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News: The S.Pellegrino World`s 50 Best Restaurants 2009

Written by 21st April, 2009

The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2009 was announced last night in London.

For those planning on doing some foodie travel (hello poker players who are traveling the global tourney circuit chasing that big score) or curious as to what’s in their own backyards, I’ve typed up the press release (it was sent out as an image attachment, so no cutting and pasting sadly) and included the Top 50 restaurants. Once I get a hold of restaurants 51 to 100, I’ll append those to the list as well.

In terms of the locals, the only Australian restaurants to make the Top 50 were the excellent and very “special occasion” Tetsuya’s in Sydney as well as fellow Sydney-sider Quay (who currently have the Picardy 2007 chardy as one of the wines on their tasting menu). As far as I can tell, neither Rockpool or Vue de Monde made it into the Top 100, but I’ll have to wait for the complete list featuring place-getters 51 to 100 to confirm.

Taking an even more parochial perspective and looking at things from a Perth point of view: these sorts of awards are great in terms of celebrating all the great strides being made in the culinary universe as well as the celebrities who make up this universe’s dress circle, but with the exception of perhaps one percent (or less) of the West Australian population, few of us will get to eat regularly - hell, even scarcely - at these places.

However, there are plenty of excellent restaurants to dine at locally, even if the rest of the country - and thus, it follows the rest of the world - turns a blind eye to what goes on in Western Australia. I’ll admit that when it comes to sheer breadth of excellent dining options, Sydney and Melbourne do have the upper hand on Perth, although I think it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that us Sandgropers are slowly catching up with our east coast brethren.

But in terms of top end places to eat - with the exception of perhaps a couple of the very best including the aforementioned big names in Oz dining - places like Jackson’s, Star Anise and The Loose Box are as good as their Australian counterparts and in some instances, offer a far more accessible - and not to mention affordable - eating excursion than otthers (read: just because a restaurant is “the best”, it might not be everyone’s proverbial cup of tea. Some people would be better off buying a two litre bottle of coke, some OP Bundy and a six-pack of Meat Pies than trying to book a table for six at an exclusive waterfront venue).

And then you’ve got non fine-dining places such as your Musts, the various restaurants in the Lamont’s empire and suburban secrets such as Mosman Park’s Twisted Fork, Fremantle’s Grand Mellie or South Perth’s Shige (in fact, these places are such secrets, they don’t have websites); they might not be dinner jacket and frock-type places, but they do deliver in the gastronomic satisfaction stakes every time.

Like most foodies, I dream about eating at the world’s greatest restaurants, but with such a fascinating smorgasbord of eateries in the Perth metropolitan area that are all deserving of my disposable income, I don’t have to spend too much time in la-la land.

Anyhow, rant over. Press release starts.

/press release starts

Ferran Adria has topped a worldwide poll of 806 chefs, critics and other industry experts for the fourth year in a row, whilst Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck retainis second place. Below these perennial favourites however, it’s all change in the eighth annual listing of the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

2009 sees more new talent making its mark on the list than in previous years. The highest new entry Osteria Francescana swoops in from Italy to settle at 13th position. Other rising stars, all new entries, include Steirereck of Austria (30), New York’s Momofuku Ssam Bar (31), Mirazur in the South of France (35) and Iggy’s in Singapore (45). Perched over Sydney’s magnificent harbour is a newly recognised international star as Quay led by executive chef Peter Gilmore makes its first appearance on the list at 46. The only Australian restaurant to rank between positions 51 and 100 is another waterfront property: the popular Pier restaurant (94), hovering above the Rose Bay Marina.

The growing influence of Japanese chefs on the global restaurant scene has also been recognised by voters in the Nespresso World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. The recipient of a huge swell of critical acclaim, Les Creations de Narisawa in Tokyo has debuted at 20th position on the list and chef Yoshihiro Narisawa picks up the Acqua Panna award for Best Restaurant in Asia.

Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant with youthful head chef Rene Redzepi ranks third, making an exciting addition to the world’s greatest chefs trinity together with Ferran and Heston. The restaurant also received the 2009 Chef’s Choice Award after the head chefs of this year’s top 50 restaurants voted for the restaurant that they considered to be the best in the world.

Last year’s Chef’s Choice winner Mugaritz retains its highest ever position at number 4 while another Spanish restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, rose a staggering 21 places to the fifth place making it 2009’s highest climber.

Thomas Keller’s New York restaurant Per Se came in at 6th while his legendary The French Laundry in the Napa Valley finished at 12. Keller is the only restaurateur this year to have two restaurants placed in the top 50.

Family business, Bras, headed by chef Michel Bras, is the highest placed French restaurant at 7. France’s culinary heritage and mastery continues to draw in a wealth of admires from across the globe as it ties with the USA to score the highest number of restaurants on the list, each country with eight establishments in the top 50.

A young star, who refused to let a life threatening illness stall his progress, continues to rise through the ranks. Grant Achatz of Alinea, who was the highest new entry in 2007, rose 15 places in 2008 and this year rises a further 11 places to join the top 10.

The restaurant tipped to break through into the top 50 in 2010 is Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley. The newly “released” Marcus Wareing has impressed the world with his skill as a restaurateur as well as a chef.

The Acqua Panna Best Continental Awards are bestowed upon the highest ranking restaurant in Europe, Asia, The Middle East and Africa, The Americas and Australasia. This year’s winners were: El Bulli (Europe), Les Creations de Narisawa (Asian), Per Se (North America), Tetsuya’s (Australasia), Le Quartier Francais (The Middle East and Africa) and D.O.M (South America).

The winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement award was French restaurateur Joel Robuchon.

Compassionate food lovers across the globe can secure a reservation at many of the restaurants on the list by bidding on eBay for a meal with all proceeds going to humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger, official charity partner of the 2009 awards. Bidding begins April 21 at

The S.Pellegrino World`s 50 Best Restaurants 2009:

1. El Bulli (Spain)
2. The Fat Duck (UK)
3. Noma (Denmark)
4. Mugaritz (Spain)
5. El Celler de Can Roca (Spain)
6. Per Se (USA)
7. Bras (France)
8. Arzak (Spain)
9. Pierre Gagnaire (France)
10. Alinea (USA)
11. L’Astrance (France)
12. The French Laundry (USA)
13. Osteria Francescana (Italy)
14. St John (UK)
15. Le Bernadin (USA)
16. Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville (Switzerland)
17. Tetsuya’s (Australia)
18. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
19. Jean Georges (USA)
20. Les Creations de Narisawa (Japan)
21. Chez Dominique (Finland)
22. Ristorante Cracco (Italy)
23. Die Schwarzwaldstube (Germany)
24. D.O.M. (Brazil)
25. Vendome (Germany)
26. Hot van Cleve (Belgium)
27. Masa (USA)
28. Gambero Rosso (Italy)
29. Oud Sluis (Netherlands)
30. Steirereck (Austria)
31. Momofuku Ssam Bar (USA)
32. Oaxen Skargardskrog (Sweden)
33. Martin Berastaegui (Spain)
34. Nobu (UK)
35. Mirazur (France)
36. Hakkasan (UK)
37. Le Quartier Francais (South Africa)
38. La Colombe (South Africa)
39. Asador Etxebarri
40. Le Chateaubriand (France)
41. Daniel (USA)
42. Combal Zero (Italy)
43. Le Louis XV (France)
44. Tantris (Germany)
45. Iggy’s (Singapore)
46. Quay (Australia)
47. Les Ambassadeurs (France)
48. Del Pescatore (Italy)
49. Le Calandre (Italy)
50. Mathias Dahlgren (Sweden)

/press release ends

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