Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana named the World’s Best Restaurant

Picture by Oliviero ToscaniMassimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana has been crowned the Best Restaurant in the World.

The three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Modena, Italy, beat incumbent El Celler de Can Roca in Spain to win the title having previously placed second (2015) and third (2014/2013) in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, which is run by Restaurant Magazine. For the first time this year the awards were hosted in New York City and not London.

Massimo is known for his highly artistic avant-garde cooking style, which reinvents traditional Italian cuisine. His signature dishes include the Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano, which sees the famed cheese served in five different forms and textures ranging from demi-soufflé to a mousse, a liquid cream, a crisp wafer and a “breath of air” derived from a broth of Parmigiano rind.

This year, the top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants saw a bit of a shake up, with New York City’s Eleven Madison Park taking third place (fifth last year) and Central, Virgilio Martinez’s restaurant in Lima, Peru, ranking in fourth place.

Copenhagen’s Noma, which had previously won the award four times, has dropped to number five. The remainder of the top 10 is made up of Mirazur in Menton, France; Mugaritz in San Sebastián, Spain; Narisawa in Tokyo, Japan; Steireck in Vienna, Austria; and Asador Etxebarri in Axpe, Spain.

Tdominique crennhe USA boasts a total of six restaurants on the list including former One To Watch winner Saison (27) in San Francisco, which is one of four new entries to the list (along with four re-entries). New York’s Estela (44) is also a newcomer, while Alinea in Chicago has climbed 11 places to 15. And San Francisco’s Dominique Crenn (pictured), who was the first woman in the USA to have won two Michelin stars, has this year been named the World’s Best Female Chef.

Bad news, however, have come for iconic US chefs Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud as their restaurants have dropped off the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Boulud’s eponymous Daniel in New York dropped to place 71, while Keller’s Per Se is now ranked 52nd and The French Laundry is at number 85.

Other US restaurants ranked in the top 100 are: The Restaurant at Meadowood (67); The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (81); Manresa (83); and Benu (89).

The highest-ranking UK restaurant this year is Brett Graham’s The Ledbury, which has climbed six places to number 14. Meanwhile Dinner By Heston Blumenthal, which ranked in seventh place last year, has dropped to number 45 this.

The Clove Club in Shoreditch has won the Highest New Entry Award after climbing 29 places to enter the top 50 for the first time at number 26. Other UK restaurants featured in the top 100 include: Hedone (60); Lyle’s (65); and St John (91).

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Top 10:

  1. Osteria Francescana Modena, Italy
  2. El Celler de Can Roca Girona, Spain
  3. Eleven Madison Park New York, USA
  4. Central, Lima, Peru
  5. Noma Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. Mirazur, Menton, France
  7. Mugaritz San Sebastián, Spain
  8. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
  9. Steireck, Vieanna, Austria
  10. Asador Etxebarri in Axpe, Spain

See the full list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants here.

El Celler de Can Roca regains title of the World’s Best Restaurant

roca brothersSpanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca has reclaimed its crown as the World’s Best Restaurant.

After winning the title in 2013 but losing out to Copenhagen’s Noma last year, El Celler de Can Roca, which is run by brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca (pictured), has regained the number one spot in this year’s rankings of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, placed second this year, after two years occupying third place, which is now held by four-time winner Noma. In fourth position is Central in Lima, Peru, and the top five is completed by Eleven Madison Park in New York, whose chef Daniel Humm also won the Chefs’ Choice Award.

As the winner, the three-Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Girona is one of seven Spanish eateries included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The second highest placing is Mugaritz at number six.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is the UK’s highest ranking restaurant in seventh position, with Narisawa in Tokyo ranking as the top Asian restaurant in eighth place, and D.O.M. in Sao Paulo (ninth), and Gaggan in Bangkok (10th) completing this year’s top 10.

Newcomers to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year include White Rabbit in Moscow, which was named Highest New Entry in 23rd place, as well as Tickets in Barcelona, which debuted in 42nd place and is run by Ferran Adria’s brother Albert, who also won the World’s Best Pastry Chef award.

Other special awards included: Daniel Boulud picking up Lifetime Achievement; Helene Darroze winning Best Female Chef; and Relae in Copenhagen taking the Sustainable Restaurant Award.

The USA has six restaurants on the list overall and one new entry, with Eleven Madison Park claiming the Best Restaurant in North America title. Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns outside New York has made its first appearance on the list at number 49.

France meanwhile has five restaurants in the 50 Best with Mirazur remaining in 11th place for the second year running, followed by L’Arpege in Paris in 12th place.

