The Sweet Service Award goes to Sorbet Sea Point, and its Manager Marie-Zanne, who patiently listened to my service complaint about a visit earlier this week. I was left with wax marks on my legs that I could not clean with nail polish remover (the only remedy I could think of!), and she invited me to come back for the marks to be removed. I also told her about the poor service when I paid, the Clicks Club Card having to be swiped too when one pays, for points, but I realised that this had not been done for a number of my past monthly visits! While she could not give me the points retrospectively as they have changed their computer system, she was honest enough to acknowledge that there have been service issues at their reception. The receptionist Megan also refused to give me the number of the Manager. Kindly she has given me her cellphone number directly! Continue reading →
I have rarely written about personal matters on my Blog. I am also long past formulating New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of a year. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that the universe would present me with a year of years in 2016, to top any I have ever experienced! Continue reading →
It was on Facebook that Jacqui Jones, now living in New York, saw that I was in the city, and invited me to join her and partner James for dinner at New York icon restaurant Daniel last week. Daniel is a Michelin two star restaurant, and is Relais & Chateaux accredited. Continue reading →
Whilst dining at Le Bernardin in New York earlier this week, I received a copy of Zagat 2016 ‘New York City Restaurants’. Paging through it, I discovered some interesting information about the New York restaurant scene. Continue reading →
The eagerly awaited 12th The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards was held last night at The Guildhall in London, and the Top 50 Restaurants were announced. Restaurants ranked 51st – 100th were listed on the Awards website, which crashed just after the Awards ceremony!
The initiative of Restaurant magazine in the UK, and using 900 judges from around the world, a total of 6552 votes were cast to vote for the world’s best restaurants. The world was divided into 26 regions, chaired by an expert for that region. Tamsin Snyman heads the Africa panel of 36 members, who had to eat at 4 local as well as at 3 international restaurants to cast their vote. No score is required – the vote is purely for the best restaurants they ate at, and must be presented in ranked order. Every year 10 panelists step down per region, to be replaced by new ones. For the first time in seven years Snyman did not attend, for family reasons.
The biggest surprise was that Noma in Copenhagen went back to its number one Continue reading →
While South Africa did not make the The Restaurant S.Pellegrino & Aqua Panna The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 list, Cape Town’s The Test Kitchen was singled out in a newly introduced award ‘One to Watch’, proudly received by Owner/Chef Luke Dale-Roberts, which also made 61st position. Noma’s hold of the number one position on the world restaurant list in the past three years has been broken, with the three Roca brothers at El Celler de Can Roca taking over the coveted top world restaurant accolade.
A Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Diners Club, went to Chef Alain Ducasse, while the World’s Best Female Chef Award went to Nadia Santini of Dal Pescatore in Italy, which has had 3 Michelin stars since 1996! The Chef’s Choice Award went to Grant Achatz, of Alinea in Chicago. The Highest Climber Award went to Astrid y Gastón in Lima, Peru, climbing 21 places to number 14. The Sustainable Restaurant Award went to Narisawa in Tokyo, also winning the accolade of best Asian restaurant.
El Celler de Can Roca is based in Giron in Spain, and is run by the three Roca brothers Josep, Joan,and Jordi, who opened their restaurant in 1986. They were in second place for the past two years. They pioneered sous-vide cooking, and are described as creating ‘magic without undue theatrics’. Brother Joan is the head chef, Jordi is the Pastry Chef, and Josep is the Sommelier and Front of House. Noma slipped to second place, having set a new benchmark for Nordic cuisine, but was dealt a bad blow when numerous customers suffered a very bad virus after eating at the restaurant earlier this year. South African chefs Eric Bulpitt (now of The Roundhouse), Chris Erasmus at Pierneef à La Motte, and Shaun Schoeman at Fyndraai all have done a stage at this world-renowned restaurant.
The Test Kitchen (left) improved its ranking from last year’s 74th position by 13 places this year, while The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français improved by four positions to number 53. Until two years ago the latter restaurant featured in the top 50 list.
