If 2016 was difficult, it obviously had nothing on these inspiring chefs who aced this year with more culinary awards tucked under their belts. Here, we look back at the achievements that Massimo Bottura, Rene Redzepi, Dominique Crenn, Jose Andres and Gaggan took home this year. And if you haven’t already, add their restaurants to your to-do list.
In Europe: Massimo Bottura
The title of “Best Restaurant in the World” has moved from Spain (El Cellar de Can Roca) to Italy. The internationally-renowned chef Massimo Bottura was awarded the title by Restaurant magazine which drew up a list of the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants”. “La Liste”, the French list of the best restaurants in the world based on aggregated guide recommendations, named Osteria Francescana the best restaurant in Italy back in December 2015. Bottura also attracted a lot of media attention during the Rio Olympics, when he turned leftovers from the Olympic village into balanced meals.
In Europe: René Redzepi
Year after year, the man behind Copenhagen’s Noma remains one of the world’s top chefs. In addition to the pop-up restaurants which have become his trademark, transporting Noma to Australia in 2016 and to Mexico City in 2017, René Redzepi opened a more casual restaurant in the Danish capital, to make his cuisine more accessible. It was recently been announced that Noma is set to relocate to an urban farm in 2017, in an attempt to bring food from the farm directly to the restaurant table.
In the US: Dominique Crenn
The first female chef in the US to have been awarded two Michelin stars was named “The World’s Best Female Chef” by Restaurant magazine. The Brittany native, who is the chef at San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn, attracted a lot of attention by taking part in the second season of the Netflix series “Chef’s Table”. Her latest plan is to open a wine bar in 2017.
In the US: José Andrés
The Spanish chef, who is particularly well known in the US, was awarded two stars in the very first Michelin Guide for Washington. The former Ferran Adria disciple was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2012. Andrés does not shy away from the political arena and he sees the culinary world as a driver for economic growth. He has also been in the news in recent months due to a battle with Donald Trump following the latter’s remarks about immigration during his presidential campaign. The chef withdrew from a luxury hotel project in Washington, headed by Trump, where he was to open a restaurant.
In Asia: Gaggan
Gaggan Anand has become the most sought-after chef in Thailand. The Calcutta native, owner of progressive Indian restaurant Gaggan, learnt his modern cuisine technique from Ferran Adria in Spain, and proved his skills by winning the top spot in “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” list. Just a few days later, he announced that he intends to close his restaurant in 2020 and may be relocating to Japan.