ANTWERP: Restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark was crowned World 50 Best Restaurant for 2021. René Redzepi and his team crowned a spectacular year for them amid what has been the hardest 18 months of the restaurant industry when they regained the title they had won four times in their former location.
After clinching a third Michelin star a few weeks ago this will be a year to remember for Rene Redzepi and his 79 team members. At a press conference after the event, Redzepi said the secret of this success was all the team at the restaurant. “The success boils down to the team that together create this special energy,” he said.
Geranium, another restaurant in Copenhagen clinched second spot confirming the rise and rise of Nordic cuisine which started with Noma more than 20 years. In third place was Spanish restaurant Extebarri.
Noma will exit the list for good. “Thank you for the wild ride and goodbye,” where René’s final words at the event. The restaurant will no longer be eligible to compete for the top place.
However, in winning the spot for the last time, it has reached the legendary el Bulli with five wins. This is something no other restaurant will be able to emulate unless the rules change in the coming years.
The spotlight of the food world was on the Belgian city of Antwerp for the first physical event of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the chefs of the world’s top restaurants, the most influential food writers as well as influencers made it to this idyllic port city known for diamonds, fashion and maybe now also gastronomy.
The day preceding the awards, the outage of Facebook, Instagram may have created some panic but that was soon forgotten in the myriad of events, spontaneous meetings and gatherings that took place. Gone was the apprehension. For a few days at least, it seemed like the pandemic was past.
This was the first World’s 50 Best Restaurants activity since the pandemic. The event which had to take place in June 2020 was cancelled.
William Drew said that the list is was compiled from votes of over 1,000 voters. These submitted their votes for the 2020 list (which was not published) and were also able to then submit an updated votes with more local preferences earlier this year.
That has meant that Mauro Colagreco of Restaurant Mirazur has been World’s No one for two years. He now enters the Hall of Fame or Best of the Best with the previous winners including Joan Roca, Ferran Adria, Rene Redzepi, Massimo Bottura, Heston Blumenthal, Thomas Keller and Daniel Humm.
Some of the members of the Best of the Best were called on stage including Mauro Colagreco who celebrated his birthday yesterday and his wife Julia.
A number of awards had already been assigned earlier. These included Pia Leon as the Female Chef of 2021, Ikoji as the restaurant to watch and Dominique Crenn winner of the Icon Award 2021.
William Drew also named the restaurants that would have made the list had the list been published last year. These have closed for various reasons. The restaurants were The Ledbury, Tickets, Enigma (which will reopen next year), Faviken, Relae, 108, Chambre Séparée, Gaggan, Alain Ducasse’s Plaza Athenee and The Test Kitchen.
In general this was a triumph for Copenhagen with two restaurants in the top two positions Spain also did incredibly well with six restaurants in the top 50 and two in the first five positions. The US also has six restaurants in the list. Italy has four entries with the highest ranked being Lido 84, the restaurant by the Camanini brothers at Lago di Garda in 16th place.
Wolfgat entered into the list for the first time in 50th position and also clinched the title for best restaurant in Africa.
But it was also the night of the Peruvian couple Pia Leon and Virgilio Martinez. With three restaurants in the top 100, they are really putting Peru in the spotlight. Pia Leon was also female chef of the year and Central placed in fourth position.
1. Noma, Copenhagen,
2. Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain
4. Central, Lima, Peru
5. Disfrutar, Barcelona,
6. Frantzen, Stockholm, Sweden
7. Maido, Lima, Peru
8. Odette, Singapore, Best restaurant in Asia
9. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
10. The Chairman, Hong Kong, Asia Highest climber award
11. Den, Tokyo, Japan
12. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria (Art of Hospitality award)
13. Don Julio, Buenos Aires, Argentina
14. Mugaritz, San Sebastián, Spain
15. Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy (Highest New Entry)
16. Elkano, Getaria, Spain
17. A Casa do Porco, São Paulo, Brazil
18. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
19. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
20. DiverXo, Madrid, Spain
21. Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia
22. Cosme, New York, United States
23. Arpège, Paris, France
24. Septime, Paris, France
25. White Rabbit, Moscow, Russia
26. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
27. Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
28. Benu, San Francisco. United States
29. Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italy
30. Twins Garden, Moscow, Russia
31. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, Germany
32. The Clove Club, London, UK
33. Lyle’s London, UK
34. Burnt Ends, Singapore (New Entry)
35, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China
36. Hof Van Cleve Kruishoutem, Belgium
37. Singlethread, California, United States (New Entry)
38. Borago, Santiago, Chile (Sustainability award)
39. Florilege, Tokyo, Japan (New Entry)
40. Suhring Bangkok, Thailand
41. Alleno au Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris, France
42. Belcanto, Lisbon, Portugal
43. Atomix, New York, USA (New Entry)
44. Le Bernardin, New York, USA
45. Nobelhart and Schmutzig, Berlin, Germany (New Entry)
46. Leo, Bogota, Colombia
47. Maemo, Oslo, Norway
48. Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, USA
49. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
50. Wolfgang, Paternoster, South Africa (New entry) Best restaurant in Africa
See also the 51-100 list here.