Rankings That May Give You Little to Chew On

19th May 2015 0 Comments

When news broke last week that more than 60 diners at Noma, a Copenhagen restaurant, had contracted norovirus and fallen ill in February, many resulting articles called Noma “the world’s best restaurant.”

That is based on a relatively new measure of gastronomic greatness, and it isn’t a unanimous opinion. The ranking, the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, is based on votes by over 900 judges, including chefs, food writers and food lovers at large, who try to defy the cliché and give an accounting for taste.

Started in 2002, the ranking has risen from a feature idea in a U.K. trade publication to an industry award show covered world-wide. Yet critics say the rankings are susceptible to lobbying and to comping of meals by contending restaurants. And more-populist voting, such as on the international travel website TripAdvisor, doesn’t always agree with the results. Noma ranks ninth on TripAdvisor—in Copenhagen. The top spot in the city is an ice-cream shop called Ismageriet.

The World’s 50 Best rankings are both influential—driving more interest in a restaurant than a Michelin star or a major review, say some owners—and inherently imperfect.

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Buzz et copinage: les dessous du 50 Best, le classement mondial des restaurants

16th May 2015 0 Comments

Chaque année, le magazine britannique Restaurant publie son classement mondial des établissements. Or ses méthodes sont controversées et critiquées par d’anciens membres du jury, dont deux Français.

“Je persiste et je signe: en tant qu’ancien membre du jury international qui préside au World’s 50 Best Restaurants, j’ai de très sérieuses raisons de penser que cette opération fait non seulement l’objet d’un buzz totalement disproportionné, mais, plus inquiétant, repose sur une méthodologie et une déontologie plus que douteuses“, lance François-Régis Gaudry, journaliste gastronomique de L’Express, en 2013. Comme tous les ans depuis sa création, en 2002, le classement des 50 meilleures tables au monde par le magazine britannique Restaurant fait débat.

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Even the Head Chef of the World’s Best Restaurant Doubts There’s a World’s Best Restaurant

16th May 2015 0 Comments

When Noma was named the world’s best restaurant on Monday, its head chef, René Redzepi, swore, celebrated — and denigrated the award.

“This is too fucking crazy,” Redzepi said on stage at London’s Guildhall as he celebrated with his staff. In a press conference later, he called the award “the biggest surprise I’ve ever had.” His Copenhagen restaurant had won three straight times before being unseated last year by El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona, Spain. Redzepi said he didn’t expect to make it back to No. 1 this year — he would have been pleased to remain in the top 20.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list has helped promulgate the concept of the celebrity chef, while making the careers of some list regulars and packing tables in ways many chefs say Michelin stars can’t. Redzepi credited the 12-year-old list with validating his experimental version of Nordic cuisine and putting his 40-seat restaurant — where 20 courses cost 1,600 Danish kroner ($296) — on the global gourmet-food traveler’s map.

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San Pellegrino ou la plus grande fumisterie du monde

16th May 2015 0 Comments

Le classement des meilleurs restaurants du monde n’en finit plus de faire jaser. Gilles Pudlowski y va de sa colère et décerne ses propres étoiles.

La plus grande chiasse du monde !

Vous le savez déjà : le palmarès des “50 meilleurs restaurants du monde”, parrainé par San Pellegrino, a récompensé le Danois René Redzepi qui a provoqué la plus grande chiasse du monde. Le terme est, certes, peu élégant. Mais il veut bien dire ce qu’il veut dire. S’il a rendu malades une soixantaine de clients entre le 12 et 16 février 2013, le chef de Noma pourra sans nul doute en infecter d’autres.

Le jury obscur de critiques, gastronomes, restaurateurs, qui vote pour ses amis, a réussi, en vase clos, à mettre quelques noms dans une boîte et à faire sortir quelques Ibères de luxe, un Danois intrépide, un Italien audacieux et quelques British bien mis, sans omettre des Américains nouvelle vague, des Asiates en mouvement et des Latinos en devenir. On ne se demande pas s’il est retourné chez Noma dans les derniers dix-huit mois, comme le suggère le règlement. Et l’on se doute bien que non. Mais l’on s’amuse en constatant que ce hit-parade en forme de mascarade a droit chaque année à davantage d’échos dans la grande presse et sur le Web.

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Questionable taste

16th May 2015 0 Comments

Naturally, we must all applaud the fact that there are now eleven British restaurants featured in Restaurant magazine’s world top 100.

However, at the risk of spoiling the mood of national celebration, I should point out that only one, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, is actually featured in the top ten, while the USA has three. That would make America, along with France, also with three, the joint world capital of fine dining. But you can bet your bottom dollar that 60% of the American public did not become overweight, nor 40% of that 60% become clinically obese, by overeating at the French Laundry, Jean Georges or the Grammercy Tavern.

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The World’s 50 Best Restaurant List Is Really Just A Popularity Contest For The Cool Kids

16th May 2015 0 Comments

If you think the World’s 50 Best Restaurants is a definitive guide to the finest places to eat around the planet, then you probably think that the choice for Miss Universe influences world peace.

The list, announced in London overnight, put Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen back in the top slot for the fourth time in the last five years. It’s a deserved choice. I ate there in 2012 and the meal was astonishing. Despite being braced against the hype, Redzepi and his team created an experience that pushed my boundaries and made me rethink what it means to dine out. I’d urge anyone who loves food to eat there. (more…)

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The World’s 50 Best Restaurants? Says Who?

16th May 2015 0 Comments

IF you had called for a reservation at the restaurant Noma in Copenhagen on Saturday, April 24, 2010, you could have dined there that night. By the time it next opened, the following Monday, you would have faced competition from 100,000 people to get a table. In the intervening 48 hours, Noma had won the top spot on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

In the nine years since the list was started by the British trade magazine Restaurant, a place on the 50 Best list has become one of the most sought-after honors for restaurateurs. As many will learn Monday, when the 2011 rankings are announced in London, a spot can catapult a place from insider favorite to impossible-to-get-into destination. (more…)

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