for 2010 include Aqua in the industrial town of Wolfsburg, Germany (34), De Librije (Netherlands, 37) and Schloss Schauenstein (Switzerland, 30).
Mark Best’s Marque in Sydney, the gourmets’ secret destination dining room, is named as the restaurant tipped to breakthrough into the top 50 in 2011. Marque so narrowly missed the mark that Restaurant magazine are confident that of all of the new restaurants ranking 51 - 100, his is the one best placed to breakthrough on to the list next year.
Finally, one of the most prestigious awards is the annually awarded Lifetime Achievementaward, which this year goes to the Austrian chef Eckart Witzigmann who has built a long and illustrious career in Germany over many years. The first German speaking chef to hold three Michelin stars, his contribution to the culinary world has been recognised by Restaurant Magazine and the Academy’s panel.
The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards were held at the Guildhall in London on Monday 26th April 2010 in a ceremony often talked about as the ‘Oscars’ of the global dining scene. Humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger has once again been chosen as the official charity of the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Food lovers across the globe will have the chance to purchase a once-in-a-lifetime meal at the 50 best restaurants in the world by bidding on eBay, with all proceeds going to Action Against Hunger’s life-saving work in 40 countries worldwide, including Haiti. Bidding begins on 27 April 2010. http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/actionagainsthungeruk.
Photo by Lara Kastner