While the wine industry is centered in the Western Cape, and the province has the reputation for having the country’s best restaurants, it is two Gauteng restaurants which won the inaugural 2018 Diners Club ICON Winelist Awards. 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 →
Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ The Test Kitchen was named the 28th best restaurant in the world and Best in Africa, at the 14th The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony in London last night, a 20 place climb from his 48th position last year, and 61st position in 2013. El Celler de Can Roca was ranked as the Best Restaurant in the World, the second time it has received this honour. Regular winner Noma dropped to third place. Spain received the most 50 Best Restaurant Awards (7), followed by the USA (6), and France (5). Both The Test Kitchen and World’s 50 Best Restaurants trended on Twitter last night.
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 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. In 2013 they were also named the best restaurant in the world. Continue reading →
* Business confidence reached a 7 month high last month, good news for the economy, and reflecting a more stable exchange rate, higher share prices, and reduced impact on production due to strikes. In November the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI) Business Confidence Index (BCI) increased to 90.8 in November. Loadshedding by Eskom, and a retraction of the economies that our country trades with may reverse the positive trend.
* The second Veritas Young Wine Writers Competition has been won by Sandile Mkhwanazi, assistant winemaker and acting viticulturist at Elsenburg Agricultural College, and winning R15000. He enjoys to communicate about wine in a fun way, rather than academically. His two articles ‘The South African Wine 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
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
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