On the night when Italy was celebrating an unexpected victory against Belgium at the Euro 2016, in New York, Massimo Bottura, chef of Modena based restaurant Osteria Francescana had just been named as the World’s Best restaurant by the 50 World’s Best Restaurants.
This was the crowning of a wonderful year for Bottura who has not only pushed the boundaries of fine dining but has now created the Food for Soul foundation with the aim of raising awareness on food waste and feeding the world’s poor.
In his first word’s after winning the award in New York, after thanking his wife and team, he encouraged all chefs present to go to Rio and help him with the soup kitchen there during the Olympics. That is also Massimo Bottura.
The award crowns a slow but steady ride to the world’s top position and crowns his perseverance for taking tradition and twisting it with his creativity and culture. That was no easy task in a country where no one can mess with football, religion and grandmother’s cooking.
Bottura has very often advocated that cooking is not just about the quality of ingredients but also about the quality of the ideas.
The chef from Modena is known to make things look very simple but that simplicity comes mainly with the benefit of hindsight. When he speaks, people stop to listen as he as a beacon for many, not just chefs, who look for ways to be inspired and to be creative in their work.
“The future for me is about culture. There are many young chefs pushing to get to the top. But they are not taking the right approach. I think the point is to touch paper, to read, get deep into things. You need to stimulate people and create a great team,” he said.
Second place went to El Celler de Can Roca which lost its previous number one position with third position going to Eleven Madison Park.
There were changes to the list with a number of restaurants falling from the top 10 positions like D.OM, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Gaggan. These were replaced by Asador Etxebarri, Steirereck and Mirazur in sixth position (celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year)
The lifetime achievement was awarded to French chef Alain Passard of L’Arpepe while best female chef award went to Dominique Crenn from Atelier Crenn in San Francisco.
Here is the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 full list:
- Osteria Francescana, Modena (Italy) – also best restaurant in Europe
- El Celler de Can Roca, Girona (Spain)
- Eleven Madison Park, New York (USA) –Best restaurant in North America
- Central, Lima (Peru) – Best restaurant is South America
- Noma, Copenhagen (Denmark)
- Mirazur, Menton (France)
- Mugaritz, San Sebastian (Spain)
- Narisawa, Tokyo (Japan) –Best restaurant in Asia
- Steirereck, Vienna (Austria)
- Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo (Spain)
- D.O.M. , Sao Paulo (Brazil)
- Quintonil, Mexico City (Mexico)
- Maido, Lima (Peru) – Highest climber award
- The Ledbury, London (UK)
- Alinea, Chicago (USA)
- Azurmendi, Larrabetzu (Spain)
- Piazza Duomo, Alba (Italy)
- White Rabbit, Moscow (Russia)
- Arpège, Paris (France)
- Amber, Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
- Arzak, San Sebastian (Spain)
- The Test Kitchen, Cape Town (South Africa) – Best restaurant in Africa
- Gaggan, Bangkok (Thailand)
- Le Bernardin, New York (USA)
- Pujol, Mexico City (Mexico)
- The Clove Club, London (UK) – Highest new entry
- Saison, San Francisco (USA)
- Geranium, Copenhagen (Denmark)
- Tickets, Barcelona (Spain)
- Astrid Y Gastón, Lima (Peru)
- Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo (Japan)
- Restaurant André, Singapore (Singapore)
- Attica, Melbourne (Australia) – Best restaurant in Australasia
- Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin (Germany) – New entry
- Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach (Germany)
- Boragò, Santiago (Chile)
- Nahm, Bangkok (Thailand)
- De Librije, Zwolle (Netherlands)
- Le Calandre, Rubano (Italy)
- Relae, Copenhagen (Denmark) – Sustainable restaurant award
- Fäviken, Järpen (Sweden)
- Ultraviolet, Shanghai (China)
- Biko, Mexico City (Mexico)
- Estela, New York (USA) – New entry
- Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (UK)
- Combal.Zero, Rivoli (Italy)
- Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau (Switzerland)
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Tarrytown (USA)
- Quique Dacosta, Denia (Spain)
- Septime, Paris (France)