Wednesday 20 June 2018

World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Spanish brothers reclaim crown while Ireland fails to feature

El Cellar de Roca in Girona was crowned the World's best restaurant
El Cellar de Roca in Girona was crowned the World's best restaurant
The Roca brothers reclaimed the top spot at the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

El Celler de Can Roca in Spain was crowned the best in the world at the prestigious annual World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards in London last night.

After being bestowed the ward in 2013, the Girona-based restaurant run by brothers Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca toppled into second place last year to be replaced by Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen.

Noma is now the third best restaurant in the world, with Italian Osteria Francescana in Modena climbing one place to nab the coveted second spot.

Peru featured in the top ten for the first time this year, as Lima’s Central, lead by chef Virgilo Martinez was listed in fourth on the prestigious list.

New York’s Eleven Madison Park, Mugaritz in Spain’s San Sebastian and Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner in London all featured in the list’s top ten, announced in London’s Guildhall.

Despite a marked increase in the awards’ global reach with restaurants in India, Dubai, Korea and Russia all featuring, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants has come under criticism for its judging which many believe to be a flawed process. The fairness of the judging process can be questioned as the tourism boards in many larger and wealthier countries can sponsor trips for judges to experience certain restaurants, while others can not afford to.

An Irish restaurant has never featured on the list which is sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna and Sunday Independent food critic Lucinda O’Sullivan has previously said it is difficult to take the awards “seriously”.

“The more I look at this event year after year, the more disillusioned I get,” Lucinda wrote in 2013.

“Ireland is lumped into the UK region, with little Irish representation on the voting panel. In 2011 I queried with the 50 Best as to Irish representation amongst the then 31-strong panel.

“Until Ireland gets a fair representation on the voting panel for our 'region', it is hard to take the World's 50 'Best' seriously."

French chef Joel Robuchon’s of Parisian restaurant L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon believes the awards yield to much influence and are based on an unfair voting process.

In a letter to The New York Times, Robuchon wrote: “Voters are supposed to have eaten in the restaurants they vote for at least once in the preceding 18 months.

“But no proof of their visit, no expense bill is required, and I know for a fact that this is a major loophole in the process. It gives free rein to the worst maneuvers — cronyism, ‘flip a coin’ voting, geopolitical influence and lobbying.”

Chef Daniel Boulud from New York’s Daniel was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award at last night’s ceremony.

The World's 50 Best Restaurants:

    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 by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK

    Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan

    D.OM, Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand

    Mirazur, Menton, France

    L'Arpège, Paris, France

    Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain

    Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru

    Steirereck, Vienna, Austria

    Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico

    Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain

    Le Bernardin, New York, USA

    Asurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain

    The Ledbury, London, Britain

    Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France

    Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand

    White Rabbit, Moscow, Russia

    Ultraviolet, Shanghai, China

    Fäviken Järpen, Sweden

    Alinea, Chicago, USA

    Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy

    The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa

    Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo, Japan

    Vendome, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

    Restaurant Frantzen, Stockholm, Sweden

    Attica, Melbourne, Australia

    Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany

    Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy

    Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico

    L'Astrance, Paris, France

    Biko, Mexico City, Mexico

    Amber, Hong Kong

    Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain

    Per Se, New York, USA

    Mani, Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Spain

    Borago, Santiago, Chile (joint 42nd with Tickets Bar)

    Maido, Lima, Peru

    Relae, Copenhagen, Denmark

    Restaurant ANDRE, Singapore

    Au Plaza Athenee, Paris, France

    Schloss Schauenstein, Furstenau, Switzerland

    Blue Hill Farm, New York, USA

    The French Laundary, Yountville, USA

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