Test tube food is out and ultra-super-local and natural is in, according to a humble little something called, “The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards.”
Danish chef René Redzepi’s restaurant Noma knocked off El Bulli after a four-year run. Spaniard Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli is considered the best place to sample molecular gastronomy – cuisine so haute that most of it seems made for Martians. The State’s own Frankenstein restaurant, The Fat Duck, was also bumped down from the second to third spot.
Noma’s menu includes dishes like buttered langoustine on a hot rock, milk skin and rape seed oil, and pike perch with unripe elderberries.
He forages for local ingredients in the forests outside his restaurant in Copenhagen, and refuses to use imported food like olive oil or foie gras.
Naturally, the award is given out by the sparkling water company, S. Pellegrino. And much like The Daily Caller’s Top Liberal Counties and Top Conservative Counties, the announcement garnered plenty of press in the towns and countries that made it onto the list. Sydney websites are reporting their win and the normally-reserved Canucks couldn’t help but gloat.
The Calgary Herland reported that local chefs’ Paul Rogalski and Olivier Reynaud placed 60th while another Canadian joint snagged the 70th spot (Hey, a win’s a win, no matter the placement!).
But with the rejoicing came some serious hand-wringing. Harden’s restaurant reviews wondered aloud, “is London succumbing to the ‘Wimbledon effect’?” in which there is a “worldwide competition where the Brits never win, and hardly ever even figure on the leader board?”
Leave it to the Brits to respectfully question the authority of the award with plenty of “quotation marks”:
OK, there are lots of ‘issues’ about the awards, whose methodology – essentially a family of worldwide ‘panels’ – is clearly open to question. Why is the East still so poorly represented? Is Paris really quite so passé? Why do some entries bob around madly from year to year (in a way which doesn’t happen, for example, with our own survey results). And so on.
The Queen’s country appears to be simmering. Perhaps it’s tired of being known only for its meat pies and the fact that its residence earned their nickname battling a scurvy-inducing diet.
Watch an interview with Redzepi below as he talks about winning the top prize:
Read the full list of winners here.