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.
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.
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.
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
- Osteria Francescana, Modena
- El Celler de Can Roca, Girona
- Mirazur, Menton
- Eleven Madison Park, New York
- Gaggan, Bangkok
- Central, Lima
- Maido, Lima
- Arpège, Paris
- Mugaritz, San Sebastian
- Asador Etxebarri, Axpe
- Quintonil, Mexico City
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, U.S.
- Pujol, Mexico City
- Steirereck, Vienna
- White Rabbit, Moscow
- Piazza Duomo, Alba
- Den, Tokyo
- Disfrutar, Barcelona
- Geranium, Copenhagen
- Attica, Melbourne
- Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris
- Narisawa, Tokyo
- Le Calandre, Rubano
- Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai
- Cosme, New York
- Le Bernardin, New York
- Boragó, Santiago
- Odette, Singapore
- Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris
- D.O.M., São Paulo
- Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
- Tickets, Barcelona
- The Clove Club, London
- Alinea, Chicago
- Maaemo, Oslo
- Reale, Castel di Sangro,
- Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin
- Lyle’s, London
- Astrid y Gastón, Lima
- Septime, Paris
- Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo
- The Ledbury, London
- Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
- Mikla, Istanbul
- Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London
- Saison, San Francisco
- Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
- Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia
- Nahm, Bangkok
- The Test Kitchen, Cape Town