DINING

Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca is named the best restaurant in the world

Hong Kong's Amber keeps place among world's top 50 restaurants, with Shanghai's Ultraviolet a new entrant at 24th

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 June, 2015, 8:57am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 June, 2015, 11:10am

Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca has been crowned the world’s best restaurant, winning praise for the “collective genius” of the three brothers who run it.

It was the second time the Girona eatery has topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards in London, after taking the number one spot in 2013.

Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca each have their own speciality: the first is head chef, the second creates the desserts, while the third sibling is in charge of the wine.

The awards, run by trade magazine Restaurant, lauded the brothers’ combined talents as a “holy trinity”.

“Curiosity and creativity propel the Rocas back to the top,” read a statement on the awards website on Monday.

“This is a restaurant that has never forgotten its humble roots, its sense of familial warmth, or the need to serve remarkably delicious dishes and outstanding wines.”

Josep Roca said the award made the trio feel “happy, loved”.

“This recognition means that a lot of people trust in us and our commitment to our values and what gastronomy represents,” Josep said.

The restaurant knocked Danish four-time winner Noma down to third place, with Italy’s Osteria Francescana taking the second spot.

The top 10 was rounded out by restaurants in Peru, the United States, Spain, Britain, Japan, Brazil and Thailand. Spanish-speaking chefs came out as the top winners, with a total of 15 restaurants from Spain, Peru, Chile and Mexico making the list - four more than last year.

The top-placed Hong Kong restaurant and the only one to crack the top 50 was Richard Ekkebus’ Amber at the Landmark Mandarin in Central. The restaurant was hailed for “dishes that marry classical French technique with Pacific seafood and the finest meats from around the world”. It was ranked 38th, down 14 places from last year's list.

Dutch-born Ekkebus himself was praised for his “charm and personality”.

The leading restaurant in Asia was Narisawa in Tokyo, at No 8. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shanghai was a new entry on the 50 Best list, coming in at number 24. 

El Celler uses ingredients typical of its native region of Catalonia, and is famed for its 14-course “culinary experience” paired with wines and sherries from the Iberian peninsula.

Joan Roca said he hoped the award would help the local cuisine would gain “visibility... especially the excellence in our particular area where we operate”.

The awards, which have run since 2002, use a jury made up of 972 “independent experts” including food writers, chefs, restaurant owners and gourmets in 27 regions.

Jury members choose their seven favourite restaurants where they have eaten in the past 18 months.

The award has been claimed five times by Ferran Adria’s El Bulli in Spain, which has since closed, and four times by Rene Redzepi’s Noma, housed in a former warehouse in Copenhagen.

The awards also have regional editions, with a 50 Best for Asia and one for Latin America.

For the full list of winners see theworlds50best.com