Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli has again pipped Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck for top slot in the S Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. It was the third consecutive win for the famously innovative restaurant, whose Costa Brava dining room is open for only six months of every year.
The success of the awards has been impressive, and last night’s glitzy award ceremony in Covent Garden certainly attracted many of the great and good of the world’s chef community.
The awards’ challenge now, however, is to become truly worldwide. Despite impressive efforts and internationalisation of the judging panels, the awards are still notably skewed towards Europe and America, and the English-speaking world. The total omission of any restaurants in Japan from the top 50 list, for example, is little short of scandalous.
For more musings on the awards, and the winning restaurants, see Bloomberg.com.
PS (23 April) Bloomberg.com returns to the story today, giving the follow up list of the 50 ‘reserves’. The introductory statement – the “World’s best Chinese is found in London” – is presumably supposed to be satirical.
The UK restaurants in the second 50 (ie places 51-100) are:
57. Maze W1
58. River Cafe W6
64. Zuma SW7
67. The Square W1
PPS (25 April) Interesting to compare the R50 view of the world with the recent survey of international fine diners conducted by Steve Plotnicki, a New York-based restaurant fan.
According to that survey, the Fat Duck (at number 3=) is the only British restaurant to make it into the top 50 in North America and Europe, and the only one “Worth planning a trip around”. With the exception of the Fat Duck, four areas – New York, California, France and Spain – accounted for all of the top 20 slots.