World’s 50 Best Restaurants revealed

By Danielle Bowling, Hospitality Magazine

Osteria Francescana in Italy’s Modena has been named the World’s Best Restaurant, overtaking last year’s first place-getter, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain.

Following on from the release of the 51-100 list last week, the top 50 restaurants were announced at an awards night in New York, where Ben Shewry’s Attica was Australia’s highest ranked restaurant, coming in at 33rd place and claiming the Best Restaurant in Australasia award.

El Celler de Can Roca now holds second position, followed by Eleven Madison Park (New York, USA) in third, Central (Lima, Peru) in fourth, and Rene Redzepi’s Noma (Copenhagen) in fifth.

Next year’s awards will be hosted in Melbourne, with Tourism Australia working closely with Visit Victoria and Wine Australia to help bring the event to life.

William Drew, group editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants said, “After hosting 14 successful editions of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in London, we feel the time is right to make the event truly global. The 2017 event in Australia will be the second time we have held the awards outside of London, following New York this year. There’s so much international interest in Australia as a food destination, it’s exciting for us to have the opportunity to take the events program to this unique country.”

Osteria Francescana was listed at number three in 2013 and 2014, and jumped up to number two in last year’s list. Owner Massimo Bottura, who was recently in Sydney as a guest speaker at MAD SYD, launched the three Michelin-starred restaurant in 1995 and has an unconventional approach to Italian cuisine, reinterpreting classic dishes and presenting them to diners in a way that evokes emotion and lets the quality of the produce speak for itself. Some of the most popular examples from his menu include the dessert Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart, the result of a happy accident in the kitchen where one of the restaurant’s chefs dropped a lemon tart just prior to its service, prompting Bottura to completely reassess how the classic dish should be enjoyed. Another is Memory of a Mortadella Sandwich, the traditional version of which Bottura had every day as a child, and which took him four years to recreate at Osteria Francescana, eventually serving up a mortadella foam with a gnoccho fritto, pistachio and garlic cream (read our profile piece on Bottura here).

With four restaurants making the top 50, 2016’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is a great one for Italian cuisine: Le Calandre in Rubano sits at number 39, Piazzo Duomo in Alba climbed 10 places to number 17 and Combal Zero in Rivoli is at number 46.

Six restaurants from Asia feature on the list this year. Narisawa in Tokyo remains within the top 10 at number eight. Amber in Hong Kong (number 20) and Restaurant André in Singapore (number 32) are both high risers, climbing 18 and 14 places respectively. Thailand’s Gaggan sits at number 23 this year with fellow Bangkok restaurant Nahm (by Australian chef David Thompson) at number 37. Another Tokyo restaurant made the list with Nihonryori RyuGin coming in at number 31. Shanghai’s Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet sits at number 42.

The USA boasts a total of six restaurants on the list including former One To Watch winner Saison (number 27) in San Francisco, which is one of four new entries to the list. New York’s Estela (number 44) is also a newcomer, while Alinea in Chicago climbs 11 places to number 15.

2016 also saw the introduction of a new addition to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants portfolio: The Ferrari Trento Art of Hospitality Award. In its inaugural year this was presented to Eleven Madison Park in New York, in recognition of the work of its front of house team.

South America celebrates five restaurants from across the continent on the list. A new entry in 2015, Maido from Peru takes the Highest Climber Award, having risen 31 places number 13.

Frech patissier Pierre Hermé claimed the 2016 World’s Best Pastry Chef Award, while Alain Passard, who celebrates 30 years of his globally acclaimed Paris restaurant, Arpège (number 19), took out the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award. French-born chef Dominique Crenn, based in San Francisco, was recognised as The World’s Best Female Chef.

The Clove Club in the UK won the Highest New Entry Award after entering the list at number 26. Australian-born chef Brett Graham, who operates The Ledbury in London, saw the restaurant climbs six places to number 14.

You can view the top 50 list in full here.

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