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Denmark’s Noma wins world’s best restaurant for second year

LONDON: Danish restaurant Noma in Copenhagen was crowned the world’s best restaurant for the second year in a row in an annual list, beating top eateries in Spain, Italy, Britain, the United States and elsewhere.

The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants, produced by Britain’s Restaurant Magazine, were unveiled in London after voting by a panel of more than 800 chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and food experts who rated Noma’s leadership of a “new guard” of global cuisine.

Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca came second followed by fellow Spanish restaurant Mugaritz, Italy’s Osteria Francescana, Britain’s Fat Duck and Alinea in the U.S.

Noma, located in a converted dockside shipping warehouse, toppled a four-year reign by Spain’s El Bulli restaurant last year at the awards, often referred to as the “Oscars” of the restaurant industry.

Noma’s 33-year-old head chef, Rene Redzepi, serves a new kind of Nordic cuisine such as musk ox and smoked marrow, sea urchin and dill or beef cheek and pear.

“We heartily congratulate Rene Redzepi for the difficult task of maintaining his position as the number one restaurant on our list, which underscores his commitment to redefining Nordic cuisine,” Restaurant magazine editor William Drew said, in the 10th year of the awards.

El Bulli was closed this year and therefore not included on the list, allowing El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz to clamber in behind Noma.

El Celler de Can Roca, run by three brothers, the youngest of whom is just 33, has risen two places up the list this year to number two. Also up two places is Mugaritz, which is named the third best restaurant in the world, having recovered following a devastating fire in 2010.

Voted for by his peers, this year’s winner of the coveted Chef’s Choice award is Massimo Bottura, whose restaurant Osteria Francescana is one of the most talked about in Italy.

Massimo is rapidly gaining an international reputation for his avant-garde cuisine which although unashamedly modern, reflects traditional techniques and always pushes the boundaries of what’s new, said Restaurant Magazine.

The top 10: 1. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain; 3. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain; 4. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy; 5. The Fat Duck, Bray, Britain; 6. Alinea, Chicago, United States; 7. D.O.M., Sao Paolo, Brazil; 8. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain; 9. Le Chateaubriand, Paris France; 10. Per Se, New York, United States. 

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 20, 2011, on page 12.
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