Osteria Francescana Is The World's Best Restaurant
It was an outcome few had dared to predict, but in their hearts must have been wishing. Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, has been named the best on this year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the celebrated annual snapshot of some of the finest restaurants around the globe, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, at the awards ceremony held at the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao Spain. It was also its largest gathering of restauranteurs with 49 of the 50 best chefs arriving in the famous Basque city for the ceremony.
A total of 23 countries across six continents were honoured—a promising statistic not lost of the planet’s top toques, not least a noticeably shocked Bottura. “It’s such as an amazing feeling,” he says, when asked how it felt to be back on top of the gastronomic world. But he quickly added how the win represented more than the improvements the restaurant had made to earn its spot at the top for a second time, having been crowned number one in 2016 as well.
Of the 50 restaurants chosen as the world's best this year, 7 restaurants in Asia managed to grace the list.
The charismatic chef felt compelled to share how amazing it was to be part of a community of talented chefs who were equally generous with and passionate about helping the less fortunate—in particular, as part of the contributing members of ‘refettorio’, where donated leftovers are donated (to the project) and recycled and cooked by top chefs to feed the poor that began in Milan during the Expo Milano 2015 before popping up in the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, in London and the latest in Paris. “This is a community of people that are creating a revolution in the food world; and step by step we are changing the world,” he affirms at a short press conference that followed. He went on to share about a lady he met on day one of the ‘refettorio’ in London who had lunch that day. “She said ‘this is the most beautiful place in the world’,” he recalled, adding how she was confident it would build a community, and that she could now “die very happy”.
Osteria Francescana is joined in the top three by No. 2 El Celler De Can Roca in Girona, Spain and followed by Mirazur in Menton, France. All three moved up one spot from last year, while former number one Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA fell to three places.
The only representative for Singapore the top 50 list is newcomer Odette, which made an impressive debut at No. 28. “It is a true honour and privilege to be recognised as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world,” shares chef-owner Julien Royer who was quick to add how he could not have achieve so much, so quickly without his amazing team, which comprises a large number of Singaporeans. He adds, “Every day we strive to outdo ourselves in a constant quest of excellence; this recognition is a reward for all of us who have worked so hard together in this quest.”
A win for the world
The results affirmed how those working in the restaurant business are not the only winners. “Only good things happen when we celebrate our differences,” says Peru’s Gaston Acuro who was honoured with the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award 2018. One of the Basque country’s best dining destinations, Azurmendi in Larrabetzu, takes home the Sustainable Restaurant Award, sponsored by Dekton by Cosentino. And while there were several restaurants with a strong focus on vegetables and sourcing sustainably, this year’s Miele One To Watch 2018 Award went to Californian farm-to-table champions of local produce Single Thread by husband-and-wife team Kyle and Katina Connaughton, comprising a restaurant, inn and farm built on the ethos of Japanese omotenashi—the spirit of selfless hospitality.
They are also helping in a seeding project with Row 7 Seed Company by Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, USA (No.12), who wins the Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Estella Damm. This award is bestowed on an individual believed by their peers to have made the most significant contribution to the industry over the last year and is a testament to Barber’s innovative work and commitment to the debate around food ethics. The aim of Row 7 Seed Company is to allow consumers and chefs across the US to grow their own flavour-packed vegetables—such as butternut squash, potatoes, cucumbers and chilli peppers to name a few. Although there are plans to also make these seeds available to the rest of the world, particularly where they can grow well.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants at a glance:
1. Osteria Francescana MODENA, ITALY
2. El Celler de Can Roca GIRONA, SPAIN
3. Mirazur MENTON, FRANCE
4. Eleven Madison Park NEW YORK, USA
5. Gaggan BANGKOK, THAILAND
6. Central LIMA, PERU
7. Maido LIMA, PERU
8. Arpège PARIS, FRANCE
9. Mugaritz SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN
10. Asador Etxebarri AXPE, SPAIN
11. Quintonil MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
12. Blue Hill at Stone Barns POCANTICO HILLS, USA
13. Pujol MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
14. Steirereck VIENNA, AUSTRIA
15. White Rabbit MOSCOW, RUSSIA
16. Piazza Duomo ALBA, ITALY
17. Den TOKYO, JAPAN
18. Disfrutar BARCELONA
19. Geranium COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
20. Attica MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
21. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée PARIS, FRANCE
22. Narisawa TOKYO, JAPAN
23. Le Calandre RUBANO, ITALY
24. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet SHANGHAI, CHINA
25. Cosme NEW YORK, USA
26. Le Bernardin NEW YORK, USA
27. Boragó SANTIAGO, CHILE
28. Odette SINGAPORE
29. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen PARIS, FRANCE
30. D.O.M. SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL
31. Arzak SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN
32. Tickets BARCELONA, SPAIN
33. The Clove Club LONDON, UK
34. Alinea CHICAGO, USA
35. Maaemo OSLO, NORWAY
36. Reale CASTEL DI SANGRO, ITALY
37. Restaurant Tim Raue BERLIN, GERMANY
38. Lyle’s LONDON, UK
39. Astrid y Gastón LIMA, PERU
40. Septime PARIS, FRANCE
41. Nihonryori RyuGin TOKYO,
42. The Ledbury LONDON, UK
43. Azurmendi LARRABETZU, SPAIN
44. Mikla ISTANBUL, TURKEY
45. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal LONDON, UK
46. Saison SAN FRANCISCO, USA
47. Schloss Schauenstein FÜRSTENAU, SWITZERLAND
48. Hiša Franko KOBARID, SLOVENIA
49. Nahm BANGKOK, THAILAND
50. The Test Kitchen CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
For the complete list of winners, visit www.theworlds50best.com.