The 900 international judges each submit their top seven ranked restaurants, of which three must be from outside their country, based on eating experiences in the past eighteen months.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 list is the following, allegedly leaked by a Spanish journalist earlier yesterday, with six French and six American restaurants in the 50 Best Restaurant list, five from Spain, and four from Italy:
1. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
2. Noma Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Osteria Francescana Modena, Italy
4. Mugaritz San Sebastián, Spain
5. Eleven Madison Park New York, USA
6. D.O.M. São Paulo, Brazil
7. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK
8. Arzak San Sebastián, Spain
9. Steirereck Vienna, Austria
10. Vendôme Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
11. Per Se New York, USA
12. Frantzén/Lindeberg Estocolomo, Sweden
13. The Ledbury London
14. Astrid y Gastón Lima, Perú
15. Alinea Chicago,
16. L’Arpège París, France
17. Pujol México DF, México
18. Le Chateaubriand París, France
19. Le Bernardin New York
20. Narisawa Tokio, Japan
21. Attica Melbourne, Australia
22. Nihonryori RyuGin Tokyo, Japan
23. L’Astrance París, France
24. L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joël Robuchon París, France
25. Hof Van Cleve Kruishoutem, Belgium
26. Quique Dacosta Dénia, Spain
27. Le Calandre Rubano, Italy
28. Mirazur Menton, France
29. Daniel New York, UK
30. Aqua Wolfsburg, Germany
31. Biko México DF, México
32. Nahm Bangkok, Thailand
33. The Fat Duck Bray, UK
34. Fäviken Järpen, Sweden
35. Oud Sluis Sluis, The Netherlands
36. Amber Hong Kong, China
37. Vila Joya Albufeira, Portugal
38. Restaurant Andre Singapore
39. 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana Hong Kong, China
40. Combal.Zero Rivoli, Italy
41. Piazza Duomo Alba, Italy
42. Schloss Schauenstein Fürstenau, Switzerland
43. Mr & Mrs Bund Shanghai, China
44. Asador Etxebarri Atxondo, Spain
45. Geranium Copenhagen, Denmark
46. Mani São Paulo, Brazil
47. The French Laundry Yountville, USA
48. Quay Sydney, Australia
49. Septime París, France
50. Central Lima, Perú
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
The 2011 S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony was held last night, and number 2 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français, with chef Margot Janse at the helm, was the only South African restaurant to make the prestigious Top 50 list, for the seventh year running, and won Best Restaurant in Africa/Middle East, at 36th position, down from number 31 last year. The top restaurant on the World’s 50 Best is Noma from Copenhagen, its second successive year at the top. France remains the country with the most Best Restaurants, at seven, followed by Italy and the USA, with six each.
South Africa also featured in the 51-100 Restaurant ranking, with Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Top Chef David Higg’s Rust en Vrede team making 61st place (up from last year’s 74th place), enhancing the sadness about his departure from the restaurant in June, and La Colombe (now without Luke Dale-Roberts) at 82nd place, a vast fall from 12th position last year.
|1||—||Noma||Denmark||The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in the World. The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Europe|
|2||Up 2||El Celler De Can Roca||Spain|
|4||Up 2||Osteria Francescana||Italy||The Chefs’ Choice sponsored by Electrolux|
|5||Down 2||The Fat Duck||England|
|6||Up 1||Alinea||USA||The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant In North America|
|7||Up 11||D.O.M||Brazil||The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant In South America|
|9||Up 2||Le Chateaubriand||France|
|12||Up 12||Les Creations de Narisawa||Japan||The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant In Asia|
|14||Up 15||L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon||France|
|15||Up 2||Hof van Cleve||Belgium|
|16||Down 3||Pierre Gagnaire||France|
|17||Up 2||Oud Sluis||Netherlands|
|18||Down 3||Le Bernardin||USA|
|20||Up 28||Nihonryori RyuGin||Japan||Highest Climber Sponsored by Lavazza|
|23||Up 7||Schloss Schauenstein||Switzerland|
|24||Up 26||Eleven Madison Park||USA|
|26||Up 1||Quay||Australia||The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant In Australasia|
|28||Up 7||Combal Zero||Italy|
|29||Up 4||Martin Berasategui||Spain|
|32||Down 12||Le Calandre||Italy|
|34||New Entry||The Ledbury||UK||Highest New Entry Sponsored by Silestone|
|35||Down 12||Chez Dominique||Finland|
|36||Down 5||Le Quartier Francais||South Africa||The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant In The Middle East and Africa|
|38||Down 2||Dal Pescatore||Italy|
|39||Up 1||Il Canto||Italy|
|40||Down 14||Momofuku Ssam Bar||USA|
|41||Up 2||St John||UK|
|42||New Entry||Astrid Y Gaston||Peru|
|45||Down 4||Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee||France|
|46||Down 9||De Librije||Netherlands|
|47||Down 33||Restaurant de l’Hotel De Ville||Switzerland|
The S. Pellegrino awards are organised by The Restaurant magazine, and the award-winning restaurants are nominated by and voted for by “800 international restaurant industry experts”, says the S. Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants website. “What constitutes ‘best’ is left to the judgement of these trusted and well-travelled gourmets. There is no pre-determined check-list of criteria”, the website says, and the results are a “simple computation of votes”. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is an ‘honourable survey of current tastes and a credible indicator of the best places to eat round the globe”. There are no requirements for eligibility for the ranking, and the length of time that the restaurant has been open, and the culinary awards won are not taken into consideration for the vote. For the first time, a livestream presentation allowed one to watch the Awards ceremony from the comfort of one’s home, making one feel part of the ceremony.
