This year, on April 5th, the world’s 50 Best Restaurants winners were revealed at an awards ceremony at the historic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Australia.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy is formed by 1,000 experts of the international restaurant scene, who oversee the selection of the qualifying restaurants each year. To provide fair representation of each region, the academy divides the world up into 26 geographical regions and assigns a chairperson to each of them. Every chair selects a voting panel of 40 people (including themselves), consisting of chefs, restaurateurs, food/restaurant journalists and well-travelled gourmets. All voters, aside from the Academy Chairs and Vice Chairs, must remain anonymous, and a minimum of 25 percent of the panel renewed each year. Southern California belongs to the West USA and Canada Region. Our region’s chair is Michalene Busico, formerly food editor at both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Currently, she is the dining editor for the Robb Report.
This year has been the very first time in the Academy’s 15-year history that the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award has named a fine dining venue outside of Europe. Eleven Madison Park in New York City is ranked number one in the world, followed by Italy’s Osteria Francescana. After seven consecutive years leading the competition, Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca followed in third place.
Eleven Madison Park is the first US winner since California’s French Laundry took the grand prize in 2004. In claiming the No.1 position, it earns the dual titles of The World’s Best Restaurant and The Best Restaurant in North America. The restaurant’s co-owners, Will Guidara and Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm enhance the fine dining experience with a sense of fun, blurring the line between the kitchen and the dining room. Housed in an Art Deco building overlooking New York’s Madison Park, the restaurant’s multi-course seasonal tasting menu celebrates the city’s rich history and culinary traditions.
While one New York restaurant takes the number one spot, another debuts on the list: Enrique Olvera’s Cosme. Meanwhile, Dan Barber’s progressive restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, rises 37 places to number 11 to earn the Highest Climber Award, which is sponsored by Lavazza. In addition, New York-based pastry entrepreneur Dominique Ansel was also honored this year, claiming the 2017 title of The World’s Best Pastry Chef. Since opening his eponymous SoHo bakery in 2011 and launching the Cronut, his signature croissant-doughnut hybrid, French-born Ansel has extended his global influence to London and Tokyo.
Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy claims the No. 2 position to retain its title as The Best Restaurant in Europe. Italy is also represented by Piazza Duomo at number 15, Le Calandre is number 29 and Reale, in Castel Di Sangro, is number 43.
Spain retains its strong presence on the list with three of its six restaurants landing in the top 10. Former number one El Celler de Can Roca leads the contingent at number 3, and is also the 2017 recipient of the Ferrari Trento Art of Hospitality Award in recognition of the restaurant’s warm atmosphere and ever-gracious service. Asador Etxebarri climbs four places to number 6, while Mugaritz in San Sebastian was awarded number 9.
Within the 50 best restaurants in the world, the United States has five restaurants and four are in New York. Cosme is ranked at number 40, Le Bernardin at number 17, Blue Hill at Stone Barns at number 11, and the winner of the competition, Eleven Madison Park. In addition, San Francisco’s Saison was ranked at number 37.
The Academy’s next 50 top restaurants in the United States include: #58 MomoFuku Ko, NY; #66 Estela, NY; #67 Benu, SF; #83 Atelier Crenn, SF; #87 Per Se, NY.
The closest restaurant to southern California is ranked at number 90, and is Manresa, in Los Gatos, California.
This exquisite list of the best of the best whets the appetite and inspires us to travel and experience every single one.