Italy’s Osteria Francescana Is Named the World’s Best Restaurant for 2016

Staff Writer
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants were just announced, and among the big winners are Osteria Francescana and El Celler de Can Roca
Osteria Francescana overtakes its competitors to win the top honors.

Osteria Francescana

Osteria Francescana overtakes its competitors to win the top honors. 

Being named one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants is one of the more coveted culinary honors; the annual awards are known in some circles as the international Oscars of the gastronomic world. Last year, Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca knocked René Redzepi’s acclaimed Noma in Copenhagen out of the top spot. This year the world’s best restaurant has been declared Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, with executive chef Massimo Bottura at the helm. El Celler de Can Roca took second, and the third place spot went to New York’s own Eleven Madison Park with executive chef Daniel Humm, which also took home the Hospitality award and was the number one restaurant in North America.

Other notable winners included legendary French chef Alain Passard, owner of L’Arpège in Paris (which came in at number 19 on this year’s list), who won the lifetime achievement award, and chef Dominique Crenn who won the female chef of the year award for her poetic work at San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn.

This is the first year the awards were held in New York City. Previously, they had been held in London, but they will now embark on a world tour. The awards will be held in Melbourne in 2017, and a different culinary-focused city every year hence.

There were of course, some surprises this year. Both of Thomas Keller’s top restaurants, Per Se and The French Laundry, were knocked off the Top 50 list, coming in at numbers 52 and 85, respectively. Noma sank to number five, after having previously been in the top three (and often number one) since 2009.

Chicago’s Alinea — one of the leaders in ,modernist cuisine -— jumped nine spots to number 15 this year. Newcomers to the top 50 included local New York favorite Estela, which came in at number 44.  The highest climber award went — deservedly — to Maido in Lima, which shot up the ranks from number 44 last year to 13 this year.

Established in 2002 by England's Restaurant Magazine, a trade publication, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, organized by William Reed Business Media and sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, is fairly new to the world of culinary accolades (Michelin stars were first awarded to restaurants nearly a century ago)..

You can find the entire final list on the next page. 

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