Rene Redzepi and his team raised the roof at the 10th anniversary of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, as Denmark’s Noma was named no. 1 for the third year in a row.
The standard bearer for the New Nordic movement, Redzepi’s meticulous attention to detail and innovative approach has enabled Noma to maintain its position at the coveted top spot of the list, which is widely considered to be the highlight of the global dining calendar.
Spain can claim 5 restaurants on the list including Arzak at no. 8, whose joint Head Chef Elena Arzak was awarded the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award.
The Chefs’ Choice award, sponsored by Silestone and voted for by the World’s 50 Best chefs, was presented to Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz in San Sebastian. Devastated by a fire 2 years ago, the restaurant holds its place at no.3.
The host nation also has plenty to celebrate with Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London shooting straight in at no.9 to take the Highest New Entry award, sponsored by Les Concierges, as well as establishing itself as the UK’s highest placed restaurant. Heston Blumenthal’s historically influenced British cooking has proved hugely popular with both the local and international judging panels.
Australian Brett Graham whose London establishment, The Ledbury, was last year’s Highest New Entry, rose an impressive 20 places to no. 14, taking the Highest Climber award, sponsored by Cacao Barry.
Another restaurant clocking up a third consecutive win is Quay restaurant overlooking the sparkling Sydney harbour which returns home with the Best Restaurant in Australasia title and a very respectable no. 29 ranking.
The USA boasts 8 restaurants in the list this year, the highest of which is New York based Per Se, owned by legendary chef Thomas Keller, who was rewarded with the Best Restaurant in North America and the S.Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement accolade after spending each of the past 10 years of the awards on the list under one guise or another. His original Californian restaurant, The French Laundry, which held the top spot for two years (2003-04), has also re-entered the list this year at no. 43.
With 6 restaurants on the list, the Asian contingent has secured its position on the gastronomic map and the event organiser took the opportunity to announce the launch of the new Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards at the ceremony, which will be held in Singapore in February 2013. The awards, which are also sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, are welcomed by top chefs from the continent including Ignatius Chan from Iggy’s in Singapore, who took the Best Restaurant in Asia title at no. 26. He said, “Asia has a long culinary history and we offer a deep, diverse and rich gastronomic landscape. Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is a fantastic platform to educate and showcase some of the greatest Asian restaurants to the world.”
South America confirmed its standing on the list with 4 restaurants spanning Mexico, Peru and Brazil, whose São Paolo establishment D.O.M, run by ex-DJ Alex Atala, rose 3 places to enter the top 5 at no.4 and claim the Best Restaurant in South America title.
La Grenouillère in northern France received the 2012 One To Watch accolade sponsored by Acqua Panna. Chef-patron Alexandre Gauthier took the reins of the restaurant from his father back in 2003 when he was just 24. Placed at no. 81, his adventurous and ambitious cuisine now excites critics the world over. Last year’s One To Watch, Frantzén/Lindeberg, based in Stockholm, lived up to expectations and rose 37 places to join the list at no. 20.
New for this year was the inclusion of the Slow Food UK Award sponsored by Highland Park, sponsored by Highland Park single malt whisky. The award, which champions chefs and restaurants that support small scale producers and sustainably sourced, quality produce, was presented to Steirereck from Vienna, Austria.
Editor of Restaurant magazine, William Drew, commented, “A specially convened judging panel assessed the restaurants in this year’s list based on the principles of the Slow Food movement – locality, heritage, sustainability and the revival of forgotten foods – and Heinz Reitbauer’s Steirereck in Vienna came out on top. Situated in Vienna’s central city park, it is remarkable for its commitment to indigenous sourcing, the use of historic ingredients and recipes and the promotion of sustainability across the food chain.”