René Redzepi

Noma wins world’s best restaurant award

How the Nordic number one knocked elBulli into second place

The San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants were announced at The Guildhall in London on 26 April 2010 in the company of the world’s most important chefs, critics, restaurateurs and international media.

The best restaurant in the world is officially Noma, René Redzepi’s sensational Nordic restaurant in Copenhagen.  His book Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine is published later this year.

Redzepi emphasised the team effort responsible for Noma’s success and eight of them piled on to the stage to collect the award (wearing t-shirts with the missing member of their team - Ali, their dishwasher).

Ferran Adrià, the man behind elBulli - five-times winner of the world’s best restaurant award and this year’s number two on the list – was honoured with the Chef of the Decade award. As elBulli closes as a restaurant at the end of the year and becomes a non-profit foundation from 2014, Adrià described this award as an emotional and important day in his career:

‘Today is a very special day because it’s the last time I will be awarded by the gastronomy world. elBulli will never be a restaurant again. With the new project we will be able to give a lot to the culinary world. This prize is in my heart.’

Fans of Ferran Adrià and the elBulli phenomenon can look forward to Adrià’s official biography: Reinventing Food Ferran Adrià: The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat. You can also get an exclusive look behind the scenes at elBulli with the book A Day at elBulli. Adrià’s selection of 10 exciting emerging chefs is also included in the book Coco.

Another Coco contributor, Fergus Henderson - whose restaurant St John was one of only three other British restaurants to feature on the world’s 50 best restaurants list - praised the transparency and value of these awards by comparison with others.

Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant The Fat Duck came in at number three on the list and his advice for aspiring chefs was ‘always stay true to yourself and never forget that French cooking is the foundation for all cooking’ (he might well have gleaned that from the bible of traditional French home cooking: I know How to Cook).

Shannon Bennett’s selection of the most exciting emerging chefs in Coco proved prescient as Mark Best won the Breakthrough Award for his Marque Restaurant in the Surry Hills neighborhood of Sydney and Alex Atala’s restaurant D.O.M. in Brazil was voted best restaurant in South America.

Other culinary stars awarded on the night included David Chang for his restaurant Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York (selected by Alice Waters’ in Coco as a chef-to-watch); Alain Ducasse (another eminent Coco contributor) returned to the top 50 list with Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athenee at number 41.

The awards were followed with an after party in The Crypts at the Guildhall and celebrating continued into the early hours.