Restaurant magazine's annual World's 50 Best Restaurants rankings have been announced and René Redzepi's Noma, in Copenhagen, Denmark, now sits atop the list as the world's best restaurant. (To see what the top ten restaurants from the rankings are, plus photos, go here, and to see photos of Alinea's food, the new top restaurant in the U.S., go here.)
From Restaurant magazine's rankings on René Redzepi and Noma:
For those in the know, Rene's colossal achievement of moving up seven places inside the top 10 is no surprise. But just look at the legends he has leapfrogged and you cannot help but think something truly significant is taking place at Rene's Copenhagen restaurant.
Noma is a homage to soil and sea, a reminder of the source of our food. Take his starter of crunchy baby carrots from the fertile Lammefjorden region of Denmark, served with edible "soil" made from malt, hazelnuts and beer, with a cream herb emulsion beneath - you are literally eating the earth!
Great restaurants are a blend of sophisticated cooking, imaginative ideas and respect for ingredients. Noma is more than this. It's a experience that reminds you why some restaurants deserve to be revered, and why we created this list.
Is that the right result? Allowing for the fact that I think the rankings are far less interesting than the list itself, I would say, yes. Redzepi, the 32-year-old chef at Noma, pursues a regional, seasonal agenda that is right on the cutting edge: if it isn't available in the Nordic region, he won't cook with it. The result is a very idiosyncratic style of food that speaks to concerns about the way a global food culture turns our eating experiences a uniform beige.
But it goes much further than the agenda: Redzepi is a gifted cook with an extraordinary palate who does amazing things with wild herbs and flowers, bitter green leaves and the freshest local seafood.
To see what René Redzepi is doing at Noma, these are photos of some dishes served at the restaurant recently from Flickr user tomislavmedak:
All photos from Flickr user tomislavmedak, except Slide #1, from the Associated Press.