New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park, guided by chef Daniel Humm, claimed victory at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the first US restaurant to do so in over a decade.
Meanwhile two Australian restaurants – both Victorian – made the list, announced Wednesday night at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building.
It was only the second time the awards have been held outside of London since their 2002 debut.
Eleven Madison Park, whose 11-course tasting menu will set you back $US295 before drinks, climbed from last year’s third placing to take the coveted prize.
There was great news for Australia as Birregurra hero Brae, only four years old, joined Melbourne’s Attica in the top 50, which climbed one spot to 32. Brae came in at 44, rocketing 21 places from last year’s finish.
And Australian chefs fared well elsewhere – Thai expert David Thompson’s Bangkok restaurant Nahm jumped from 37th to 28th on the list. Newcastle’s Brett Graham, now a long-term Londoner and chef at The Ledbury, placed 27th.
Last year’s winner, Massimo Bottura’s Modena hot spot Osteria Francescana, dropped to second place, pushing the Roca brothers’ celebrated El Celler de Can Roca in Girona down to third.
While many of the players in the top 10 remained the same with minor shuffling, Tokyo restaurant Narisawa plunged from eighth to 18th, making room for Bangkok’s progressive Indian restaurant Gaggan, which soared from 23 to seven.
Looking beyond the top 50, Sydney’s harbour-view Quay, with chef Peter Gilmore in the kitchen, clawed back three positions to 95. That’s after taking a dramatic tumble last year, down to 98 after securing 58th in the 2015 awards.
West Australian chef Dave Pynt also made the top 100 with his Singapore fire and grill-driven restaurant Burnt Ends.
Sydney’s Sepia, whose chef Martin Benn is highly respected by his peers, and which will relocate to Melbourne after 2017, was overlooked again.
Gastronomic adventurer Heston Blumenthal, who brought Dinner by Heston Blumenthal to Melbourne last year, was awarded the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, perhaps taking the edge off the restaurant’s dive from seven to 45 last year. He was further comforted by finishing 36th this year.
After a 10-week stop-over in Sydney last year that booked out in seconds, Rene Redzepi’s Danish champion Noma took a time-out from the list as refurbishments continue in Copenhagen, with a new pop-up open in Tulum, Mexico.
Ana Roš of Slovenia’s Hiša Franko was named the world’s best female chef.
The 1500-strong judging panel is comprised of industry experts including chefs, restaurateurs and critics. They each get seven votes, three of which must be outside their region.
The Top 50 (with last year’s place in parentheses)
1 Eleven Madison Park, New York (3)
2 Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy (1)
3 El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain (2)
4 Mirazur, Menton, France (6)
5 Central, Lima (4)
6 Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain (10)
7 Gaggan, Bangkok (23)
8 Maido, Lima (13)
9 Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain (7)
10 Steirereck, Vienna (9)
11 Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York (48)
12 Arpège, Paris (19)
13 Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris (58)
14 Restaurant André, Singapore (32)
15 Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy (17)
16 D.O.M. São Paulo, Brazil (11)
17 Le Bernardin, New York (24)
18 Narisawa, Tokyo (8)
19 Geranium, Copenhagen (28)
20 Pujol, Mexico City (25)
21 Alinea, Chicago (15)
22 Quintonil, Mexico City (12)
23 White Rabbit, Moscow (18)
24 Amber, Hong Kong (20)
25 Tickets, Barcelona (29)
26 The Clove Club, London (26)
27 The Ledbury, London (14)
28 Nahm, Bangkok (37)
29 Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy (39)
30 Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain (21)
31 Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris (72)
32 Attica, Melbourne (33)
33 Astrid y Gastón, Lima (30)
34 De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands (38)
35 Septime, Paris (50)
36 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (45)
37 Saison, San Francisco (27)
38 Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain (16)
39 Relae, Copenhagen (40)
40 Cosme, New York (96)
41 Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai (42)
42 Boragó, Santiago (36)
43 Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italy (84)
44 Brae, Birregurra, Australia (65)
45 Den, Tokyo (77)
46 L’Astrance, Paris (57)
47 Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany (35)
48 Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin (34)
49 Tegui, Buenos Aires (68)
50 Hof van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Netherlands (53)