He will know whether the refurbished Fat Duck has returned to the Top 50 when the full list is announced in Melbourne on April 5. It does seem a bit odd if it doesn’t.
The award comes as the Bray landmark’s monumental post-relaunch pricing risks sapping the enthusiasm of real diners as opposed to the pundits. Many reports in the 2017 survey, found that while applauding the team’s evident culinary “genius” the end result still “doesn’t justify the stratospheric pricing”.
The Duck dropped out of the 50 Best last year, when it migrated to Melbourne for a six-month residency while its permanent perch in Bray was revamped. It had previously made the Top 50 for 11 consecutive years, peaking at number 1 in 2005 and coming second five times.
Dinner by Heston, his second restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge, came in at number 45 last year. OK Dinner still scores solidly well in the 2017 survey, but only its owner’s celebrity could justify such a top-50 (or a top-100) ranking.
The only other UK restaurants in the top 50 were fellow London venues the Ledbury at number 14 and the Clove Club at 26, but the main focus of excitement next week will be whether Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena can retain the top spot.
Ana Ros, of Hisa Franko in Slovenia, will be crowned the world’s best female chef in the awards.
The second tier, numbers 51-100, were announced this week and there were no real surprises from the small British contingent. Another trio of London restaurants retained their places, led by Lyle’s in Shoreditch, up to 54 from 65 last year, while Chiswick’s Hedone dropped from 60 to 98. St John, a long-time favourite of the list having peaked at number 10 in 2005, retained its 2016 standing at number 91.
Meanwhile Manish Mehrota of New Delhi’s Indian Accent, number 87 on the new list, has announced he will open a branch in Albermarle Street, Mayfair, later this year. He opened in New York last year.