Denmark's Noma wins World's Best Restaurant third time

Tue May 1, 2012 11:53am EDT
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By Simon Falush

LONDON (Reuters) - Danish restaurant Noma was crowned the world's best restaurant for the third year in a row in an annual list, beating out top eateries in Spain, Brazil, Italy, the United States and elsewhere.

The S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna World's 50 Best Restaurants, produced by Britain's Restaurant Magazine, were unveiled in the medieval splendor of London's medieval after voting by a panel of more than 800 chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and food experts who rated chef Rene Redzepi's Noma as the "standard-bearer for the new Nordic movement."

Redzepi said he was delighted to win the award for the third time and added that his main philosophy was to create delicious food using locally sourced produce.

"It's something about the zeitgeist. It's about nature, people growing food, being close to food. Connecting with organic farmers, working hard to maintain a healthy ecology, the utmost deliciousness ties in with this," he said.

But he added that despite Noma's green credentials it still managed to cast off the northern European philosophy that fine food was a bit of a sinful self indulgence.

"Sustainability is not a clear goal, we are a temple of deliciousness and we celebrate it, there's nothing wrong with it. But in our part of the world, if you say you are in love with delicious food and what it does to you, you're supposed to feel remorse. It's a Protestant thing, the Catholics don't have that."

Nationally, Spain and the United States tied with three restaurants each in the top 10, though Spain's El Celler de Can Roca in Girona came second and Mugaritz in San Sebastian placed third. In all, the United States had eight eateries in the top 50 and Spain had five.

The Chefs' Choice award, voted for by the World's 50 Best chefs, was presented to Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz, which was devastated by a fire two years ago. Spanish winners also included Arzak at no. 8, whose joint Head Chef Elena Arzak was awarded the Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef award.   Continued...

Rene Redzepi, head chef at Noma restaurant in Copenhagen in Denmark, attends The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards at the Guildhall in London April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris