Road to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017: What to expect from the list and British chefs
In less than a week, Melbourne will play host to one of the most prestigious events in the culinary calendar: the announcement of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Started in 2002, the list has become a firm favourite of gourmets and foodies alike, travelling the length and breadth of the world in its search for quality, innovation and style. It’s an honour to even be featured in the list’s top 100 recommendations, and the fight for the top spot is as fierce as it’s ever been.
Last year Osteria Francescana of chef Massimo Bottura took the number one position at the first ceremony outside London. Acclaimed by his peers, guests and critics, Bottura is expected to remain on top while the Eleven Madison Park team are renovating their restaurant to launch into an aggressive bid next year.
We’re highly unlikely to see any British restaurants take that coveted spot this year, but the nation’s representation across the list is still considerable. Here are some of the biggest names from Britain.
Brett Graham’s refined Notting Hill offering is one of those select few “modern European” restaurants that actually lives up to the full potential of that billing. Effortlessly dipping into the continent’s cultures, techniques and ingredients to conjure up dishes of the utmost elegance, Graham’s cooking has earned him 2 Michelin stars and utterly effusive praise. A consistently high placer, we’d be shocked to see The Ledbury fall out of the top 20.
The Fat Duck
Heston Blumenthal’s masterpiece is expected to return to the top 50 again this year, having been ineligible for the last list. A relaunch that married some of the restaurant’s classics with plenty of new surprises was a massive hit with both critics and the public and with Heston himself awarded the 50 Best Lifetime Achievement Award this year, the only real question seems to be just how high the new and improved Fat Duck will place.
Dinner by Heston
Heston Blumenthal’s second entry in the 50 Best, Dinner draws deep from Britain’s rich culinary history to offer dishes that have otherwise been lost to the ages, all infused with the chef’s signature energy. Headed up by Ashley Palmer-Watts, Dinner was unfortunate to drop in the rankings last year but will be hoping for a stronger showing in the 2017 list. The restaurant also has a second home in Melbourne where a near-identical version of the London original is available to Australian diners.
After climbing its way up the list, Isaac McHale’s Clove Club finally broke the top 50 last year, and continues to shine as one of the capital’s best restaurants. Combining exquisite British produce, excellent technical skill and a beautiful dining room in Shoreditch Town Hall, the ex-Ledbury chef McHale’s pitch-perfect cooking is the epitome of London’s young vibrant scene, and of the latest wave of British fine dining.
Placing just outside of the top 50 this year, climbing from its first inclusion last year, Lyle’s is one of the most intriguing restaurants in the capital. Headed up by James Lowe, formerly of St John Bread & Wine, it offers innovative, seasonal dining in a modern setting at reasonable prices. Lowe’s cooking goes from strength to strength as time passes, his sophisticated dishes pairing beautiful ingredients with technical excellence. The UK’s strongest contender for another top 50 placement.
For further information about The World’s 50 Best Restaurants visit here.