Other Awards presented were the following:
* 2011 One to Watch: Frantzen & Lindeberg from Stockholm (number 57)
* Lifetime Achievement Award: Juan Mari Arzak (number eight)
* Chef’s Choice: Osteria Francescana (number 4)
* Fastest Climber: Nihonryori Ryugin of Japan (number 20)
* World’s Best Female Chef: Anne-Sophie Pic, of Maison Pic, first female Michelin three star chef in France
Last year Noma also was named the Best Restaurant in the world, with chef René Redzepi at the helm. Ferran Adria’s El Bulli, long in number one position, was second, and Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck came third. Adria withdrew from this year’s awards, as he is closing his restaurant for an indefinite period of time.
Tamsin Snyman heads up the Southern African judging team, stepping into her late mother Lannice Snyman’s shoes. Lannice held this position for years. What is odd is that the performance of South African restaurants on the Wold’s 50 Best Restaurants and Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards has been so different, Le Quartier Français’ Tasting Room consistently having done well on the international Awards list, even when it did not make the Eat Out list in the past.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
La Colombe in Constantia, Cape Town, has been selected as the 12th best restaurant in the world, in the 2010 ‘S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards’, announced in London by Restaurant magazine yesterday. This is the best performance by a South African restaurant ever in the 8 year history of the Awards, in achieving the highest ranking. La Colombe was also named the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Africa and the Middle East. La Colombe improved its performance relative to 2009 by an astounding 26 positions, having been a new entrant to the list last year. La Colombe is also the top restaurant in the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants list in South Africa.
Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek, which has previously performed best in South Africa on this restaurant list, was ranked in 31 st position, an improvement of 6 places. Rust en Vrede outside Stellenbosch was ranked in 74th position.
The Top 50 awards caused some upsets, in that El Bulli, the number one restaurant for 3 years running, dropped to second place, behind Noma in Denmark, and The Fat Duck in the UK dropped by one position as well, to reach 3rd place, despite having to close for a while last year when many of its customers became ill after eating at the restaurant. No Gordon Ramsay restaurant is on the Top 100 list for the second year running. The French Laundry has been a highly rated restaurant in the USA, and it dropped 20 positions, into 32nd place. Other big drops in ranking were experienced by Die Schwarzwaldstube in Germany and St John in the UK. Fast climbs up the ladder were Daniel in the USA (up by 33 positions), Le Chateaubriand In France, Mathias Dahlgren in Sweden, Quay in Australia, and Iggy’s in Singapore.
The top ten restaurants of the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants are the following:
1. Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark
2. El Bulli, outside Roses, Spain
3. The Fat Duck in Bray, UK (and voted as The Chef’s Choice)
4. El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona, Spain
5. Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain
6. Osteria Francescana, in Modena, Italy
7. Alinea, in Chicago, USA
8. Daniel, in New York, USA
9. Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain
10. Per Se in New York, USA.
The world’s best of the top restaurants are based in the USA (8), France (6), Spain and Italy (with 5 each), and the United Kingdom (4).
The top 50 restaurants in the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants can be viewed here.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecotatge.com