Yesterday the winners of the 2013 World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards (brought to us by Restaurant Magazine) were revealed – giving the number one spot to El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain. While not a complete surprise, seeing as El Celler de Can Roca has taken second place for the past two years, René Redzepi’s Noma of Denmark was finally knocked out of its three year winning streak. Boasting two Michelin stars, Noma is known for serving moldy food (on purpose!) and being a champion of new Nordic cuisine.
But what about this years winner? El Celler de Can Roca is a family run place, headed by the Roca brothers, that blends classic Catalan cooking with modern technique. According to Bloomberg, after discovering their passion for cooking by watching their own parents manage a bar in the outskirts of Girona, brothers Joan and Josep opened El Celler in 1986. Soon after that, Joan spent a season cooking with Ferran Adria at El Bulli in 1989. The brothers have since won three Michelin stars and gained a reputation for their sense of hospitality. Among their most famous dishes include lobster parmentier with black trumpets and Iberian suckling pig with pepper sauce and garlic and quince terrine.
Restaurant Magazine also gave out a slew of other awards including: a Lifetime Achievement Award for oldie but goodie Alain Ducasse, the Chef’s Choice Award for Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Aliena, and World’s Best Female Chef to Nadia Santini. The fact that an award for World’s Best Female Chef even exists brought on a whole wave of controversy.
What’s most intriguing about the awards is how they come up with the results – how can one entity determine the worth of so many restaurants literally around the entire planet? There are twenty six regional panels, each headed by a chairman or chairwoman, along with 36 other people. Each member is required to vote for seven restaurants, three of which must be outside of his or her region. That makes a total of 936 votes worldwide.
The top ten are:
1. El Celler de Can Roca: Girona, Spain
2. Noma: Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Osteria Francescana: Modena, Italy
4. Mugaritz: Errenteria, Spain
5. Eleven Madison Park: New York City
6. D.O.M.: São Paulo, Brazil
7. Dinner By Heston Blumenthal: London
8. Arzak: San Sebastian, Spain
9. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
10. Vendôme: Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
Read the full list here.
You can also watch the awards ceremony unfold in its entirety here: