Osteria Francescana snagged the top spot of World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 awards, making it the first Italian establishment to win the prestigious accolade.
Helmed by chef Massimo Bottura, the restaurant in Modena previously came in second last year, and third in 2013 and 2014. “I want to thank everyone because it’s been so hard, our job is all about art work,” said an ecstatic Bottura. “It’s all about our work, in the kitchen every day to work and succeed.” Bottura’s experimental twists on traditional ingredients and his “Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano” earned the judges’ accolades. His “deliciously executed classics” such as the tagliatelle with hand-chopped ragu and risotto cooked in veal jus. The three-Michelin-star chef beat last year’s winner and hot favourite El Celler de Can Roca, who came in second, while New York’s Eleven Madison Park took the third place.
The list also saw restaurants of 23 countries across six continents – six each from Asia and United States and seven from Spain, including three that made the top 10 list. The French also clinched several individual top honors, including Alain Passard of Arpege for a Lifetime Achievement Award, Dominique Crenn for the Best Female Chef and Pierre Herme for the Best Pastry Chef.
The awards began in 2002 and has become the ultimate guide for foodies internationally. Its jury – consisting of 972 experts, including food journalists, chefs, restaurant owners and gourmets – make their choices based on where they have eaten the past 18 months. There has, however, been criticisms on the impartiality of the system because the jury is not required to provide physical proof of visiting the restaurant. William Reed, the British media company who runs the contest have responded by claiming that consultancy firm Deloitte oversees voting, to ensure the “integrity and authenticity” of the process.
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