It’s that time of year again: one of the most respected “best of” lists takes us around the world for the best culinary experiences on Earth!
This annual list is sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, and gives food lovers a chance to drool over food from virtually every continent on the planet…and without further delay, here is the best restaurant in the world!
NOMA – The Number One Restaurant In The World!
Noma in Copenhagen wins the honor – an award that Chef Rene Redzepi is used to – the restaurant has been acclaimed since it opened nearly twenty years ago!
The Chef believes in “farm to table” dishes: so much so that he is known to forage his own wild mushrooms outside the city for his wildly imaginative dishes!
Chef Redzepi chose the name Noma because it is an abbreviation of the Danish words “nordisk” (Nordic) and “mad” (food).
Since opening in 2003, the restaurant, known for its “new nordic cuisine”, has been named “Best Restaurant In The World five separate times by Restaurant Magazine!
What’s even cooler is what Redzepi did several years ago:
Meet Ali Sonko, the surprising NEW Co-Owner of one of the world’s greatest restaurants!
The Guardian had the inspiring story:
“A dishwasher described as the “heart and soul” of the world-class Danish restaurant Noma has been made a co-owner of the establishment he has worked in for 14 years.”
That’s right, Ali Sonko had been the restaurant’s dishwasher since it opened, and now he’s part owner!
NOMA Chef Rene Redzepi announced the decision in this Facebook post, and celebrated it at a staff party in Copenhagen.
That is so cool! See the entire story and a look at their menu here:
The highest showing for a restaurant I’ve been to is this one – first, chck out one of their dishes:
19 – Narasawa in Tokyo
That creation is just one of the magical dishes from Narasawa – and my wife, son and I ate there a few years ago!
I will be sharing our experience there soon!
Also very high on the list is this legendary Paris restaurant:
23 – Arpege in Paris
Chef Alain Passard stunned the culinary world when he made a dramatic shift in his cooking, going vegetarian!
Yes, Alex and I met the very gregarious Chef when we ate at Passard’s Paris “Ode To Vegetables” at the end of 2015, and he was indeed a master of something people usually do NOT equate with Parisian dining!
Here is what “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” had to say when we ate there:
A legendary chef: One of a handful of cooks who have remained at the top of global fine dining for decades, Alain Passard needs little introduction. He has retained three Michelin stars at Arpège for more than two decades during times of great personal and culinary change, and in 2019 he was the recipient of the Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm, at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in Singapore.
What’s it all about? Vegetables, in short. Passard famously in 2001 announced that Arpège – until then a meat institution – was turning vegetarian, and although meat has since returned to the restaurant in smaller quantities, vegetables still take the main stage. They arrive daily from Passard’s own farms and appear on diners’ plates soon after.
Signature dishes: Despite his ever-changing menu, Passard has managed to amass a number of signature dishes over the years, some so famous that diners book months in advance for the first taste of white asparagus in spring or the arrival of black truffles in autumn. Other signature dishes include the dumplings, stuffed with seasonal vegetables, and the langoustine carpaccio with caviar.
As you’ve seen, he is a master with vegetables – and you can read about our meal there – when we had 10 Michelin stars in 7 days in Paris!
Right behind, and also in Paris, was a restaurant we visited in 2018:
24 – Septime in Paris
Septime is one of a small group of restaurants all located steps from each other – they also own Clamato, a fresh seafood bar – but this restaurant is known for their refined tasting menus featuring creative dishes paired with wines, in a minimalist space.
Back in the US, here’s one of the best dining experiences we’ve ever had:
48 – Atelier Crenn in San Francisco
Alex and I are so happy for this recognition – because the Chef / Owner is an amazing woman!
Chef Dominique Creen was also given an “Icon” award by this same group in 2021: fitting as she is the first Female Chef the US to receive the coveted “3 Michelin Stars” in the Michelin Guide!
We met the Chef in her kitchen when we ate at her incredible restaurant and here’s what we had!
Another one of the great Chefs working today is also on the list:
70 – Alinea in Chicago
That’s Alex pondering our dessert when we ate at this magical restaurant: you see, the dessert is “painted onto the tablecloth in front of your eyes – trust me, this place is filled with culinary magic:
Yes, that’s bacon delivered to our table – Chef Grant Achetz uses all sort of wild molecular tricks to give you an incredible meal:
And yes, he is part of the painting team as well!
I have said before that I think Alinea is the most creative meal I’ve ever had – you can see why here:
Bravo to all of the restaurants who were recognized this year – you can click on the list to see them all here:
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