April 27, 2010 / 2:12 AM / 10 years ago

Denmark's Noma tops elBulli as world's best restaurant

CANBERRA (Reuters Life!) - Danish restaurant Noma in Copenhagen was crowned the world’s best restaurant in an annual list, toppling famed Spanish restaurant elBulli from the No. 1 slot after four consecutive years.

The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants, produced by Britain’s Restaurant Magazine, were unveiled in London after voting by a panel of 806 chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and food experts who rated innovative gastronomy over haute cuisine.

Noma, headed by 32-year-old chef Rene Redzepi who previously worked at elBulli, serves a new kind of Nordic cuisine such as musk ox and smoked marrow, pike perch and unripe elderberries, and dried scallops and watercress.

The restaurant, located in a converted dockside shipping warehouse, came third last year in the prestigious list which is now in its 9th year.

“Copenhagen is no longer the last stop on the gastronomic subway,” said Britain’s Restaurant Magazine.

“This year’s list is an exciting one that highlights in particular the wealth of young, dynamic chefs bringing new ideas to the world of gastronomy,” added the magazine’s editor Paul Wootton in a statement.

British restaurant The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, run by chef Heston Blumenthal and famed for dishes such as snail porridge and bacon-and-eggs ice-cream, slipped one position to take third place in the 2010 list.

Blumenthal and elBulli chef Ferran Adria have been pioneers of a culinary art form known as molecular gastronomy that uses science to invent new techniques for food, such as using liquid nitrogen, centrifuges and precision scales to create hot jellies, grilled fruit and novelties like melon caviar.

Adria announced in January that he would shut elBulli in the northeastern Catalonian coastal town of Roses for two years in 2012 and 2013 to work on an encyclopedia of the recipes that have made him one of the world’s leading chefs.

But his achievements were recognized by Restaurant Magazine which awarded him with the first ever “Chef of the Decade” award.

Spanish restaurants took four of the top 10 slots in the 2010 list while three U.S. restaurants — chef Grant Achatz’s Chicago based Alinea, Daniel Boulud’s Daniel, and Thomas Keller’s New York eatery Per Se — appeared in the top 10.

Daniel, on Manhattan's Upper East Side, which mixes traditional French techniques with U.S. flair, was the biggest climber in this year's list, up 33 places to No. 8 (here).

Les Creations de Narisawa in Japan was named the best restaurant in Asia, coming No. 24 in the list.

Two Australian restaurants made the top 50 — Sydney’s Quay restaurant winning the 27th slot and Tetsuya’s in Sydney, run by Japanese chef Tetsuya Wakuda, coming 38th.

Mexico City had its first entry into the top 50 list with Biko at No. 46. Other notable new entries included Aqua in the German town of Wolfsburg at No. 34, the Netherland’s De Librije at 37 and Switzerland’s Schloss Schauenstein at No. 30.

Editing by Miral Fahmy

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