South America now has nine restaurants on the list – with new entries including Boragó in Santiago, Chile; Maido in Lima, Peru; and Quintonil and Biko in Mexico City – and Asia has seven, including a new entry at number 24 in the form of Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shanghai, China.

Africa’s only listed restaurant in the top 50 is the Test Kitchen in Cape Town, South Africa, in 28th place; while Australia’s sole restaurant is Ben Shewry’s Attica in Melbourne.

The results were announced at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, at London’s Guildhall today. Next year, for the first time in the 14-year history of the awards, the ceremony will take place in New York.

The top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants:
1 El Celler de Can Roca Girona, Spain
2 Osteria Francescana Modena, Italy
3 Noma Copenhagen, Denmark
4 Central, Lima, Peru
5 Eleven Madison Park New York, US
6 Mugaritz San Sebastián, Spain
7 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal London, UK
8 Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
9 DOM São Paulo, Brazil
10 Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand

See the full list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants here.

El Celler de Can Roca’s ‘Cooking Up a Tribute’ to premier at the Berlin film festival

Below is the trailer to ‘Cooking Up a Tribute’, a documentary film showcasing brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, owners of the three-Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, and their decision to close their restaurant for five weeks and go on a road tour.

Directed by Luis González, the film recounts a tour which last summer travelled to six cities – Houston, Dallas, Mexico City, Monterrey, Bogotá and Lima – in four countries in the Americas to prepare nearly 50,000 dishes for more than 2,700 people. Up to 56 new and different dishes were created and adapted to Texan, Mexican, Colombian and Peruvian cuisine. Some 200 ingredients and 29 wines were used for each menu in each country.

In addition, the Roca brothers trained more than 7,000 cooking students and selected 13 of them to receive a training scholarship at the kitchen of El Celler de Can Roca, which is currently ranked number two in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Joan Roca said: “For us, this crazy decision has meant weighing the anchor of our restaurant for the first time in search of the mild weather of the South and making our dreams come true in real gastronomic paradises. We have enjoyed an extraordinary professional and personal experience, which has been intellectually rewarding and allowed us to grow as a team.”

Josep Roca added: “This tour has been a real challenge, a bold decision, an act of courage draped in responsibility and code of ethics. An opportunity to continue to learn, seek inspiration and be true to the training we have received and we can share with so many catering students in the places we visited,” explained Josep Roca.

And Jordi Roca said: “With enthusiasm, willingness to learn and much modesty, and above all, as a professional and personal challenge, we have taken our entire team to another continent. Latin America has a dream store cupboard of fruit, spices and, obviously, the best cocoa in the world. It’s been a real inspiration.”

‘Cooking Up a Tribute’, produced by BBVA will premier at the Berlin International Film Festival on 10 February.

World’s best restaurant El Celler de Can Roca to embark on world tour in 2014

roca brothersSpain’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca is to embark on a world tour next year.

Starting in August 2014, the entire team of the Girona restaurant – currently ranked number one in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards – will hit the road as part of the Roca&Roll World Tour 2014. The first destinations will be Mexico, Colombia and Peru.

According to the restaurant’s blog, brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca (pictured) made the decision to go on tour as the result of numerous requests for them to open restaurants in other parts of the world.

“We believe that from the way we understand and live the restaurant would not make any sense to open another Celler away from Girona,” the trio said. “However, we don’t want to give up exploring new landscapes, new products and get to know people from other countries to help us to continue to grow, to renew our enthusiasm and provide new impetus to our creative work.

“That is why we have decided that El Celler itself, with his entire team, takes a summer trip in order to offer to people from different parts of the world the possibility to enjoy the experience we offer in Girona for the rest of the year.”

roca_logoThe brothers are yet to reveal details on exactly what the travelling El Celler de Can Roca will comprise as well as where the world tour will take them after South America.

“We have decided to embark on this new adventure, under the name of “Alta cocina con valores” (Haute cuisine with values), hand in hand with BBVA, with whom we share concerns and the excitement of a stimulating social and cultural project,” they added.

Located in the Catalan city of Girona, about two hours north of Barcelona, El Celler de Can Roca is a family-owned restaurant run by brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, who are the third generation of restaurateurs after their grandparents and parents.

The three brothers first opened El Celler de Can Roca in 1986, next to their parents’ restaurant, with the eldest Joan as head chef, middle brother Josep as sommelier and manager and the youngest, Jordi, joining later as pastry chef. The restaurant gained its first Michelin star in 1995, with a second following seven years later in 2002 and the third being awarded after a move to bigger premises in 2009. In 2013 El Celler was named the best restaurant in the world.

* Read my Caterer and Hotelkeeper article on the 2011 Roux Scholar at El Celler de Can Roca here.