Mirazur in France has been named the world’s best restaurant this year, with Chef Mauro Colagreco saying, “What a great year! Three Michelin stars and number one all in the same year. I don’t have words to explain. I own the sky!”
This is the first-ever number 1 win for France and comes from this restaurant in the the Côte d'Azur that has a vibrant mix of cultures behind it. The chef hails from Argentina, while much of the staff are Italian and Brazilian, a point Chef Colagreco was keen to state during the current tumultuous times for immigrants in many nations around the world.
At number 2 is the newly relocated Noma in Copenhagan by René Redzepi, which had been the firm favourite amongst insiders to take the number 1 spot, with its previous iteration holding the top place for four years running. Asador Etxebarri from Spain moved up to number 3, while Asia’s best restaurant went to Gaggan in Bangkok at number 4, and another Copenhagan restaurant, Geranium, took 5. With Gaggan set to close next year in order for Chef Gaggan Anand to open a new concept in Japan, get there fast!
It was a great night for Hong Kong, with the city’s favourite refined Cantonese restaurant, The Chairman, making its mark on the top 50 for the first time at number 41. Indicating its ascendency earlier this year at Asia’s 50 Best, The Chairman rose from number 22 to number 11, with Chef Kwok Keung Tung’s signature steamed flowery crab in aged Shaoxing wine continuing to wow diners along with his ethos for using fresh, local ingredients (some even from the eatery’s own small organic farm) combined with exceptional service.
Altogether, seven restaurants in Asia made it onto the top 50 (the same number as last year). Tokyo’s Den sits at 11, Singapore’s Odette climbed further from 28 last year to 18 – a huge win for the host city, which was celebrated by roaring applause from the audience – followed by Narisawa, also in Tokyo, at 22, Bangkok restaurant Sühring at 45 and Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shanghai at 48.
José Andrés took home the American Express Icon Award for his humanitarian efforts spent cooking in the wake of natural disasters around the world and gave a stirring speech, saying, “We need to be honouring not only the men who seem to be getting the most credit, but also the women who are really feeding the world every single day.”
The World’s Best Female Chef Daniela Soto-Innes also inspired with her speech, explaining, “I decided if I ever ran my own kitchen, it would be more like the kitchens I grew up in: full of joy, happiness and community. As a Mexican woman leading a diverse team, I believe with every day, every meal, every guest, we can fight against the ignorance and prejudice which tells us our voices shouldn’t be heard.” Chef Soto-Ines’s Cosme in New York ranks at 23 on this year’s list.
Jessica Préalpato of Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée was named The World’s Best Pastry Chef.
Under the new rules, last year’s number 1 winner, Italy’s Osteria Francescana, helmed by Massimo Bottura, has been placed into the new Best of the Best category, which is the resting place of all restaurants who’ve previously topped the list in its 17-year history (there are seven in total). This includes Eleven Madison Park in New York, Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in London, El Cellar de Can Roca in Spain and the original Noma.
There wasn’t much in the way of a gender-balance correction, even with the new rules for an even split of male and female voters, with only five restaurants run by female chefs appearing on the list. Dominique Crenn, who was previously named The World’s Best Female Chef but then didn’t rank on the list last year, has appeared at number 35 with her Atelier Crenn, although Clare Smyth, who was dubbed The World’s Best Female Chef 2018, didn’t appear on the top 50 this year for her renowned restaurant Core by Clare Smyth.
Mexico City had a great night, taking the Best Restaurant in North America title for Pujol, coming in at number 12, while Twins Garden from Russia celebrated a lofty entry (19) along with Leo from Bogotá hopping onto the list for the first time at 49, marking Colombia’s debut.
The full top 50 list:
How are the winners selected?
The list is a global poll of over 1,000 food experts from regions around the world, with each region comprising 40 members. Each regional member must cast votes for 10 restaurants, and at least four votes must be from a region outside their own. They must also have visited the restaurants in the past 18 months.
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