London was buzzing with gastronomic giants for the most prestigious chart count down in the business last night as The S.Pellegrino World`s 50 Best Restaurants awards were announced.
Culinary artisans from around the world were in attendance at the Freemason`s Hall, off Drury Lane for the event that has the restaurant world eagerly running their fingers down lists.
The voting was divided into regions, with a chairperson for each region choosing a judging panel to short-list 5 restaurants. The judges and panel members were all picked from a list of restaurateurs, chefs and food critics, each voting for two venues from within their own region.
With an extra region added this year - Germany - the total number of voting panels came up to 23, with the final number of judges increasing to 682. In all, we had to count 3,410 votes to arrange our top 100 list, with the top 50 announced at the glamorous ceremony last night.
For a complete list of academy members and biographies click here
This mammoth undertaking is further enhanced with regional awards, a restaurant magazine reader`s choice award, a chef`s choice award, a breakthrough award and an auspicious Lifetime Achievement award, which this year went to Gualtiero Marchesi - the first Italian chef to win three Michelin stars.
Bukhara, India in picked up the Best in Asia award, whilst just missing out on the top 50 list at 55.
Breakthrough Restaurant went to Le Chateaubriand, France.
Restaurant magazine Reader`s Choice went to L`enclume in Cumbria`s Cartmel.
Mugaritz bagged the Chef`s Choice gong, just in front of Arzak.
But the biggest prize of the night - the Best Restaurant in the World went - for the third year running, to El Bulli.
Maestro chef, Ferran Adria, choosing to share his award with his fellow Spaniards, his family and...well...pretty much everyone, including second placed Heston Blumenthal`s The Fat Duck. Congratulations to everyone picking up awards or included in the list.
To read a profile of the restaurants, click on their name.
World`s Best Restaurant
The Fat Duck
The French Laundry
Best Restaurant in Americas
Best Restaurant in Australasia
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
L`Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Le Louis XV
Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee
El Celler de Can Roca
L`Hotel de Ville - Philippe Rochat
Hof Van Cleve
Highest New Entry
Le Quartier Francais
Best in Middle East and Africa
Readers` Choice - L`enclume, UK
Breakthrough Restaurant -Le Chateaubriand, France
Lifetime Achievement Award - Gualtiero Marchesi
Best in Asia - Bukhara
Click here for numbers 51 to 100.
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