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Restaurant Magazine's World's 50 Best '08


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So last night we saw El Bulli win the world's best and Duck come second.

Great restaurants of course, but this is the third year running and it's getting, well it's getting a bit boring actually. I wonder if there isn't some way of shaking the judging arrangements up? Perhaps taking El Bulli and Duck out of the running now and putting them on an eternal golden pedestal apart? It would open up the field for the others a bit.

It's rather like seeing Citizen Kane win the oscar year after year. And Ferran's acceptance speeches don't get any better or shorter. He says he doesn't expect to win, but brings an entire charabanc of friends and colleagues with him each time.

Next year maybe duck will win and bulli come second? Not exactly cliff-hanger stuff is it? I know this isn't supposed to be entertainment, but some surprises wouldn't go amiss.

S

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So last night we saw El Bulli win the world's best and Duck come second.

Great restaurants of course, but this is the third year running and it's getting, well it's getting a bit boring actually. I wonder if there isn't some way of shaking the judging arrangements up? Perhaps taking El Bulli and Duck out of the running now and putting them on an eternal golden pedestal apart? It would open up the field for the others a bit.

Surely they retire having taken the trophy home after winning three years in a row?

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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So last night we saw El Bulli win the world's best and Duck come second.

Great restaurants of course, but this is the third year running and it's getting, well it's getting a bit boring actually. I wonder if there isn't some way of shaking the judging arrangements up? Perhaps taking El Bulli and Duck out of the running now and putting them on an eternal golden pedestal apart? It would open up the field for the others a bit.

Surely they retire having taken the trophy home after winning three years in a row?

Do they?

I'm not sure if that's correct. Anyway if bulli retires, duck gets first place. So plus ca change

S

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People were saying the same (its boring, shouldn't the rules be changed?) about the International Wine Competition in the nineties when Oddbins won the top merchant award for many successive years. The changes that have happened to Oddbins and in the wine market since then made the correction.

Doubtless the same will happen with El Bulli.

Nothing lasts for ever.

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Not one of the world's top 100 restaurants in Japan???

Yeah... right! :rolleyes:

Once again, Bukhara is rated the top restaurant in Asia. I don't think it is even the top restaurant in India and probably not even New Delhi, let alone all of Asia. While it is not bad, I do not understand its stature. Last I knew Japan and China were still considered parts of Asia.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I am intrigued as to the absence of Marc Veyrat on this list - surely he should be ranking near the top, or at least in the top 100?

It is somewhat annoying that Mugaritz was catapulted to the top. Now it will be impossible to get a booking. So much for my trip to Spain.

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The news piece on the survey results is here.

So each member wrote a list of 5 best restaurants and then all the lists from 682 members were summed up to come up with top 100? So, the ones in odd locations (e.g. Oaxen or Marc Veyrat) would get less votes, because less members dined in those restaurants, NOT necessarily because they are worse than others.

Unless you are the famous ones (e.g. El Bulli, Fat Duck - both are Michelin 3-star) or the ones in big cities (e.g. Paris, London, NYC), in which case you would definitely have more visits and hence more votes.

Basically, the Academy forgot to divide by the number of visits. E.g. if there are a total of 100 members visiting El Bulli but it only had 50 votes, then a score of 50%. And say Oaxen, only 20 members visited but it got 19 votes, then a score of 95%. It indicates Oaxen is much better, however, looking at the absolute amount of votes, El Bulli is much better than Oaxen, 50 votes vs 19 votes!

Does anyone know if they divided by the number of visits before doing the ranking? If not, it is simply a mistake unless all their members have visited all 50 restaurants. I am not surprised if most of the members haven’t even been to more than 10 restaurants on that list!

Fine Dining Explorer

www.finediningexplorer.com

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The news piece on the survey results is here.

I am not surprised if most of the members haven’t even been to more than 10 restaurants on that list!

I think it's fair to speculate that no one has eaten at more than 10 of these 100 top places (even in France) and like the Academy Awards there's much buzz/substance or like the Michelin, one person only has a visit every 2-5 years.

Does one trust Newsweek's rating of colleges or (name a city)'s list of "Best Docs"?

The science here is shaky; it's a popularity/reputation poll, no more no less.

Look this is just food, just entertainment, just fun. Except for the poor restaurateurs who count on the ratings.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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So each member wrote a list of 5 best restaurants and then all the lists from 682 members were summed up to come up with top 100?

Basically, the Academy forgot to divide by the number of visits.  E.g. if there are a total of 100 members visiting El Bulli but it only had 50 votes, then a score of 50%.  And say Oaxen, only 20 members visited but it got 19 votes, then a score of 95%.  It indicates Oaxen is much better, however, looking at the absolute amount of votes, El Bulli is much better than Oaxen, 50 votes vs 19 votes!

Hmmm... Good point. From that website, it seems to me that they just ranked the absolute votes without taken into account the number of members visit. So yes, unless the restaurant is already well-known where people would detour to visit, otherwise, it would be a huge disadvantage for restaurants in remote locations because not many members will bother to visit.

They should fix this error for next year. Then it would be a more representative ranking.

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The news piece on the survey results is here.

I am not surprised if most of the members haven’t even been to more than 10 restaurants on that list!

I think it's fair to speculate that no one has eaten at more than 10 of these 100 top places (even in France) and like the Academy Awards there's much buzz/substance or like the Michelin, one person only has a visit every 2-5 years.

Does one trust Newsweek's rating of colleges or (name a city)'s list of "Best Docs"?

The science here is shaky; it's a popularity/reputation poll, no more no less.

Look this is just food, just entertainment, just fun. Except for the poor restaurateurs who count on the ratings.

For what it's worth I've visited 16 of the top 50. And it isn't worth very much.

I agree with the rest of your post. It's a list. 700 or so voters. 3,500 votes. a bunch of restaurants and then the arguments start. Even if you had the most rigorous voting system ever devised by man or beast the list still wouldn't be definitive.

The over-blown, ludicrous self-importance of people whinging here is frankly breath taking.

Get a grip.

Jay

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I suppose that many of you have now seen that the 2008 version of The World's Best Restaurants has been posted. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here is the link:

http://www.theworlds50best.com/2008_list.html

Now needless to say there is much to be debated about this list, both in terms of inclusions and exclusions, as well as overall rank - for sure it is hard to imagine how some of these restaurants can be considered among the best in the world, and equally for sure some restaurants are left off that should be on the list. But given that this is the France forum, I'll take this shot: Having eaten there last week, I am completely mystified how Le Chateaubriand makes the list (ok, 2nd 50), as well as being honored as the breakthrough restaurant of the year. I thought it was, at best, a reasonable neighborhood place; in all honesty, I think I can cook better!

Edited by Frege (log)
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For what it's worth I've visited 16 of the top 50. And it isn't worth very much.

I agree with the rest of your post. It's a list. 700 or so voters. 3,500 votes. a bunch of restaurants and then the arguments start. Even if you had the most rigorous voting system ever devised by man or beast the list still wouldn't be definitive.

The over-blown, ludicrous self-importance of people whinging here is frankly breath taking.

Get a grip.

To accuse other people of 'ludicrous self-importance' for commenting on a list called the 50 best restaurants in the world is an impressive degree of hypocrisy. And then just to cap it you seem to be simultaneously arguing that the purpose is to provoke debate and then complaining about said debate.

Get a grip.

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