Is El Celler de Can Roca the best restaurant in the world?
It is according to Restaurant magazine, a British food industry publication, which launched their annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards back in 2002. The winners were announced tonight in London, and though there weren't many surprises, there were a couple of newcomers to the top 50, including Ultra Violet in Shanghai, China and White Rabbit in Moscow. The highest ranking restaurant in the U.S. this year was Eleven Madison Park, at number five.
The One to Watch award went to Sepia in Sydney, Australia, a restaurant already on the list (in 84th place), while this year’s lifetime achievement award went to Daniel Boulud, of Daniel in New York, though his restaurant is no longer ranked in the top 50. And while women chefs are notably scarce from the list (generally comprising no more than four per cent of the total winners), there is a “World's Best Female Chef” award and it went to the Michelin-starred French chef Hélène Darroze.
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There was controversy as a site called Occupy 50 Best launched a petition leading up to the awards, with support from several well-respected chefs, criticizing the lack of established criteria for winners, and the lack of transparency and structure in the voting process. Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann, who was recently profiled in the Netflix documentary Chef’s Table, announced that he’d already resigned from the jury back in 2013.
The annual list is compiled from the votes of 27 regional panels, each with 36 members—a mix of critics, chefs, and other industry professionals who vote online (Bloomberg's own Richard Vines was long a voter). El Bulli won the first year, and dominated the number one spot from 2006 to 2009. Noma has previously won four times. Other first place winners include The French Laundry (2003, 2004), The Fat Duck (2005), and Can Roca (2013).
Here are the top ten on the list:
- El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
- Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
- Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Central, Lima, Peru
- Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
- Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
- Dinner, London, UK
- Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
- D.O.M, São Paolo, Brazil
- Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
Bloomberg News, edited by Hospitality Ireland