El Celler de Can Roca knocks Noma off top of World's 50 Best Restaurants list

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th April 2013
    Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca has taken the number one spot from Denmark’s Noma in Restaurant Magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards sponsored by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna The award ceremony, held at the Guildhall in London last night, saw the restaurant run by the three Roca brothers from Girona in Spain deny Danish chef René Redzepi’s Noma a fourth consecutive year at number one. Speaking about the winning restaurant, Restaurant Magazine editor, William Drew, said to The Staff Canteen: “The warmth of the hospitality in that restaurant is exceptional. It pervades the whole experience. And it’s a kind of fairy story that three brothers from the North of Spain, from a working class area of Girona, combined their skills to take them all the way to the top.” Of the other frontrunners, Noma came in at number two with the other top five places being taken by Osteria Francescana of Modena, Italy at number three; Mugaritz of San Sebastian, Spain at number four and Eleven Madison Park of New York, USA at number five. Speaking to The Staff Canteen outside the Guildhall before the ceremony, René Redzepi may have given away what he knew was coming. He said: “I’ve never felt so secure as I do this year in this competition, and in general I feel more comfortable. When you’ve been number one three times, you know that at some point it has to go the other way.” Last year's highest UK entrant, Heston Blumenthal, probably had less to lose on the night except perhaps seeing his new Dinner by Heston Blumenthal further eclipse his older old Fat Duck. However this didn’t seem to concern the one-time winner. “Dinner by Heston is like the new kid on the block, he said “The Fat Duck is the elder statesmen. They’re  both special to me.” Once the press scrum outside was over, it was Into the Guildhall and onwards with the ceremony. There were no gushing speeches and long tearful perambulations at this awards night. The top fifty was counted down at almost breakneck speed by host, Mark Durden-Smith, who blurted out pronunciation-challenging Japanese, Spanish and German names like a mash up of Rosetta Stone CD’s. The aim was clearly to get it done and get on with the celebrating. The only speech of the night was allowed to the winners. Of the Roca brothers, it was Joan who stood up to speak, saying: “We don’t know if we are the best restaurant but you can be sure we will continue working with authenticity, generosity, hospitality.” Other notable achievements on the night were the highest new entry and best restaurant in Australasia, which went to Melbourne’s Attica at number 21; also the One to Watch award for the most promising restaurant for the future, which went to The Test Kitchen in Cape Town. Other than that there was a strong sense of diversity and a particularly good showing from Latin American restaurants with five restaurants in the top fifty, two of which were newcomers to the list – Mani in Sao Paulo at 46 and Central in Lima at 50 – and two of which were the highest climbers – Astrid y Gaston of Lima, up 21 places to 14th and Pujol of Mexico city, up 19 places to 17th. This increasing South American presence is reflected by the fact that Restaurant Magazine chose tonight to announce that they will host a Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant list to be held on 4th September 2013 in Lima, Peru. The top ranking chef from across the Atlantic, Daniel Humm of fifth-placed Eleven Madison Park in New York, was excited about the greater emphasis on New World restaurants. “I went to South America last fall,” he said, speaking to The Staff Canteen, “and it’s a whole other world – a way of cooking, a way with ingredients that I’ve never seen before and there’s also such a tradition behind it. It’s really fantastic.” Diversity seemed to be a keynote of the awards, with eight new entries and 22 countries represented in the list making it a truly international and refreshingly non (or certainly less) euro-centric line up.  But it is diversity of establishment as well as culture that seems to be an important factor in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. As William Drew said: “There are restaurants in there that are not expensive, that are not tasting menu, that are not formal; as well of course as some that are formal and very expensive and that reflects the diversity of restaurants around the world today.”   You can see the whole of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 list here  

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th April 2013

El Celler de Can Roca knocks Noma off top of World's 50 Best Restaurants list