On Friday I was lucky to bump into Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King in Camps Bay, the two rockstar chefs who masterminded and led Gäte Restaurant at Quoin Rock wine estate outside Stellenbosch until the end of March, and to spend time with them to obtain first details about what they have planned for their new restaurant. Continue reading →
A visit to Europe became more exciting when I decided to add a visit to France, dining at one Michelin star JAN restaurant in Nice, and continuing my World’s 50 Best Restaurants journey, eating at Mirazur in Menton (6th best), and at L’Arpège (19th best) and Septime (50th best) in Paris. Mirazur is the most highly ranked French restaurant, and has two Michelin stars. Mirazur means ‘look at the blue sea’. Last year I ate at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in New York, and in London. Continue reading →
Yesterday I completed my Gourmet Tour of France, eating at the 50th restaurant on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, being Septime in Paris. It has one Michelin star, and has held it for the past four years. Despite being understated and hidden in its location, it offers world-class cuisine served by an enthusiastic team. Continue reading →
I am not much of a television viewer, but whilst visiting my son in the UK he introduced me to the Netflix series ‘Chef’s Table’, a series of episodes each focusing on a world-renowned chef and his/her restaurant from across the globe. Continue reading →
Chef Rene Redzepi’s noma restaurant won the World’s 50 Best Restaurants for the third time last night, the tenth year that the Awards ceremony has been held. The event was sponsored by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, was held at The Guildhall in London, and was attended by 600 of the world’s top chefs and restaurant judges. A shock was that, for the first time in many years, no South African restaurant made it onto the Top 50 list.
The Top 20 World’s 50 Best Restaurants are the following (with last year’s ranking in brackets), from The Telegraph :
1 (1) Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
2 (2) El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
3 (3) Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
4 (7) D.O.M., Sao Paolo, Brazil
5 (4) Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
6 (10) Per Se, New York, USA
7 (6) Alinea, Chicago, USA
8 (8) Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
9 (-) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK
10 (24) Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
11 (22) Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
12 (14) L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Paris, France
13 (5) The Fat Duck, Bray, UK
14 (34) The Ledbury, London, UK
15 (9) Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France
16 (19) L’Arpege, Paris, France
17 (16) Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France
18 (13) L’Astrance, Paris, France
19 (18) Le Bernardin, New York, USA
20 (57) Frantzen/Lindeberg, Stockholm, Sweden
France narrowly leads with seven awards on the top 50 list, followed by six for the USA, five for Spain, and three each going to Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français fell to its lowest ranking, at number 57, after a ranking of 36th last year, and 31st in 2010. Chef Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen made 74th position – two years ago he reached the astounding 12th place whilst still at La Colombe. Last year La Colombe made 82nd position, but did not make the top 100 list this year. Last year Chef David Higgs’ Rust en Vrede achieved a ranking of 61st, but sadly he left the restaurant two months later.
The Award-winning restaurants were evaluated by 27 panels around the world, each with 30 members. In South Africa the panel is chaired by Tamsin Snyman, stepping into the shoes of her late mother Lannice Snyman. Members of the local panel are known to include Jos Baker, MasterChef SA Judge and Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, and owner of GOLD restaurant Cindy Muller. Panel members had to evaluate four restaurants in their own country and three elsewhere in the world in the past eighteen months.
William Drew, editor of Restaurant magazine, organisers of the awards, said that the trend was to ‘much more diversity, both geographically and in terms of style. We’ve seen twin trends. There’s globalization, in the sense that if someone in Japan is doing something interesting now, someone in South America may know about it quickly. Yet at the same time there’s a move toward local cooking’.
Attending the event was Ferran Adria of El Bulli, which he closed down last year. The restaurant was named the World’s 50 Best Restaurant five times in the past ten years. He said of the award: “There is no doubt the World’s 50 Best Restaurants has changed the history of gastronomy“.
In addition to announcing the World’s 50 Best Restaurants (and the 51 – 100 restaurants bubbling under), three additional awards were made last night. Elena Arzak from Arzak restaurant in San Sebastian in Spain was named as Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef. Thomas Keller, founder of Per Se and French Laundry in Yountville in California, won the San Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement Award. The Slow Food UK Award went to Steiereck in Vienna, awarded for the first time last night.
What has been interesting over the past years has been the disparity between the performance of South Africa’s best restaurants on the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants and on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant lists, Le Quartier Français always performing better on the international than on the local restaurant awards list.
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