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Noma wins best restaurant award

Noma, the celebrated Danish restaurant, has been named the World’s Best Restaurant for the second year running.

Rene Redzepi: World’s Best winner second year running

Restaurant magazine’s annual listing is now considered by many as more influential than the increasingly creaky Michelin guide.

The 837 judges gave Noma – described by the Guardian as ‘on-trend ingredient-led Nordic’ – top honours last year, and they repeated their seal of approval at this year’s awards, presented last night in London.

Second prize went to Celler de Can Roca, in Girona in northeastern Spain (and a neighbour of El Bulli), one of the many Michelin-garlanded restaurants in this gastronomically highbrow corner of Europe.

El Bulli itself was notable by its absence. The judges apparently decided that as the legendary Pyrenean restaurant is to close in July and become a culinary foundation, it would not be fair to include it.

There are nevertheless three Spanish restaurants in the top ten, and five in the top 50, cementing the country’s reputation as a centre of culinary pioneerism.

More specifically it is San Sebastian that is the epicentre: four of the five Spanish winners are in or just outside the port in the heart of the Basque country, a stone’s throw from the French border.

At No 3 is Mugaritz, whose chef Andoni Aduriz started out at El Bulli; at No 8 is Arzak – owner Juan Mari Arzak also won Lifetime Achievement Award this year; nos 28 and 50 are Martin Berasategui and Asador Etxebarri.

Four UK restaurants are in the top 50: Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck at No 5, and three celebrated London restaurants: the Ledbury in Notting Hill, St John in Farringdon, and Hibiscus in the West End.

The Ledbury was Decanter’s Restaurant of the Year 2010.

Eight French restaurants made it into the top 50, with only one, Le Chateaubriand in Paris, in the top 10.

Anne-Sophie Pic, of Maison Pic in SE France, won the first Veuve Clicquot Best Female Chef Award 2011.

Finally, Scandinavia was namechecked again with the One to Watch Award going to Björn Frantzén and Daniel Lindeberg’s of the two-Michelin-starred Frantzén/Lindeberg in Stockholm.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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