Denmark’s Noma is still world’s best restaurant


Staff from Danish restaurant Noma, including head chef Rene Redzepi (front left) pose for photographs after winning first place at the S.Pellegrino 'World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2012 at the Guildhall in London on April 30, 2012. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT

Denmark’s Noma restaurant has been named the best in the world for a third year running in an international survey that also gave top rankings to establishments in Spain, Brazil andItaly.

The Copenhagen restaurant, serving Nordic specialties in a quayside warehouse, topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list compiled for a 10th year by more than 800 international experts forBritain’s Restaurant magazine.

The Top 10 of Restaurant magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012 (last year’s rank in brackets):

1. Noma — Copenhagen, Denmark (1st)

2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain (2nd)

3. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain (3rd)

4. D.O.M., Sao Paolo, Brazil (7th)

5. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy (4th)

6. Per Se, New York (10th)

7. Alinea, Chicago (6th)

8. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain (8th)

9. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (n/a)

10. Eleven Madison Park, New York (24th)

The magazine called Noma’s chef Rene Redzepi “the standard bearer for the New Nordic movement,” citing his attention to detail and innovative approach.

He also won respect for his use of local and seasonal ingredients foraged from the seashore or the forest.

“We are a temple of deliciousness,” Redzepi told Agence France-Presse after picking up his award.

“We want to create deliciousness and we want to give people three, four or five hours where they come out of reality and become happier,” he added.

Noma seized the top spot in 2010 from Spain’s El Bulli, which has since closed. But Spanish restaurants held onto the second and third spots on the global dining list this year.

El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, run by three brothers and known for its dishes based on perfumes, came in second, while third place — plus the Chefs’ Choice award — went again to Mugaritz inSan Sebastian, despite a devastating fire two years ago.

Brazil’s D.O.M., run by former DJ Alex Atala, made fourth place — up from seventh — after achieving growing popularity with its fresh, confident use of Brazilian ingredients such as acai and the fruit of the pupunha palm.

Britain’s Heston Blumenthal pulled off a double entry, with his new restaurant Dinner going straight in at ninth place while existing venue The Fat Duck came 13th in the awards, presented atLondon’s Guildhall on Monday night.

“Blumenthal’s historically influenced British cooking has proved hugely popular with both the local and international judging panels,” the magazine’s statement said.

The list was dominated by European restaurants, but six Asian venues won places, with Iggy’s at the Hilton in Singapore the highest ranked at 26th.

“The Asian contingent has secured its position on the gastronomic map,” organizers said.

Four South American restaurants made the cut, plus 10 from the United States, where Thomas Keller — whose Per Se in New York came in sixth — won a lifetime achievement award after his venues made the list for all 10 years.

The One to Watch award went to La Grenouillere in northern France, with young chef Alexandre Gauthier credited with bringing a fresh approach to the venue’s nearly 100-year history of cuisine specialising in frogs’ legs.

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  • Iggy_Ramirez

    Price of one meal in this restaurant can feed 1 million destitute children in the Philippines.

  • Ulipur

    ABS-CBN news
    MANILA, Philippines — All eyes are now on the Philippines. But beyond its slick tourism slogan is the “brutal reality” of poverty.

    CNN showed on Tuesday a report on “pagpag,” which it described as a “grim staple for Manila’s poor.”

    The report by Kyung Lah showed Felipa Fabon waiting for trash bags from restaurants. Fabon is seen sorting through the garbage to look for “pagpag” or food scraps, which she said she will later sell or cook.

    The report also showed a 27-year-old mother, Morena Sumanda, who buys the scraps to feed her two children. She later adds vegetables to her broth.

    The report is part of CNN’s week-long special, “Eye on the Philippines,” which coincides with the 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank here in Manila.

    About 4,000 participants, including finance ministers, central bank governors, and representatives from the private sector, academe, media, and civil society are expected to attend the event.


    Many were shocked to see the report, amid the government’s attempt to paint a picture of a growing economy.

    CNN’s own Kristie Lu Stout described it as a “brutal portrait of poverty.”

    Over at Twitter, Filipinos themselves said it was so hard to watch.

    @geoffbits said “Thanks @CNN for featuring this sad reality of ‘pagpag'; this is an eye-opener for the gov’t of the Phils. Hope PH pres. is watching this.”

    @iamHoneyAngel15 said, “Gahg I’m a proud Pinay, but I hate all the corruption that led to 30% of Pinoys below poverty line. Pagpag on CNN tsktsk”

    Others saw the irony of the situation. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, in his Twitter account, said, “Irony: the ‘it’s more fun in the PHL tvc’ prefacing a CNN videos on pagpag and baby factories.”

    @cajupak agreed, saying “Just watched ‘Pagpag’ on CNN, and they say it’s more fun here… So #ironic”

    Based on the data released by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) early this year, the total number of poor Filipinos in 2009 increased by 4.4 percent to 23.1 million in 2009 from 22.2 million in 2006.

    It blamed the rise in poverty incidence to a variety of factors such as the food crisis in 2008 and the global financial crisis in 2009.

    Government addressing issue

    The NSCB said the Aquino government needs to reduce poverty incidence by 2 percentage points every year if it wants to meet the Millennium Development Goal on halving poverty by 2015.

    Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said he has yet to see the report.

    Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, meanwhile, said the government is already addressing the problem.

    “It is an issue we are trying to address. We are conducting supplementary feeding and we are working now on modified conditional cash transfer for street families and street dwellers. We enjoin everyone to work together to help the poor,” she said in a text message.

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