Is there such a thing as a World’s Best Restaurant? Of course there isn’t. That is the response that René Redzepi, chef of Noma says in the soon to be released documentary Noma, a Perfect storm. And we cannot agree more with him.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is extremely controversial but also extremely powerful. It has been criticised by many especially in France because of its opaque voting. France has now come up with what they now call an answer to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. A new list of 1000 exceptional restaurants (tables d’exception) is set to be launched on 17 December.
AFP announced earlier this week that Japan, France and the United States are the countries with the most restaurants in the list which is set to be a response to the UK list of 50 best restaurants.
Some details of the new list have emerged already. In total, restaurants from 40 countries are in The List which compiles the results of international guides. Out of the first 100 restaurants, there are between 25 and 30 French restaurants but Asia is also heavily represented according to the organisers.
The list is being called the guide of guides and was created as a way to counter the growing influence of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. In the last list, there were only five French restaurants in the list and none in the top 10.
The French know that we are in an era of lists. “La Liste” as it is called compiles the results from 200 gastronomic guides such as (Michelin, Gault&Millau, Zagat), websites like TripAdvisor and Open Table as well as lists like the 50 Best and the Daily Meal apart from reviews of press critics. According to AFP, the list has been validated by around 3,000 international chefs.
The final results are still secret but the organisers have already said that of the 1000 restaurants selected, Japan has the largest number of restaurants selected (over 120). France has 117 and the United States 115. China, Spain, Germany and Italy have just over 50 restaurants each in the list.
Philippe Faure has defended the French position by saying that with 117 restaurants out of 1000 one cannot say that this is a French list. “We have used a scientific methodology,” he said.
Will the list be as popular as the World’s Best 50 Restaurants? What will be its impact? It is difficult to judge at this stage so we will have to wait and see.
The question we have to ask at this stage is whether the Spanish or the Italians will counter with their own version of the list given they seem to be under-represented in this list.