The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018: The British candidates
There’s always a great deal of expectation for William Reed’s list of the world’s best restaurants. Compiled by a mix of chefs, food entrepreneurs and media from all over the globe, the list of the “50 best” will be announced in Bilbao tonight after a long residency in London (14 years) and two international stops in New York (2016) and Melbourne (2017).
Although none of the British restaurants is expected to make it to the very top, London might become the most celebrated city in the world – should our hopes materialise.
The Clove Club, Isaac McHale – Number 26 in 2017
One of the defining trailblazers of the Modern British culinary movement, Shoreditch’s Clove Club focuses on putting the best of British produce at the forefront of everything that they do, scouring the country for the very best vegetables, meat and fish. Chef Isaac McHale – hailing from Scotland – loves to pair big, bold flavours, as in his iconic warm blood orange with ewe’s milk yoghurt mousse and wild fennel granite.
The Ledbury, Brett Graham – Number 27 in 2017
An evergreen fixture on the 50 Best Restaurants list, the Ledbury is a byword for consistent brilliance. Diners are delighted with dishes of whisper-thin white beetroot, smoky eel and caviar, or Brett Graham’s latest take on game, elevated by bold sparks of wasabi, honey, rose granita or mead jelly. The ambitious food is paired with impeccable service that’s as enthusiastic as it is knowledgeable. “The World’s 50 Best is a brilliant couple of days where we can meet old friends, make new ones and be inspired. The list has brought the very best chefs and restaurants together like no other event,” said Graham. Considering its global spectrum, the space for British restaurants is limited, but the Australian chef thinks there’s one that should definitely be part of it: “Hedone and the reason is simple, customers say the cooking is excellent.”
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Ashley Palmer-Watts – Number 36 in 2017
An icon of informal fine dining, Dinner by Heston has been a major player in the list since it first became eligible in 2012. Ashley Palmer-Watts put together the most efficient – and also stunning – kitchen you could ever dream of. The restaurant’s dishes – devised with Heston Blumenthal – are based on historic British recipes and aim at celebrating the past of a nation that wasn’t associated with good food. Palmer-Watts told us: “Being considered amongst such brilliant people from all over the world based on the experience we provide in our restaurant is amazing. I think the cooking in the UK at the moment is the best it’s ever been, there are so many world-class restaurants that could feature on the list.” When asked if he had any favourites the chef said: “For me, Restaurant Sat Bains would be right up there amongst the best in the country.”
Core by Clare Smyth – Best Female Chef 2018
Focussing on the very best of British produce, Core looks destined for Michelin starred glory. Smyth herself has previously achieved incredible things working for Gordon Ramsay, and her first solo outing has generated both public and critical acclaim. She has already been named the winner of this year’s World’s Best Female Chef by the 50 Best Restaurants list and we’d be thrilled to see her making it into the final less than a year after her long-anticipated opening.
“50 Best is about celebrating the restaurant industry and promoting food tourism. It’s the list everyone’s talking about,” the chef told us. When we asked her whether there are other British restaurants she wished would be on the list, the Smyth said: “Yes of course, there are so many restaurants in the UK that deserve to be on the list: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Claude Bosi at Bibendum and Restaurant Sat Bains.”
Lyle’s, James Lowe – Number 54 in 2017
Stunning produce and stunning flavours are served up with minimal fuss at Lyle’s, where the focus is very much on the food. Nordic influences and time at St John have inspired a healthy reverence for bringing out the best from the natural flavour of ingredients. Raw milk and cheeses, foraged ingredients and offal all make frequent, and welcome, appearances to a menu that changes daily. Lowe rose to the lower end of the selection last year and he’s expected to be part of the top now.
Daniel Masters and Filippo L’Astorina
Video: Filippo L’Astorina / Laura Denti
Outside the 50 Best, Chiswick restaurant Hedone ranks at number 82 and Fergus Henderson’s St John at 84. Check out the full 51-100 list here.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 celebrations began on Sunday 17th June with the #50BestTalks, watch them in full here.
Watch the opening press conference of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 here: