Friday, December 3

Noma wins the award for the best restaurant in the world and Denmark takes the first two places | Restaurants

Copenhagen has confirmed its reputation as the world’s food destination of the moment after its top restaurants finished first and second in 2021. Awards for the 50 best restaurants in the world, widely considered the Oscars of gastronomy.

Chef René Redzepi’s new Noma, famous for his foraging and fermentation techniques, was named best restaurant at a ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium, on Tuesday night. The former topped the list in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 and was ranked second in 2019.

“No trip to Noma is the same,” the quote read, citing highlights from previous seasons, including a vegetarian celery shawarma and a duck leg, brain and heart dish served with “claw, feather and beak.”

William Drew, director of content for the world’s 50 best restaurants, said Noma had “arguably the most influential restaurant of its generation, setting new standards in terms of research and sourcing of ingredients, development of dishes and presentation.”

The Noma staff, whose current ‘hunting and forest season’ menu costs 2,800 Danish crowns (£ 320), plus 1,800 crowns for accompanying wines and, according to social media posts, features raw sumac, brain of bear and reindeer. exploded with joy at the news.

The annual list is voted on by more than 1,000 foodies, including food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and international culinary experts, who this year awarded second place to another three-star Michelin restaurant in Copenhagen, Geranium.

Their current 16-course menu from Rasmus Kofoed’s “fall universe” includes artichoke leaves and pickled walnuts, squid, melted smoked lard, yeast essence, potatoes and quail with thyme seeds, berries and pickled pine.

Noma has been the flagship of “New Nordic” cuisine since 2004, when Redzepi and the restaurant’s co-founder Claus Meyer joined 10 other Nordic chefs in the post. a 10 point manifesto with the aim of developing the “authentic cuisine” of the region.

The manifesto emphasized “purity, simplicity and freshness,” urged a predominance of seasonal and hyper-local foods, and encouraged restaurants to develop traditional Nordic fish and meat recipes by reviving and adapting older techniques such as marinating. , smoke and salt.

Native ingredients like forage herbs, blackberries, and local seafood were combined with exotic additions like wild reindeer blood, ants, and cricket paste, creating culinary headlines around the world and sparking a wave of successful restaurant openings that included Geranium, which opened its doors in 2007.

Melina Shannon-DiPietro, CEO of ANNOYED (Danish for Food), a foundation founded in 2011 by Redzepi with the aim of transforming the restaurant and hospitality business and forcing fundamental change in food systems, said the awards had caused “incredible pride” in Denmark.

“In fact, both chefs would probably say that they are now moving beyond New Nordic,” he said. “The principles still apply, of course: they are united by a real respect for nature, which obviously fundamentally changes food, but also by collaboration and by wanting to be the best workplace: for employees, producers, the environment”.

He said the movement’s success had attracted “incredibly international teams” to Nordic kitchens, creating “a new spirit of open mind, the willingness to explore and blur boundaries, the awareness of being in a global community.” New Nordic remained true to its principles, but evolving, he said.

Noma earned a coveted third Michelin star this year, with praise for its “strong connection to nature and holistic approach … which sees unusual seasonal ingredients showcased in creative and complex dishes.”

No awards were awarded last year due to the pandemic, and this year’s title means that Noma, which first opened in the Danish capital’s Christianshavn district in 2003, is on the same level as Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli. with the most results.

A rule introduced in 2019 in principle prevents previous winners, including Eleven Madison Park in New York, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray, UK, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and Mirazur in Menton, France, from competing, but Noma qualified because closed in 2016, reopening at a new address and with a different concept two years later.

Noma staff prepares food in the kitchen
Noma staff prepare food in the kitchen. Photograph: Thibault Savary / AFP / Getty

Despite a panel of judges made up of 50% men and 50% women, the list generated criticism, as in previous years, for featuring “overpriced, predominantly male and European tasting menu restaurants”, with only four restaurants in the top 50 headed by female chefs, one less than in 2019 ..

A third New Nordic restaurant, Frantzèn in Stockholm, took sixth place, while two Spanish restaurants, Asador Extebarri in Axpe and Enjoyment in Barcelona, ​​finished in the top five. Central and Maido in Lima, Peru were also in the top 10, with two well-known Paris restaurants, Arpège and Septime, in the top 25.

In the UK, the Clove Club (“‘modern British’ creations featuring natural flavors and merrily mingling with tradition”) and Lyle’s (“a short and sweet micro-seasonal menu … showcasing the best of any given day in London and the UK ”), both in London, finished 32nd and 33rd respectively.

The 50 best restaurants in the world

1 Rent (Copenhagen, Denmark)

2 Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

3 Etxebarri Grill (Axpe, Spain)

4 Central (Lima, Peru) Best restaurant in South America

5 Enjoy (Barcelona, ​​Spain)

6 Franzen (Stockholm, Switzerland)

7 Maido (Lima Peru)

8 Odette (Singapore) Best restaurant in Asia

9 Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) Best Restaurant in North America

10 director (Hong Kong) Highest Climber Award

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