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Osteria Francescana back on top as World’s Best Restaurant

Massimo Bottura’s tiny Modena restaurant, Osteria Francescana, was named the world’s best for the second time at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in Bilbao last night, reports Sorrel Moseley-Williams.

Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana celebrates his win with his wife Lara Gilmore

The three Michelin-starred venue run by Massimo Bottura jumped up a place from number two last year to the coveted number one spot, while last year’s number one, Eleven Madison Park in New York, slipped down to fourth following a three-month refurbishment.

Following votes cast by a global 1,000-strong panel, Gaggan of Bangkok moved up to fifth place and Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur in Menton shifted up a gear from fourth to third, with El Celler de Can Roca in Girona moving up a spot to second place.

Bottura, who trained under Alain Ducasse and Ferran Adrià, is known for darting between the tables at his 28-seater site and deconstructing his dishes for his diners.

Dressed to impress: Bottura wore a Gucci tux and trainers to the awards

Revisiting and reinventing the flavours of his childhood, Bottura’s creations are inspired by music, art, film and literature. Giving seasonal Italian ingredients a modern twist, each dish tells a story and takes its recipient on a journey.

Among his most famous plates is his Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano, an ethereal composition of Parmesan sauce, mousse, foam, crisp and air aged between 18 and 50 months and served at varying temperatures.

On his return to the top, Bottura said: “It’s a better restaurant than it was two years ago as the team is stronger, we are more mature and we are evolving together.”

Also making the top 10 were Virgilio Martínez’ Central in Peru, which slipped down a place to number 6, and Alain Passard’s veggie focused L’Arpege in Paris, which took the number 8 spot, with two Spanish stalwarts, Mugaritz and Asador Extebarri in ninth and 10th place respectively.

Clare Smyth of Core was voted the Best Female Chef, while Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio of Astrid y Gastón picked up a lifetime achievement award.

In addition to coming 12th on the list, Dan Barber of Blue Hill Farm at Stone Barns in upstate New York also took home the Chef’s Choice Award voted for by his peers.

The Roca brothers climbed up to number two on this year’s list

Hosted at Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall in Bilbao, 1,000 guests descended upon the palace to find out the results from 50 to one – rankings from 100 to 51 were revealed earlier in June.

New entries included London’s Lyle’s at 38, headed up by James Lowe, Slovenia’s Hiša Franko led by Chef’s Table star Ana Ros at 48, and Istanbul’s Mikla at 44. Barcelona’s Disfrutar was the highest début at 18.

The Clove Club was London’s highest entry at 33, with The Ledbury in Notting Hill coming in at 42 and Dinner By Heston Blumehthal taking the 45th spot.

The Clove Club’s head chef Isaac McHale looked suitably dapper for the occasion in a Timothy Everest suit teamed with a Hermés cream tie and Tim Little of Grenson wedding shoes with 1 7 1 7 etched onto the soles – the date of his wedding.

Tasty bites on the 50 Best party menu included Dan Barber’s twist on the gilda, a simple yet delicious local pintxo featuring olive, chili pepper and anchovy on a skewer named after the 1946 Rita Hayworth film.

Also making the awards menu cut were local white wine txakoli taking on a new twist as a bitesize bonbon, kokotxas or hake cheeks, a local staple of the hosting Basque country, and foie gras dressed up as bite-size red apple amuse bouches.

Cocktails included the Double Orange made with Mare gin as well as an Elit vodka and coffee cocktail; while Bottura and his team toasted their win with Ferrari Perlé Rosé Reserva 2011 from Trentodoc. Also on pour during the ceremony were Tio Pepe Fino and Beronia Rioja Reserva 2009.

Fashion statements were as colourful and diverse as the list itself. Culinary veteran Juan Mari Arzak’s characteristic yellow spectacles were enhanced by Prada footwear, while Central’s head chef Pía León also wore yellow, “a colour representing happiness”, she said.

As for the world’s best chef, Bottura wore a Gucci suit, his jacket’s left breast pocket enhanced by an embroidered pink rose, paired with Gucci trainers hand stitched with his initials on the red and green stripes.

Enclosed is the full World’s 50 Best Restuarants list from 1 to 50

  1. Osteria Francescana, Modena
  2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona
  3. Mirazur, Menton
  4. Eleven Madison Park, New York
  5. Gaggan, Bangkok
  6. Central, Lima
  7. Maido, Lima
  8. Arpège, Paris
  9. Mugaritz, San Sebastian
  10. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe
  11. Quintonil, Mexico City
  12. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, U.S.
  13. Pujol, Mexico City
  14. Steirereck, Vienna
  15. White Rabbit, Moscow
  16. Piazza Duomo, Alba
  17. Den, Tokyo
  18. Disfrutar, Barcelona
  19. Geranium, Copenhagen
  20. Attica, Melbourne
  21. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris
  22. Narisawa, Tokyo
  23. Le Calandre, Rubano
  24. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai
  25. Cosme, New York
  26. Le Bernardin, New York
  27. Boragó, Santiago
  28. Odette, Singapore
  29. Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris
  30. D.O.M., São Paulo
  31. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
  32. Tickets, Barcelona
  33. The Clove Club, London
  34. Alinea, Chicago
  35. Maaemo, Oslo
  36. Reale, Castel di Sangro,
  37. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin
  38. Lyle’s, London
  39. Astrid y Gastón, Lima
  40. Septime, Paris
  41. Nihonryori  RyuGin, Tokyo
  42. The Ledbury, London
  43. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
  44. Mikla, Istanbul
  45. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London
  46. Saison, San Francisco
  47. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
  48. Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia
  49. Nahm, Bangkok
  50. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town

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