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2005 Best Restaurants in the World


albiston
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The results for the 2005 Best Restaurant in the World awards organized by British Restaurant Magazine have been announced. The top three places go to Heston Blumenthal and The Fat Duck in Bray, UK; Ferran Adrià and El Bulli in Monitjoi, Spain (chef's choice); and Thomas Keller and The French Laundry in Yountville, USA. An impressive 14 British restaurants in the list... slightly Anglocentric :wink: ?

The complete list can be seen here

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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This years event was held at the Royal Exchange in Threadneedle street, a nice backdrop but the sound quality was so poor (huge cavernous shopping halls don’t make for good acoustics) the audience could understand barely a word that was said from the stage and we took our cue from the pictures displayed on stage as each place was announced.

Did Keller look a little miffed when The Fat Duck was announced as number one? Paul Bocuse certainly did although I’m not sure whether this was because he had been standing on stage for 40 minutes without understanding a word of the proceedings or because he wasn’t keen on the new King of the World’s take on gastronomy. Paul Bocuse picked up the American Express Lifetime achievement award.

Still for others it was worse, Pierre Gagnaire with two in the top 50. Pierre Gagnaire Paris finished a respectable 6th and The Gallery at Sketch finished 18th. Gagnaire, who was in attendance, merely got to look at the stage, not even a few seconds to have his picture taken with Bocuse. Other’s at the event included Tetsuya Wakuda, Albert Adria, Fergus Henderson, Tom Aiken, Angela Hartnett, Mark Askew, Michel Roux Jnr. From afar I swear blind I saw Shaun Hill but couldn’t find him to have a chat. Jay Rayner was professional as ever – ever heard of a journalist without a pen? At least he gave it back after he had finished with it.

I’m not going to debate the awards, there are plenty of others who will take delight in trashing them. I personally enjoy them, sure the list is flawed but don’t forget that the votes are for peoples “favourite restaurant” not “the best food”. Any awards ceremony that can get this many top chefs to attend should be applauded, maybe next year they can have a sound test before the event begins.

Heston collects his award (pictured with Paul Bocuse to his left and some bloke from Penfolds to his right.)

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The awards in full (subcategory in brackets)

1) The Fat Duck (Best Restaurant in the World, Best Retaurant in Europe)

2) El Bulli (Chefs Choice)

3) The French Laundry (Best in Americas)

4) Tetsuya’s (Best in Australia)

5) Gordon Ramsay

6) Pierre Gagnaire

7) Per Se (Highest New Entry)

8) Tom Aikens

9) Jean Georges

10) St. John

11) Michel Bras

12) Le Louis XV

13) Chez Panisse (Highest Climber)

14) Charlie Trotter

15) Gramercy Tavern

16) Guy Savoy

17) Restaurant Alain Ducasse

18) The Gallery at Sketch

19) The Waterside Inn

20) Nobu

21) Restaurante Arzak

22) El Raco de Can Fabes

23) Checcino dal 1887

24) Le Meurice

25) L’Hotel de ville

26) L’Arpege

27) Angela Hartnett at the Connaught

28) Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons

29) Le Cinq

30) Hakkasan

31) Cal Pep (Outstanding Value)

32) Masa

33) Flower Drum

34) WD50

35) Le Quartier Francais (Best in Middle East and Africa)

36) Spice Market

37) Auberge de I’ll

38) Manresa

39) Restaurant Dieter Muller

40) Le Maison Troisgros

41) The Wolsely

42) Rockpool

43) Yauatcha

44) The Ivy

45) Gambero Rosso

46) The Cliff

47) Le Gavroche

48) Enoteca Pinchiorri (Editor’s Choice)

49) Felix (Best in Asia)

50) La Taupina

Edited by Andy Lynes (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Matt,

Thanks for the report. Do you know who actually invited to vote this time round? I don't mean individually (!), rather what categories- restauranters, those within the industry, slightly overweight but discerning foodies like myself :raz:, or even the sage like Gary Marshall?

