France Restro Spots 1st on 50 Best Restaurant List

by June 28, 2019 0 comments

Mirazur, a restaurant in France, has won the first spot in World’s 50 Best Restaurants list

A change in rules in the nominations for World’s 50 Best Restaurants list made a profound difference to who the winners were this year. The decree that no previous winner can be No. 1 again —or even be ranked on the list worked in the favour of chef Mauro Colagreco and his Mirazur dining room, which clinched the top spot. Previously the restaurant was No. 3. This is also the first time France has gotten the No. 1 spot since the awards began 18 years ago.

The change in rules meant that the previous winners have now been relegated to a “Best of the Best” category. That includes Osteria Francescana, Massimo Bottura’s modernist restaurant in Modena, which has won the award twice; Eleven Madison Park, which took the top spot in 2017; El Cellar de Can Roca; and the original Noma.

But 2.0 version of Noma, which took the second place has featured on the list before. However, a different location in Copenhagen with a new menu format made it eligible. William Drew, group editor of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, says the criteria they used, which included location and menu concept, was not just to allow Noma, one of the world’s highest-profile dining spots, to be in contention. “The aim is to have an objective set of criteria that prevails over time,” he says. Leading up to the announcement, which took place in Singapore on the evening of June 25 before an audience, Noma was an insider favorite to clinch the top spot.

Mirazur is housed in a 1930s building looking out over the sea, on the Italian border. The Argentine-born chef draws inspiration from the region, serves vegetables from his own gardens and other local produce to create colourful Mediterranean dishes. Colagreco’s signature creation is oyster with tapioca, shallot cream and pear. The lunch menu costs 160 euros ($180), while the full menu is 260 euros.

“What a great year. Three Michelin stars and No. 1 all in the same year,” said Colagreco while accepting the award. “It’s a year I shall remember forever. I don’t have words to explain. I own the sky.”

He said the next step after basking in the awards is to expand his “little” 5-acre gardens into something greater. “We are fantastic producers, winemakers — we are a little paradise.”

This year, the list was also expanded from 100 to 120 to coincide with the list’s leading sponsor, San Pellegrino, celebrating its 120th anniversary. It’s a “one-off” expansion, according to Drew.

The restaurants appearing on the list from 51-120 were released ahead of time. That half of the list included restaurants from 25 countries, which is certainly a good reason to expand the list. The expansion also makes it easier to highlight restaurants in cities that haven’t caught the 50 Best’s attention before, like Alcade in Guadalajara, Mexico (109 on the list). “We embraced the opportunity to showcase an even more diverse range of restaurants,” said Drew.

This year saw a lot of dramatic movements. Restaurants like Atelier Crenn in San Francisco at No. 35 and The Chairman, a Cantonese spot at No. 41 were some of the new entries. The host city, Singapore, saw the Odette move up to No. 18.

There were some disappointments as well. Attica in Melbourne, fell an astonishing 64 spots, to No. 84 from 20. And then there was Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain which was demoted to No. 53 from 31, and DOM in Sao Paulo, which fell to No. 54 from 30.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is organised and compiled by William Reed Business Media. Votes of 1,040 restaurateurs, chefs, food writers and foodies are taken into account. The voters are split into 26 separate regions around the world. Each region has its own panel of 40 members. The awards started in 2002 as a feature in Restaurant, a U K publication, based on the picks of journalists and chefs. The founders compare it to a music magazine compiling a best-albums list.

Ahead of the ceremony, three awards were announced: Daniela Soto-Innes, of Cosme in New York, won Elit Vodka World’s Best Female Chef; the American Express Icon Award went to the humanitarian chef José Andrés; and Lido 84, a locally focussed restaurant in Lombardy, Italy, won the Miele One to Watch.

Writer & Courtesy: The Pioneer

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