After seven years waiting in the wings, the Roca brothers have claimed the coveted number one spot on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
El Celler de Can Roca in Girona has long been hailed as one of Spain’s most exciting places to eat and having spent two years at no.2 on the list, it has swapped places with Denmark’s Noma, which held the top ranking for the last three years.
The Roca brothers’ restaurant has gained global acclaim for its combination of Catalan dishes and cutting edge techniques and the passion that they share for hospitality. Joan heads up the kitchen, Jordi is head pastry chef and Josep is head sommelier, in charge of front of house. Together they make a formidable team, creating a truly memorable dining experience.
El Celler believes in free-style cooking, with a commitment to the avant-garde, but remaining faithful to the memory of different generations of the family's ancestors, all dedicated to feeding people. Its philosophy is one of ‘emotional cuisine’, with different ingredients chosen to take diners back to childhood memories and a specific place in their past.
Supported by El Celler’s rise to the top spot on the list, Spain continues to dominate the top 10 with San Sebastian’s Mugaritz at no.4 (Chefs’ Choice award in 2012) and Arzak (Elena Arzak Espina – The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef 2012) remaining at no.8. The country has five restaurants on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in total. Quique Dacosta who is renowned for his eco-cuisine and sits amongst the Spanish avant garde giants, climbs 14 places to no.26. Asador Etxebarri features at no. 44 on the list.
Spain’s counterparts in South America also have plenty to celebrate with Peru’s Astrid Y Gaston rising 21 places to be crowned the ‘Highest Climber’ on the list, an award sponsored by Gaggenau. The continent has six restaurants on the list with Alex Atala’s D.O.M at no. 6, once again named The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in South America. The evolution and strength of Latin American gastronomy has called for continent specific recognition and William Reed Business Media is proud to announce it will be holding Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards in Peru this September, sponsored by Cusqueña with the support of PromPeru.
Following the success of this spring’s inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards in Singapore, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, Asia now boasts seven restaurants in the world ranking including Asia’s highest ranked restaurant Narisawa, at no.20. The Tokyo restaurant scooped both the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Asia award and the inaugural Sustainable Restaurant Award, sponsored by Zacapa. The Sustainable Restaurant Award is presented to the restaurant within the ranks of the 50 Best which demonstrates the highest environmental and social responsibility rating, audited by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
This year’s European highlights include Italy’s Osteria Francescana rising two places to number three on the list and Nadia Santini from restaurant Dal Pescatore in Italy being named The Veuve Clicquot
World’s Best Female Chef. France boasts six restaurants in the ranking with culinary legend Alain Ducasse being honoured with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Diners Club International®. The UK contingent remains the same with last year’s highest new entry, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, rising two places to no.7, Brett Graham’s The Ledbury up one place to no. 13 and The Fat Duck at no.33.
With six restaurants on the list, the USA remains a key international culinary force, matching France as the country with the highest number of restaurants on this year’s list. Best in class goes to Eleven Madison Park, no.5 on the list and taking the award for the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in North America, from fellow New Yorker Per Se, which ranks at no.11 this year. The individual Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Silestone by Cosentino and voted for by the chefs within The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, goes to Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago, which ranks at no.15.
Australia’s Attica takes home the Highest New Entry award, sponsored by LesConcierges.com, making its debut on the list at no.21, which also makes it the recipient of the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Australasia award.
This year’s One To Watch Award, sponsored by Cacao Barry, goes to South Africa’s The Test Kitchen. British-born chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ first solo restaurant is located in a shabby-chic suburb of Cape Town and his eclectic style results in unequivocally delicious food.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is organised by Restaurant magazine and the awards were presented in the company of the world’s most influential restaurateurs, finest chefs and international media at London’s Guildhall on 29th April.
The list is created from the votes of The Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 900 international leaders in the restaurant industry. The Academy comprises 26 separate regions around the world, each of which has 36 members, including a chairperson, and each member can cast seven votes. Of those seven, at least three votes must recognise restaurants outside of their own region.
The panel in each region is made up of food critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘gastronomes’. Members list their choices in order of preference, based on their best restaurant experiences of the previous 18 months. There is no pre-determined check-list of criteria.