World's Best Restaurants: Noma in Denmark Ranks No. 1

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 03:13 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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Denmark's Noma reclaimed the throne this week as the world's best restaurant at the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards by the United Kingdom's Restaurant magazine.

Chef Rene Redzepi's Copenhagen restaurant was ranked No. 1 for the fourth time in Noma's history, after losing the title to Spain's El Celler de Can Roca last year, CNN reported. The San Pellegrino awards are considered the Oscars of the restaurant business. 

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"Redzepi's meticulous attention to detail, innovative approach to foraging and experimentation with fermentation — all driven by passion and a relentless curiosity — has once again brought his restaurant to the pinnacle," the organizers announced.

"It's too f—ing crazy!" Redzepi said in celebration while receiving the award. "Thank you for believing in us. In the last year my staff and I looked into each others' eyes and said 'let's just really really work hard.' We made a plan and said 'let's make this the best year we've ever had.' But to have this is a whole surprise, none of us expected it."

Most of the list was dominated by European venues, but New York's Eleven Madison Park made the Top 10. The last time a U.S.-based restaurant took the top spot was in 2003, when northern California's French Laundry took the prize. Redzepi formerly worked at French Laundry.

The Top 50 list also included Alinea in Chicago, Per Se in New York, and newcomer Coi of San Francisco. Saison in San Francisco also picked up "The One To Watch" award.

Central, located in Lima, Peru, was the biggest mover on the list, jumping from 50th to 15th place from last year to this year. Bangkok's Gaggan was also noted as the list's highest debut, ranking at 17. 

The annual awards were established in 2002 and have quickly gained in influence among chefs and fine dining aficionados worldwide. The event is unaffiliated with the Michelin star rating system.

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