For the first time in the history of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings, an Italian restaurant was awarded first place.
Chef-owner Massimo Bottura of the winning Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, is known for his modern preparations of traditional Italian ingredients, such as his signature Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano dish, crafting the cheese aged for different lengths of time into unique textures. “The chef’s ambitious creations perfectly balance the demands of honoring heritage while embracing modernity,” stated a press release by the London-based World’s 50 Best Restaurants organization.
Top chefs from around the world convened at the Cipriani Wall Street in downtown Manhattan on June 13 for an award ceremony that announced the top 50 list and other special award winners. As the announcements approached No. 1, the air filled with anticipation.
Acclaimed French chef Alain Passard (Arpège, No. 19 this year) took home the Lifetime Achievement award, while French patissier Pierre Hermé won World’s Best Pastry Chef. Chef Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn and Petit Crenn) was crowned the World’s Best Female Chef.
The list represented 23 countries from six continents. Six restaurants from the United States made the top 50 list, including an inaugural Art of Hospitality award that went to Eleven Madison Park by restaurateur Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm. The restaurant also took the No. 3 spot.
Two new U.S. entries made it into the top 50 for the first time: Saison in San Francisco (No. 27) and Estela in New York City (No. 44).
Italy was also well-represented on the list, with four Italian restaurants. Five from South America and six restaurants from Asia also made the list.
At a press conference after the ceremony, chef Bottura spoke of the incredible sense of responsibility and conscientiousness that comes with winning the title of No. 1. Back in summer of 2015, Bottura opened a soup kitchen in Milan, cooking meals for the city’s poor out of surplus food that got thrown out during the Milan Expo. He now has plans to expand his soup kitchen to Rio de Janeiro and other cities.
He hopes his restaurant can inspire more chefs to tackle food waste. “Osteria Francescana is a laboratory of ideas. We create edible emotions, and we are an example for the others,” he said.
Here is the full list of winners:
50. Septime, Paris, France
49. Quique Dacosta, Dénia, Spain
48. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York, USA
47. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
46. Combal Zero, Rivoli, Italy
45. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, U.K.
44. Estela, New York, USA
43. Biko, Mexico City, Mexico
42. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China
41. Faviken, Jarpen, Sweden
40. Relae, Copenhagen, Denmark
39. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
38. De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands
37. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
36. BORAGó, Santiago, Chile
35. Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
34. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, Germany
33. Attica, Melbourne, Australia
32. Restaurant ANDRE, Singapore
31. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
30. Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru
29. Tickets, Barcelona, Spain
28. Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark
27. Saison, San Francisco, USA
26. The Clove Club, London, U.K.
25. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
24. Le Bernardin, New York, USA
23. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
22. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
21. Arzak, San Sebastián, Spain
20. Amber, Hong Kong, China
19. Arpège, Paris, France
18. White Rabbit, Moscow, Russia
17. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
16. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
15. Alinea, Chicago, USA
14. The Ledbury, London, U.K.
13. Maido, Lima, Peru
12. Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
11. D.O.M., São Paulo, Brazil
10. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain
9. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
8. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
7. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
6. Mirazur, Menton, France
5. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Central, Lima, Peru
3. Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
1. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy