MASSIMO Bottura’s Osteria Francescana has beaten its French and Spanish competition to rise to the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Osteria Francescana has become the first Italian restaurant to reach the top spot on the prestigious list.
Massimo Bottura’s Modena-based restaurant beat out last year’s winner, Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca, and New York’s Eleven Madison Park to win at a chef-studded awards ceremony in New York this week.
Peru’s Central and Denmark’s Noma came in fourth and fifth, while the bête noire of Italian food, French cuisine, appeared at sixth position in the guise of Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur. (Italy might well crow about this as well, given Mirazur is a stone’s throw from the French-Italian border and Colagreco is Argentinian-Italian.)
Spain’s Mugaritz, Japan’s Narisawa, Austria’s Steirereck and Asador Etxebarri, also in Spain, rounded out the top 10.
For the third consecutive year, Ben Shewry’s Attica was the only Australian restaurant to make the list, slipping a single position to 33rd.
It is Shewry’s first appearance on the list as the restaurant’s owner, which he purchased outright last year after working in the kitchen since 2005.
Last week, Dan Hunter’s Brae leapt from 87th to 65th on the group’s second-tier list, while Sydney’s Quay slipped 40 positions to 98th. Sepia, which last year received the group’s “One to Watch” award, disappeared from the list altogether.
Expat Australian chefs fared better. Previously at Sydney’s Marque, Isaac McHale saw London’s The Clove Club, where he is currently head chef, debut at 26th, winning the Highest New Entry award, while Brett Graham’s own London effort, The Ledbury, rose from 20th to 14th. David Thompson’s Bangkok restaurant, Nahm, slipped to 37th from 22nd.
“Italian cuisine is the sum of flavours distilled by centuries of history,” Bottura told David Matthews in an interview that appears in next month’s issue of delicious.
“You cannot change it. You have to evolve it, because the flavour of lasagne is just perfect.”
“Italy needs people like me, who smash things in front of people and open consciousnesses and scream about it.”
Bottura was in Sydney for MAD SYD, a day of talks on the subject of ‘Tomorrow’s Meal’ and the first overseas iteration of the Copenhagen-based food symposium MAD. He used the event to launch Food for Soul, a program that develops contemporary soup kitchens internationally.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is voted on by an international panel of almost 1000 food writers, critics, chefs, restaurateurs and — in the words of the group’s website — “highly regarded ‘gastronomes’”.
It was yesterday announced that next year’s ceremony would be held in Melbourne, marking only the second time it will have been hosted outside of London, with this year’s event in New York the first.
The decision has already ruffled feathers in Sydney — which has historically been home to Australia’s list-worthy restaurants — with one newspaper describing it as a “snub” and another running a comment piece that described the list as an “absolute fraud”.