Edited by Bapi (log)
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Matt,

Thanks for the report. Do you know who actually invited to vote this time round?  I don't mean individually (!), rather what categories- restauranters, those within the industry, slightly overweight but discerning foodies like myself :raz:, or even the sage like Gary Marshall?

Acoording to the blurb "The list is compiled of votes from over 500 international industry experts polled by the magazine team"

This weeks magazine lists a few of the judges. They include, Fay Maschler, Jay Rayner, Alain Roux, Michel Roux and Andy Lynes.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Mmm, now that's what I thought. I ask as I was received an e-mail from the Magazine asking me to vote this year. Naturally, I am not going to make disparaging comments about my own ability to make reasoned choices about those to be included on the list. Indeed, three of my choices are on the list; although another one very sadly no longer exists.

I was just wondering why.

Thanks and glad you enjoyed the evening.

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Matt,

You are quite right Sir- I have just re-read the e-mail they sent to me. I mean come on - if they invited Gary to contribute last year! (I am jesting) :biggrin:

I know such lists are wholly subjective, but they are also a bit of fun. Granted Heston Blumenthal has his detractors both here and elsewhere - but I have thoroughly enjoyed every meal I have eaten at the Fat Duck. I also found him to be a thoroughly decent, self effacing chap- who just wanted people to understand and challenge their preconceptions about food. Anyone who polarises opinion in such away - is I think, a breath of fresh air for the industry as a whole.

Good luck to him.

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What an utterly bizarre list. What's happened to France?

L'Ambroisie not included, but the dreadful Gallery at Sketch, yes?

I did a Lexis-Nexis search on this story, and notably there was not a single report in any language except English. I think we're talking parallel universes here.

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What an utterly bizarre list. What's happened to France?

L'Ambroisie not included, but the dreadful Gallery at Sketch, yes?

I did a Lexis-Nexis search on this story, and notably there was not a single report in any language except English. I think we're talking parallel universes here.

so true. how many times have i spoken with british restaurant critics/foodies and had them rant and rave against restaurants in france, esp paris (not always of course, but i'm no longer surprised any longer when it happens). its happened many times. so no wonder the list is brit-centric.

but the interesting thing is that france and esp paris has had a tradition of culinary excellence for a long time. now maybe they are not the cutting edge any more, maybe we have taken for granted exactly how much they have contributed to dining excellence, maybe dining is just so ethnically focused that we have a hard time accepting other peoples cuisines.

i think that parallel universe is an excellent description, Dirk.

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Ten of the top fifty are from France and a total of thirty six are from places other than the UK.

Is there nobody from Japan, or that is familiar with Japanese dining on the voting panel dining? There must be a restaurant worthy of inclusion in a top 50 listing from that country.

Three of my five picks made the top fifty and I'm particularly pleased to see that the highest climber is Chez Panisse, making a challenge to the very male I-can-serve-more-courses-than-you-look-at-the crockery-on-that top 10 (Fergus being the honourable exception.)

A prediction - this list will look very different in five years time.

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Yes I turned up to drink all that free booze. It was an enjoyable evening I too found it difficult to hear anything on the PA system and it was an extra delight not to be personally in the running for anything - takes any pressure or embarrassment away.

I don't think you should take these things too seriously. Yhey're meant to be fun or at most thought provoking

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They did get the Australian restaurants in the correct order.

But definitely not the Italian ones :smile: . Cecchino dal 1887, a place serving good Roman fare, preceding Pinchiorri and Gambero Rosso, constantly judged as two of the best establishments in Italy by every Italian guide and journalist, by over 20 places is already causing some discussion on Italian web sites dedicated to gastronomy. I think quite a lot of people will be shaking their heads in Italy now.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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. . .  I think we're talking parallel universes here.

