What is old is new again. The ranking of the 50 best restaurants in the world returned today and Noma reclaimed the first place, a position it occupied in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
René Redzepi accepted the award at the ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium, with part of the Noma team with him on stage. And there was an elegiac quality in his speech. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how fragile our dreams can be; how exhausting this industry can be, ”he said. “It’s kind of weird to stand on this stage knowing that so many people are still fighting.”
For Noma, if the current rules apply, this will be the last time Redzepi accepts the prize. The Top 50 in the World are now removing restaurants from the list after reaching # 1 ranking, with Noma still eligible as this is the first time they’ve won the award in their new location.
“You don’t know what you have done for our team and our region,” he concluded. “Thanks for a mad rush and goodbye. “
The Copenhagen restaurant that contributed to the birth of New Nordic cuisine took the top spot after placing No.2 in the 2019 rankings. The rest of the top seemed a bit static, with very familiar names. With Mirazur (former No.1) and Gaggan (closed in 2019) leaving the top spots, Geranium, Asador Extebarri, Central and Disfrutar (all in the top 10 last time around) didn’t have much to do to complete the rankings. of this year. Top five.
Last year’s Top 50 ranking in the world was removed because of Covid-19, and the organization acknowledged that the ongoing pandemic had changed voting procedures for this year. The 1,000 chefs, writers, restaurateurs and critics who decide the ranking were allowed to change their January 2020 ballots based on their experiences in their home region since then. So the feeling that the rankings are a bit static is quite understandable given the circumstances.
The list became a big part of the global culinary conversation, but even before the pandemic it had started showing its age.
“I myself voted for the 50 best restaurants in the world for many years and the original idea was great, but I don’t think it’s a great idea anymore,” said Magnus Nilsson. Robb Report earlier this year. “When people found out that you could play the game – you still have to have a good place, but you can actively work to get more votes – then that thing just lost its meaning to me. It is completely uninteresting. Especially when the tourist boards started paying to organize the events in various countries as it means you get a lot of voters for the event.
While some chefs are ambivalent about the ranking, in the days when people could fly more freely before the pandemic, a place in the top 50 could boost business. “Bookings have exploded,” Redzepi told the crowd as he accepted the top spot today and recalled what happened the first time Noma won. “Tuesdays have become like Saturdays. Our website crashed several times.
And that’s why so many chefs have gathered in Belgium again today, to be there in person when their names were called out so that they could stand up and wave to the crowd.
But there is one item in the list which does not appear to be true. For example, America’s best restaurants are, in order: Cosme, Benu, SingleThread, Atomix, Le Bernardin and Atelier Crenn. Most wouldn’t say these restaurants aren’t great. But is it really true that America’s absolute best restaurants can all be found in New York City and the Bay Area? It is perhaps more informative to think of this list not as a ranking of restaurants serving the best food, but as a measure of their relative strength in this slice of the culinary industry. And for now, the top 50 in the world still have the power to summon and care for the powerful.
The 50 best restaurants in the world 2021
- Noma, Copenhagen
- Geranium, Copenhagen
- Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain
- Center, Lima
- Disfrutar, Barcelona
- Frantzén, Stockholm
- Maido, Lima
- Odette, Singapore
- Pujol, Mexico
- The President, Hong Kong
- Den, Tokyo
- Steirereck, Vienna
- Don Julio, Buenos Aires
- Mugaritz, San Sebastian
- Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy
- Elkano, Getaria, Spain
- At Casa do Porco, São Paulo
- Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
- Narisawa, Tokyo
- Diverxo, Madrid
- Hisa Frank, o Kobarid, Slovenian
- Cosme, New York
- Arpège, Paris
- Septime, Paris
- White rabbit, Moscow
- The Calandre, Rubano, Italy
- Quintonil, Mexico
- Benu, San Francisco
- Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italy
- Twins Garden, Moscow
- Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin
- The Clove Club, London
- Lyle’s, London
- Burnt ends, Singapore
- Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai
- Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium
- SingleThread, Healdsburg
- Borago, Santiago
- Anthology, Tokyo
- Suhring, Bangkok
- Alléno Paris at the Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris
- Belcanto, Lisbon
- Atomix, New York
- Le Bernardin, New York
- Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Berlin
- Leo, Bogota
- Maaemo, Oslo
- Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
- Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
- Wolfgat, Paternoster, South Africa