© Ditte Isager
World's #1 chef Rene Redzepi.How exciting to be in London for the big announcement of S. Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants. And hear that Rene Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant, Noma, was once again #1. And that Manhattan’s Eleven Madison Park was one of the biggest climbers, up 26 places to #24—hurray for chef Daniel Humm & team!
But I wasn’t in London to hear the announcement and see those crazy celebrating chefs. Instead I relied on my friend Terry Zarikian, the creative director of NYC’s Bar Basque, to tell me the highlights. Here’s what he reports:
Yes, for the second year in a row, Noma took first place. For me, what’s truly exciting is the brand-new #2: the splendid El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain (I predict it will be #1 next year). And a new #3, also from Spain: Mugaritz in San Sebastian (Andoni Luis Aduriz deserves it after all he did to reopen after their huge fire). Another San Sebastian restaurant, Arzak, came in at #8, making SS the only city with two restaurants in the top 10. Of course I’m proud; I’ve been promoting Basque chefs for years.
Arzak’s owner, Juan Mari Arzak, also received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for being the father of modern Basque cooking (his daughter, chef Elena Arzak, presented the award to him). How did he celebrate? With plenty of gin martinis at London's Sanderson hotel, followed by fish and chips (what else would the world’s best chefs eat in London?).