The World’s 50 Best Restaurants proclaim Copenhagen global food capital as Noma unsurprisingly reclaims the top spot
Yesterday, chefs and restaurateurs the world over reunited in Belgium for the World’s 50 Best awards ceremony, which saw the announcement of a new number one: René Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, taking the title from Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur.
It was incredible for members of the media and food industry to be able to meet once again after the most difficult time the hospitality has endured since the beginning of the millenniun. The number one announcement came as no surprise because Noma is by far the most popular establishment on the list and was eligible to be voted on a technicality. In theory, Redzepi’s restaurant should have belonged to the Best of the Best section, where all the revereed past winners belong and can’t be voted again: El Bulli, Osteria Francescana, El Celler de Can Roca, Eleven Madison Park, the Fat Duck and the French Laundry. But a change of location was considered enough to let it re-enter the game, despite keeping the exact same name, chef and a good part of the kitchen and front-of-house staff
Redzepi and his team continue focusing on the research and use of unusual seasonal ingredients, offering a strictly season menu divided into three phases: seafood in the winter, vegetable in the summer, and game and forest in the autumn – foraged locally and brought to life in creative and complex ways on the plate. Noma is joined in the top three by Geranium (No 2) also in Copenhagen, Denmark and Asador Etxebarri (No 3) in Atxondo, Spain.
London has confirmed its status as a global superpower with two restaurants on the list – The Clove Club (No 32) and Lyle’s (No 33) – as well as four on the 51-100: Core by Clare Smyth, Dinner by Heston, Ikoyi and Brat.
William Drew, director of dontent for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “Noma has arguably been the most influential restaurant of its generation, setting new standards in terms of research and ingredient sourcing, dish development and presentation. It has become one of the most sought-after dining destinations by consumers from all over the world and we are delighted to announce it as this year’s No.1. It is also wonderful to see eight new restaurants making their debut as well as two re-entries after one of the most challenging periods the sector has seen. It has been an honour to witness the resilience and community spirit of so many restaurants on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and beyond.”
Spain and the US lead the way with six restaurants each in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list with Spain boasting two in the top ten: Asador Etxebarri (No 3) and Barcelona’s Disfrutar (No 5). Following close behind are Elkano (No 16) in Getaria and the evergreen Mugaritz (No 14) in San Sebastián. In the US, New York’s Cosme is No 22, San Francisco’s Benu No 28 and SingleThread No 37. Italy is also well represented with four restaurants in the list including new entrant Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera (No 15), also the winner of the Highest New Entry Award.
South Africa makes a splash this year with new entry Wolfgat at No 50 winning Best Restaurant in Africa. Other new entrants into this year’s top 10 include Hong Kong’s The Chairman, rising 31 places to take the No 10 spot, earning it this year’s Highest Climber Award. Mexico’s City’s Pujol is No 9 and awarded Best Restaurant in North America. Odette in Singapore at No 8 moves up ten places and is also awarded Best Restaurant in Asia, and Frantzén in Stockholm rises 15 places to No 6.
Basque grill master Victor Arguinzoniz wins the Chefs’ Choice Award. Voted on by his peers, it is awarded to a chef who has had a significant influence on the culinary community.
The Art of Hospitality Award goes to Vienna’s Steirereck (No 12), a restaurant renowned for breaking the boundaries of Austrian cuisine. Under the tenure of Heinz and Birgit Reitbauer, the chef and front of house doyenne respectively, Steirereck has become a byword for cutting-edge cuisine rooted in the Styrian countryside, while every detail of service is gracefully orchestrated by Birgit, from the mouth-watering wine list to the sprawling cheese offering.
Boragó in Santiago, Chile (No 38) wins the Sustainable Restaurant Award. This award is independently audited by Food Made Good Global – the international arm of the Sustainable Restaurant Association – which rates establishments in the list of 100 restaurants that self-nominate for the award based on set sustainability criteria.
Will Goldfarb of Room4Dessert in Bali, Indonesia, takes home The World’s Best Pastry Chef Award. Goldfarb has been passionately focused on desserts throughout his career and centres much of his work on sustainability, growing plants and herbs for his own restaurant. He opened the first Room4Dessert in New York in 2006, followed by a new iteration in 2014, in Bali, Indonesia, where he currently resides.
Finally, pre-announced special award winners accepting their accolades at the Antwerp ceremony include Peruvian chef Pía Léon, of Central, Kjolle and Mil, winner of The World’s Best Female Chef Award; French-born, San Francisco-based chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, winner of the Icon Award, and London restaurant Ikoyi, winner of the One to Watch Award.
and the editorial unit