Spain on Top In Poll of World’s Top Restaurants, U.S. Ascending, France in the Toilet

Elbulliby Andrew Chalk

The World’s Best Restaurant Awards (sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna) has just released their results for 2012 and the results make depressing reading for those who accredited Spain’s long dominance to a personality cult around Ferran Adria. He has moved on to new projects but another Spanish restaurant has replaced El Bulli at number one in the world rankings: El Celler de Can Roca in Girona. The theme is ’emotional food’, twists on Catalonian favorites that trigger certain memories. Noma, the Copenhagen centre of foraging, is bumped to number two.

If your one of the many Crave readers picking up your Maserati from the factory this summer you will be delighted to know that Osteria Fransescana in Modena came third.        

Spain came in at number four as well, with Mugaritz in San Sebastian (Dallas so desperately needs a Basque restaurant).

Perhaps the most impressive placing was at number five: Eleven Madison Park in NYC, and the top-placed U.S. restaurant – ever. It has risen steadily up the rankings over the the past half decade. How? I’ll leave the explanation to that to a Dallasite who actually worked there. Jennifer Jaco, currently at high-end boutique wine distributor Henderson Selections, explained:

“I started at EMP as a Sommelier 3 months before Frank Bruni awarded the restaurant 4 stars from the New York Times.  Soon after they were awarded 1 then 3 Michelin Stars and made the Pellegrino list at #49 for the first time. Now, not even 5 years later, they are number 5 and the #1 restaurant in America! Working under Master Sommelier John Ragan was the most rewarding and educational experience of my career.  The cuisine and hospitality culture instilled by Chef Humm and Will Guidara is an experience that only the luckiest culinary professionals are able to find.  ‘Constant gentle pressure’ is a standard coined by Danny Meyer that put this restaurant on the map.  It is a lesson everyone in the hospitality industry should understand and respect. It underscores the need for constant self improvement.  I wouldn’t give up a second of my time with the EMP family and I know this is only another step in their pursuit of undying love for  genuine hospitality.  Made it nice! ”


Per Se, Thomas Keller’s NYC restaurant, came in at 11th. Grant Achatz’s temple to molecular gastronomy, Alinea, came in at 15th.

All beat France, whose highest entry was L’Arpège at 16th. Interestingly, the ascendancy of South America was another trend. Brazil and Peru both had entrants ahead of France.

Check out the full list at the link above.

1 Comment

Filed under chefs

One response to “Spain on Top In Poll of World’s Top Restaurants, U.S. Ascending, France in the Toilet

  1. Pingback: Chef To Chef: Andre Natera Talks With Komali Exec Chef Juluio Peraza | cravedfw

Leave a Reply