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List of ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ for 2014 announced

World's best restaurants

Get dialing for your reservation now: Noma in Copenhagen has been named the world’s best restaurant at a ceremony revealing the planet’s top 50 dining venues.

Noma’s top honor in the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards — viewed as the Oscars of fine dining — was the fourth win for minimalist Danish pioneer of foraged menus.

The award was presented late Monday at a ceremony in central London attended by some of the world’s leading chefs.

“It’s too (expletive deleted) crazy!” said Noma’s head chef, Rene Redzepi, picking up the award. “Thank you for believing in us.”

The list, now in its 12th year, is dominated by European venues, but there were prizes for restaurants from around the world, including Asia’s first top 20 entry.

There were few changes in the list’s top 10.

Highly influential

Last year’s winner, Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca, was bumped to second place, with Italy’s Osteria Francescana holding steady at number three.

Despite the repeat victory for Noma, it’s still yet to match the record of Spain’s El Bulli, which claimed four successive wins before head chef Ferran Adria closed its doors in 2011.

Other winners in the top 10 were, in fourth place New York’s Eleven Madison Park, followed by Spain’s Mugaritz, Brazil’s D.O.M., London’s Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Spain’s Arzak, Chicago’s Alinea and The Ledbury, another London restaurant.

Noma, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, was praised for its “fresh approach and energy.”

The restaurant’s menu serves diners with a series of “snacks” largely sourced from the Nordic landscape — dishes that include sea urchin toast and a beef tartar that includes ants.

Most of the winners — a total of 28 — were from Europe, with Spain claiming seven top 50 positions.

Nahm, a Thai restaurant in Bangkok that earlier this year was named Asia’s best, made it to number 13 in the list — the region’s highest entry.

Organized by UK-based Restaurant Magazine and sponsored by Italian drinks manufacturers San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, the awards are seen as highly influential in the fine dining industry.

Noma’s first win in 2010 is credited with catapulting the restaurant to international stardom.

Reputedly, the day after winning, it received enough online reservations to fill its 45 seats for a decade — thankfully, it only takes bookings for a few weeks in advance.

Some observers say the awards now hold greater sway over a restaurant’s financial success and bookings than coveted Michelin star rankings, often transforming them into major travel destinations.

‘Beauty contest’

“This is the big one,” contest chairman Richard Vine told CNN ahead of the awards. “Although you can argue about the list, everyone wants to be on it.”

Vine said the list isn’t a rival to Michelin’s “systematic” assessments, describing it as a spontaneous “beauty contest for restaurants.”

The list was decided by votes compiled from 900 restaurant industry figures.

The winning names were closely guarded ahead of this year’s ceremony after details were leaked prior to announcement in 2013.

British chef Fergus Henderson received a lifetime achievement award at this year’s event.

Henderson’s St. John restaurant in London has championed “nose-to-tail” eating that utilizes every part of an animal.

San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2014

1. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark

2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

3. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy

4. Eleven Madison Park, New York

5. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London

6. Mugartiz, San Sebastian, Spain

7. D.O.M., Sao Paolo, Brazil

8. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain

9. Alinea, Chicago

10. The Ledbury, London

11. Mirazur, Menton, France

12. Vendome, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

13. Nahm, Bangkok

14. Narisawa, Tokyo

15. Central, Lima, Peru

16. Steirereck, Vienna

17. Gaggan, Bangkok

18. Astrid y Gaston, Lima, Peru

19. Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

20. Pujol, Mexico City

21. Le Bernardin, New York

22. Vila Joya, Albufeira, Portugal

23. Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm

24. Amber, Hong Kong

25. L’Arpege, Paris

26. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain

27. Le Chateaubriand, Paris

28. Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany

29. De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands

30. Per Se, New York

31. L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joel Robuchon, Paris

32. Attica, Melbourne, Australia

33. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo

34. Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain

35. Martin Berasategui, Lasarte-Oria, Spain

36. Maní, Sao Paolo, Brazil

37. Restaurant Andre, Singapore

38. L’Astrance, Paris

39. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy

40. Daniel, New York

41. Quique Dacosta, Dénia, Spain

42. Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark

43. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland

44. French Laundry, Yountville, California

45. Hof Van Cleeve, Kruishoutem, Belgium

46. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy

47. The Fat Duck, Bray, UK

48. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa

49. Coi, San Francisco

50. Waku Ghin, Singapore

One to Watch Restaurant: Saison, San Francisco

Best Restaurant in Africa: The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa

World’s Pastry Chef: Jordi Roca, El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

Sustainable Restaurant Award: Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain

Best Restaurant in Australasia: Attica, Melbourne, Australia

World’s Best Female Chef: Helena Rizzo, Mani, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Chef’s Choice Award: Alex Atala, D.O.M. Sao Paolo, Brazil

Highest Climber: Central, Lima, Peru

Highest New Entry: Gaggan, Bangkok

Best Restaurant in Asia: Nahm, Bangkok

Lifetime Achievement Award: Fergus Henderson, St. John, London

Best Restaurant in South America: D.O.M. Sao Paolo, Brazil

Best Restaurant in North America: Eleven Madison Park, New York

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