The San Pellegrino “World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2010” have been announced and the lead spot may surprise you. Top honors go to noma, the “new Nordic” restaurant guided by chef/owner Rene Redzepi. To quote the jury of celebrated chefs, food critics, and well-traveled gourmands: “Great restaurants are a blend of sophisticated cooking, imaginative ideas and respect for ingredients. Noma is more than this. It’s a experience that reminds you why some restaurants deserve to be revered, and why we created this list.”
That’s some praise for a chef who, in a very short time, has leapfrogged his way over legends – and former employers – like Thomas Keller and Ferran Adria. And so with this single pronouncement, Copenhagen suddenly finds itself thrust into the foodie spotlight.
(at left you’ll see why: his starter of crunchy baby carrots from the fertile Lammefjorden region of Denmark is served with edible “soil” made from malt, hazelnuts and beer, with a cream herb emulsion beneath. You literally eat the earth.)
For those interested in flying the flag, not only does El Bulli hold strong in the number two position, but Spain’s molecular biologists also occupy four of the top ten slots. The USA comes a close second with three contenders: Daniel (#8), Per Se (#10), and in a blow to the New York ego, Chicago chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea (#7) is crowned the best restaurant in North America. The UK has only two culinary stars making the list but then again they are game-changers Heston Blumenthal (#3) and Fergus Henderson (a big drop down to #43). The surprise shut out however, has to be France, with Le Chateaubriand(#11) just missing the mark.
Who got snubbed? Who obviously slept with the judges? Where have you eaten and what’s your opinion? Check out the full list HERE and then let the arguments begin.