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Noma tops list of World’s 50 best restaurants 2021

(CNN) — The gentle clink of glasses, the low hum of conversation, the soft lights, and appetite-whetting scents. All were sadly missed when restaurants Worldwide were forced to shut their doors in 2020 and 2021, with the cold ovens, owners, and workers facing an uncertain future. The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards — an event considered the Oscars of the fine-dining World — was also obliged to take a hiatus last year, but it’s finally back, and the two eateries at the top of the list are both in Copenhagen. The No.1 spot this year goes to what is perhaps the best-known name in gastronomy: Noma.

Noma might well be the most famous restaurant in the World. Danish chef René Redzepi’s three-Michelin star restaurant opened in Copenhagen’s Christianshavn neighborhood in 2003 and took the top slot in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in 2010. A new rule introduced at the 2019 awards rendered previous winners of the full title ineligible for the list. However, Noma could cut as it closed in 2016 and reopened in a new Copenhagen location two years later. This fundamental change in the rules excludes New York’s Eleven Madison Park, The Fat Duck near London, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and the 2019 winner, Mirazur in Menton, France. These restaurants are now entered into a separate “Best of the Best” program, of which Noma is the newest member.


The fight for survival

Taking to the stage at the Flanders Meeting and Convention Center in Antwerp, Belgium, Redzepi recalled the life-changing experience of winning the award 11 years ago: “In the wake of this victory, all dreams were seemingly open. It also gave us a chance to be a part — one part — of a transformation of an entire region’s food culture.” He also reflected on the tough times faced by the industry. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how fragile our dreams can be, how incredibly grueling and difficult this industry can be,” he said. “I want to recognize all the restaurants and industry people who have fought for survival. It feels a little weird to be standing on this stage knowing so many people are still fighting.” Ending on a hopeful note, he told the Noma team, “We spent the last year and a half dreaming of something. We’re going to go build it now.”

Live well in Lima.

Diners who can’t get a table at Noma can always try its Copenhagen neighbor Geranium, in second place, where head chef Rasmus Kofoed serves an adventurous seasonal menu that speaks to his love of sea-foraging. Ingredients on offer include squid, melted smoked lard, and yeast essence. Rasmus Kofoed’s Copenhagen restaurant Geranium placed second on the 2021 list.

Claes Bech Poulsen/Geranium

Elsewhere in Western Europe, Spain’s showing this year was also solid. Larrabetzu’s Asador Etxebarri- where all dishes, even dessert, are flame-grilled- held third place. At the same time, chef Victor Arguinzoniz was voted by his peers as the Chefs’ Choice Award winner. Barcelona’s Disfrutar rose to No. 5, and San Sebastian’s Mugaritz slipped to No.14. At the same time, Madrid’s DiverXO made it to No. 20. The Peruvian capital of Lima had two restaurants in the top 10: chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s Central, which climbed two spots to fourth place, and Maido at No.7, whose deal is Japanese-Peruvian fusion, with a highlight being the lucuma ice cream, topped with soy sauce and mambo foam. Despite Lima’s lauded restaurants and other spots from Mexico City to Singapore making the top 10, no restaurant outside Europe or North America has ever won the World’s 50 Best prizes.

Gemma Broadhurst
I am a writer by profession, and I love to write in my spare time. I am one of the most experienced writer for newspriest. I always make sure that whatever is written on my blog is 100% genuine and true. I am a University of Florida graduate pursuing a Master's degree.

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