'The World’s Best Restaurant 2017' Is Eleven Madison Park
The 15th annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list — considered by many to be the most prestigious international accolades in the food world, but also no stranger to controversy — was announced in Melbourne on Wednesday evening, Australian time. The top honors went to New York City's elegant Eleven Madison Park, helmed by chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara. "Affirmation is a beautiful thing," said Guidara. (The Daily Meal ranked the restaurant no. 4 in our recently published 101 Best Restaurants in America; our first-place winner in the U.S. was Alinea, which holds the no. 21 place on the new 50 Best roster.)
Last year's first-place winner, Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, dropped to second place, while Spain's acclaimed El Celler de Can Roca, a former number-one, was ranked third. Noma in Copenhagen, which took fifth place in 2016, is absent from the list, as it has closed for relocation.
Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck and two gastropubs in Bray-on-Thames and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London) was awarded the 2017 Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award and Ana Roš (Hiša Franko in Kobarid, Slovenia) was named the World’s Best Female Chef 2017, a designation that many believe should not exist. In addition, Disfrutar in Barcelona, run by the three former tops chefs at elBulli, has been named the recipient of this year’s One to Watch Award.
Three of the top 50 restaurants have female chefs — or, rather, co-chefs: Pia Leon at Central in Lima (no. 5), Elena Arzak at Arzak in San Sebastián (no. 30), and Daniela Soto-Innes at Cosme in New York City (no. 40). Cosme's chef-proprietor makes another appearance on the list: his flagship Mexico City restaurant, Pujol, came in at no. 20.
The highest climber on this year's list were Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocatino Hills, New York, which leaped from no. 48 last year to no. 11 this year, and the highest-placed new entry was Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris, which made its debut at no. 31.
Traditionally, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants award ceremony, sponsored by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, has been held in London, but last year the winners were announced in New York City, and the award ceremony will be held in a different up-and-coming food destination every year going forward. Melbourne is the home of a branch of Blumenthal’s Dinner, and was also the site of a pop-up version of the British chef’s acclaimed Fat Duck in 2015, and has become increasingly known as a major food city.
The city's own Attica, under chef Ben Shewry, took 32nd place; Brae in Birregurra, about 80 miles southwest of Melbourne, came in 44th; and two other restaurants with Australian-born chefs now working in other countries also made the cut —The Ledbury in London (no. 27), helmed by Brett Graham, and David Thompson's Nahm in Bangkok (no. 28).
As it is every year, the ranking was heavily Eurocentric, with some 27 establishments on the Continent and in the U.K. making the cut. Eight Latin American restaurants were included, as well as seven from Asia, six from the U.S., and the aforementioned two Australians.