If you don’t already have a reservation at El Celler de Can Roca, it’s probably too late.
The Girona, Spain, eatery won top prize at the prestigious 2015 World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards, held June 1 in London.
El Celler bumped last year’s victor, Copenhagen’s forage-friendly Noma down to third, and pipped Modena, Italy’s, Osteria Francescana into second at the event, seen by some as the Oscars of the fine dining world.
Receiving the award, head chef Joan Roca i Fontane dedicated the prize to those around him.
“This success is also for our family, thanks family for your patience, for our wives, our kids, also our team — the best team in the world,” he said.
Newcomers break into top 10
There were several familiar names in the top 10 — but also a few relative newcomers.
At number four was Lima’s Central, one of several Peruvian venues to place in the top 50, claiming the highest position in the top 50 for a South American outlet.
New York’s swanky Eleven Madison Park took the fifth spot, down one place from 2014.
Murgaritz, in San Sebastian, Spain, held on to sixth.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, the TV chef’s venture at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel, fell two spots to seventh, while Tokyo’s Narisawa made a top 10 debut at eight.
At nine was D.O.M., the Sao Paulo, Brazil, restaurant that made seventh place in 2014.
Tenth place was given to Gaggan, the Bangkok venue recently named Asia’s best restaurant.
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, resulting in enough booking requests to fill its tables for years to come.
The list’s power has also made it the target of criticism, most recently in the shape of a petition launched by Occupy50Best, a “trio of angry foodspotters in France.”
It calls on the event’s corporate sponsors to join a boycott to press organizers into making it more professional.
The petition claims there are “no established criteria” behind the event’s rating system and says it has created a system that allows for self-promotion by chef-judges and largely ignores women.
Among the 360-plus signatories gathered prior to the award ceremony were the names of dozens of chefs, including Joel Robuchon, the Frenchman who commands a string of restaurants, some of which have appeared on the list.
The World’s 50 Best has rejected the criticism.
“We respect their right to express their opinions, even though we obviously don’t agree with them,” William Drew, the organization’s head, said in a statement, the New York Times reported.
In opening the June 1 ceremony, Drew also stressed that the results were compiled from an “independent” voting panel of 1,000 judges, that were subject to adjudication.
This year’s results were preceded by an announcement that 2016’s 50 Best ceremony will, for the first time, not take place in London, but in New York.
The move, organizers said, would make the event “truly global.”
“We want to reflect this not just in the restaurants we celebrate but also in the locations of the events themselves,” Drew said.
“Through the global movement of our events we will continue to unite, discover and celebrate the diverse gastronomic talents and communities across the globe.”