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Noma has regained its crown after chefs and leaders of the gastronomic world gathered in London’s Guildhall for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. The two-Michelin-starred Copenhagen restaurant headed up by chef René Redzepi (pictured right) was first voted the world’s best in 2010 and held the award for the following two years before being toppled in 2013 by Girona’s El Celler de Can Roca, which has now slipped to number two.
When the award was announced, Redzepi read out a speech littered with expletives, which he apparently wrote when he was first in the running four years ago but was too shy to read out. In it he paid tribute to the restaurant’s staff, saying: 'I want to tell you in front of everyone, you guys are my dream team and inspiration. The patience and dedication that you give year in and year out is more than I could have ever hoped for. We were the geeks, they gave us funny names. But that didn't bother us, it fueled us and look where we are now several years later!' Redzepi also assured the audience that there is more to come: 'We're not at the finish line,' he said. 'There are still so many discoveries out there, so many recipes to be written.'
The awards were also significant for London, with the capital claiming two spots in the top 10 for the first time ever. Brett Graham’s Notting Hill institution The Ledbury moved up three spots to number 10, while Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner moved up two places to number five. Blumenthal’s three-Michelin-starred Bray restaurant The Fat Duck was the UK’s third highest entry at number 47, falling 14 places from last year.
Despite the title of the awards, a list of the top 100 restaurants in the world is actually compiled every year. The second half reveals three more London restaurants: The Clove Club in Shoreditch at 87, Hedone in Chiswick at number 63, and St John in Clerkenwell at 55.
St John chef Fergus Henderson, who was the pioneer of nose-to-tail-eating, also scooped the lifetime achievement award and received a standing ovation at the ceremony, while Helena Rizzo of Mani restaurant in Sao Paulo was recognised as the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef. You can read a low-down on her background and future plans in our separate feature here.
The list is compiled by an international panel of chefs, food critics and others in the industry. According to 50 Best, members of the panel each list seven establishments in order of preference, including at least three outside of their geographical region. The members must have dined at any restaurant they vote for within the previous 18 months.
See the full list of the 50 best restaurants here.