FOOD BUZZ: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012

For globetrotting foodies, the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards (sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna) is a must-have guide if you plan on eating your way around the world. Now in it’s 10th year, the organization celebrated its success at a star-studded awards ceremony in London earlier this week. As the paparazzi and fans jostled for position to get a glimpse of the worlds greatest chefs, there could be no doubt as to who the real celebrities are these days.

#1 Chef - René Redzepi from NOMA

Leading the charge this year (for the third year in a row) is Denmark’s NOMA restaurant under the guardianship of Chef René Redzepi. (This is the guy that creates dishes with obscure items like milk skin, hay and pine needles,and has taken over in the weird-but-wonderful category from the likes of El Bulli and Heston Blumenthal whose Fat Duck restaurant has slipped from No. 4 to 13.)

Not surprisingly, Thomas Keller from the iconic French Laundry in California snatched up the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award while Elena Arzak of Arzak Restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain took the honor of Best Female Chef. The list, which is voted on each year by more than 800 food and wine professionals from 29 regions around the world, is slowly becoming less Euro-centric and more diverse, although America still dominates with 8 restaurants in the top 50. This year, Mexico had two winners; Pujol in Mexico City took the No. 36 spot, while Biko, also in Mexico City, came in at No. 38.

Restaurants from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Peru also made the cut this year. Other highlights include D.O.M. in Brazil, Astrud y Gaston in Lima and Momofuku Ssam in New York, which elicited wolf whistles and standing ovations from the crowd. The 50 chefs on the list also vote for their favorite: This year the award went to Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz in San Sebastian.

So if you’re headed to any of these parts, be sure to make a reservation early and find out for yourself what all the fuss is about.

Bon appétit!

Below is the complete list:

1    Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
2    El Celler De Can Roca, Girona, Spain
3    Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
4    D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil
5    Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
6    Per Se, New York, USA
7    Alinea, Chicago, USA
8    Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
9    Dinner, Heston Blumenthal, Mandarin Oriental London, UK
10  Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
11  Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
12  L’atelier De Joel Robuchon Paris, France
13  The Fat Duck, Bray, UK
14  The Ledbury, London, UK
15  Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France
16  L’arpege, Paris, France
17  Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France
18  L’astrance, Paris, France
19  Le Bernardin, New York, USA
20  Frantzén/lindeberg, Stockholm, Sweden
21  Oud Sluis, Sluis, Netherlands
22  Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany
23  Vendome, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
24  Mirazur, Menton, France
25  Daniel, New York, USA
26  Iggy’s, Singapore, Malaysia
27  Les Creation De Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
28  Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo, Japan
29  Quay, Sydney, Australia
30  Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
31  Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain
32  Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
33  De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands
34  Fäviken Magasinet, Jarpen, Sweden
35  Astrid Y Gaston, Lima, Peru
36  Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
37  Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York, USA
38  Biko, Mexico, Mexico
39  Waku Ghin, Singapore, Malaysia
40  Quique Dacosta Restaurant, Denia, Spain
41  Mathias Dahlgren, Stockholm, Sweden
42  Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium
43  The French Laundry, Yountville,  USA
44  Amber, Hong Kong, China
45  Vila Joya, Albufeira, Portugal
46  Il Canto, Siena, Italy
47  Bras Restaurant, Laguiole, France
48  Manresa, Los Gatos, USA
49  Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark
50  Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand

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