Well put. I think the whole thing is rather cockeyed. We're talking about a rather small group (500 people) that's decidedly UK centric (or so it appears from their own press) and their personal subjective choices of favorite restaurant. My personal list of favorite restaurants might not coincide with my list of best restaurants. They really should elect the jurors. Tens of thousands of people could vote for their favorite diners. There's one magazine story right there. Then of course these favorite diners can name their favorite restaurants. Now we have two issues covered. No more content, but even more "fun." What's really disappointing is that the stew or pudding is far less interesting than the sum of the ingredients. It might be interesting to learn of each individual's top choices. Indeed, any single list might be far more interesting, revealing enlightening, etc. than the final muddle.

At a quick count, it appears I've eaten in about fourteen of those restaurants, but not necessarily recently. Even so, I can categorically state, objectively and without prejudice, that they appear in the wrong order on this list. Indeed, I'm surprised that they are all on the list, though not as surprised as I am of those I know which are not on the list.

In addition to the heavy weight shown towards the UK, there's more than a little self propagation involved. Most people get to eat in the restaurants that get the most press. Popular restaurants are rarely the best, even at select levels.

I'm sure I've said this before somewhere. The List is a list of peoples FAVOURITE restaurants, not a list of restaurants with the best food. Keep that in mind.

Yet, these are the results for the 2005 Best Restaurant in the World awards organized by British Restaurant Magazine.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I'm sure I've said this before somewhere. The List is a list of peoples FAVOURITE restaurants, not a list of restaurants with the best food. Keep that in mind.

Yes, but then it's not called 'Favourite Restaurants of the World".

I realize, as has been pointed out, that these kind of things are "a bit of fun", but even so they must mean something to somebody in order to attract some of the big names present last night. Surely, Shaun, 'free wine' wasn't the only reason you were there?

My own take on this list is that while it includes some very good places to eat, their order and the many anomalies (the Gallery at Sketch :blink::shock: ) render it useless. I'm sure eGullet, with its international membership profile could do much better job of coming up with a realistic and far more meaningful list.

Should I start a thread on it?

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. . .  I think we're talking parallel universes here.

I'm sure I've said this before somewhere. The List is a list of peoples FAVOURITE restaurants, not a list of restaurants with the best food. Keep that in mind.

Yet, these are the results for the 2005 Best Restaurant in the World awards organized by British Restaurant Magazine.

you're right it is a parallel universe

that must be the only explanation for HAVING EXACTLY THE SAME DEBATE AS LAST YEAR AAARGGHHHH! :raz:

sorry, feel better now.

cheers

gary

you don't win friends with salad

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A prediction - this list will look very different in five years time.

Now that is interesting. Why should that be ?

- Will our fundamental biological response to food change in this timescale ?

- Will all the wine we've bought now go off ?

- Will our expectations in terms of atmoshpere and conviviality change ?

- Will we prefer school-dinner standard service ?

- Will all these chefs retire or stop being good chefs ?

Or are you saying that a fickle public, for reasons of intellectual novelty rather than essential enjoyment, will convince itself that the next new trend is what is really the best, whilst at the same time throwing out those of the current lot who bring more trend than substance ?

I think the interesting part will be to look at what is the same in five years time and ask what it is that they are doing which brings continuity. Dogma '95 is intellectually fascinating but stick me on a desert island and I'll ask for 'Casablanca' every time...

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I'm sure I've said this before somewhere. The List is a list of peoples FAVOURITE restaurants, not a list of restaurants with the best food. Keep that in mind.

Yes, but then it's not called 'Favourite Restaurants of the World".

I realize, as has been pointed out, that these kind of things are "a bit of fun", but even so they must mean something to somebody in order to attract some of the big names present last night. Surely, Shaun, 'free wine' wasn't the only reason you were there?

My own take on this list is that while it includes some very good places to eat, their order and the many anomalies (the Gallery at Sketch :blink::shock: ) render it useless. I'm sure eGullet, with its international membership profile could do much better job of coming up with a realistic and far more meaningful list.

Should I start a thread on it?

Dirk, you are such a breath of fresh air! sensibility and clear thinking.

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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