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