The city of Copenhagen became the food capital of the world as it dominated the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, held on October 5. Five-time winner Noma claimed the top prize with Geranium placing second. For the second year in a row, The Chairman was Hong Kong’s only restaurant to rank in the top 50, climbing to tenth from 41 last year.
Owner Danny Yip and chef Kwok Keung-tung’s hidden Central venue serving vibrant Cantonese cuisine was also named the Best Restaurant in Asia on this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. However, Julien Royer’s Odette ranked as the highest Asian restaurant on the global list in eighth place.
Tokyo institutions featured heavily on the list, with Den, Narisawa and Florilège each named. German restaurant Sühring in Bangkok came 40th, while the experimental Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shanghai also received a nod. In a separate commendation, Will Goldfarb from Room4Dessert in Ubud, Indonesia picked up World’s Best Pastry Chef.
The three Michelin-starred Noma emerged triumphant yet again after winning three consecutive times from 2010 followed by a future top placing in 2014. Chef and owner Rene Redzepi, who was 25 when Noma opened in 2003, paid tribute to his team’s resilience throughout the pandemic and spoke of the impact of the awards on both the restaurant and Denmark’s food industry throughout the years.
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“Just over a year ago, I thought it was all going to end. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how fragile our dreams can be and how incredibly gruelling and difficult this industry can be. It feels weird to be standing on this stage knowing there are so many people still fighting,” he said.
Announcing that Noma was entering “a different, post-covid cycle,” Redzepi elaborated: “We spent the last year and half dreaming. We are going to go and build it now.” To the awards, he said: “You do not know what you’ve done for our team and our region. Thank you for a wild ride.”