World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards – the 2015 edition
Big surprises and a phenomenal rise for Cape Town’s The Test Kitchen. Here’s a taste from London (written the morning after the awards)
Rene Redzepi, Noma’s popular head chef is standing with his back towards me. He’s stooped over a stove at The Clove Club in Shoreditch, London, the former epicentre of hipsterdom, churning out tacos stuffed with perfectly fried eggs, hot sauce and piles of fresh coriander. Hours after the announcement on Monday night of the toboggan-topple from the number one spot on the S Pellegrino and Acqua Panna World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards list, to number three (a fall that has shocked many culinary critics), Redzepi was back in the kitchen. Surrounded by some of the world’s most prominent chefs, media and gastronomes, he seemed relaxed as the room buzzed with champagne and beers.
Just earlier, Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen in Woodstock, Cape Town received news at the elegant ceremony in London’s historic Guildhall of his number 28 spot, moving up a staggering 20 places, usurping the likes of en-vogue Quique Dacosta in Spain and New York’s darling, Per Se.
Dale-Roberts will be heading back to Cape Town and the anticpated opening of his food laboritory Naturalis, where he, head chef Ivor Jones and the team will work on new techniques. Jones says fermentation is currently top of their agenda.
The Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona established in 1986, reclaimed their 2013 top spot, with six other Spanish restaurants on the top 50. Notable was the number 42 entry from Ferran Adrià’s Tickets, a popular high-end tapas bar in Barcelona.
In keeping with current food trends and popular cuisines, South America has nine slots and Asia seven, on the list. The only other African restaurant remains The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français by Margot Janse, who has been on the list since the inception of the awards in 2002, then a feature on Restaurant magazine. Group editor at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants run by William Reed Media, William Drew stated that innovation and variety are fuelling diner’s choices, and “the only way to remain at the top these days is to keep marching forward.”
The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards has endured its share of criticism. Questions pertaining to the calibre of the almost 1000 independent voters, the selection process, the seemingly small number of French restaurants (five in total), the sudden appearance of high-ranking new entries (such as Moscow’s White Rabbit at number 23), and the lack of female representation on the list, abound.
The global awards (annual awards are held in Latin America and Asia as well) moves to the ultimate melting pot of cultures and cuisines, New York City in 2016. Until then, the culinary world awaits the next top chef who will, for a single night, abandon intricate plating to prepare a hearty bowl of comfort food for a roomful of weary gourmands.
- El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain.
2. Osteria Franciscana, Modena, Italy.
3. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark.
4. Central Restaurante, Lima, Peru.
5. Eleven Madison Park, New York, New York.
6. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain.
7. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK.
8. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan.
9. D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil.
10. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand.