This is it. The pinnacle and epicenter of global gastronomy, the guiding star for gastronomes the world over. The prestigious and highly coveted Worlds 50 best restaurant awards is the definitive “list maker” of the greatest restaurants and it is also the “tastemaker” for the world.This is also the worlds largest and most powerful gathering of superstar chefs. I write from the scene of action, from the bustling, cacophonic New York city. In the historic, high-ceilinged Cipriani in Wall street, the awards are announced.. Featuring restaurants from 23 countries spread across six continents, the list provides an annual snapshot of the greatest gastronomic experiences across the globe. As chairperson of the Indian subcontinent, I have been attending these annual award ceremonies for over a decade. This year, the awards got even more magnificent, they were hosted in New York for the first time as 50 Best begins a global tour of gastronomic destinations. Here are some quick snapshots…
THE WORLDS BEST RESTAURANT
On being crowned worlds best, the tall, bespectacled passionate, inspired, philosopher genius Massimo Bottura received a standing ovation. Evocative, provocative and memorable! That was my 5 hour, 15 course mindblowing meal at his 50 seater restaurant which sits in a nondescript quiet back street of Modena, Italy. From the world-famous theatrical dessert called ‘Oops! A broken lemon tart’ to the “beautiful spin painted beet” to the “lentil better than beluga caviar” flavors explode and textures are balanced.. Renowned for challenging the traditions of cuisine, using parody and ironic interpretations of food, Bottura keeps evolving Italian food.
INDIANS MAKE THE CUT
In this rarefied gastronomic galaxy of superstars our very own Kolkatta boy Gaggan Anand (who is crowned Asias best) was given the 23 rd place. I am still not able to decide whether this pony tailed Gaggan is a mad scientist? A culinary rockstar? An impresario? Creative artist? Gaggan effortlessly reconciles contradictions.
He makes art and science copulate in his kitchen teases our mind caresses our intellect.
Our very own Delhi based Rohit and Rishabh Khattar and Manish Mehrotra’s “Indian Accent”, crowned best restaurant of India, 9th best in Asia was placed 72nd The brilliant and gifted Manish’s progressive Indian cuisine is inventive, adventurous and highly individual, yet respectful of India’s culinary legacy. The recently set up Indian Accent in New York, has been receiving rave reviews.
Eye-opening and riveting talks organized by The Worlds 50 Best, are an invaluable catalyst for all that is pioneering and path breaking in the gastronomic world. Brilliant French chef Yannick Alleno presented his fascinating talk on Cuisine Moderne, as well as fermentation and extraction. Chef Mingoo of Mingles in Korea and Andre Chiang of Singapore gave their take on fermentation as a cutting edge culinary tool. And blew our minds with all the path breaking culinary work.
THE DRIVING FORCES…
Powering this gigantic and magnificent global operation is an amazing dream team. Hailing from different parts of the world, each one is dynamic, creative, efficient and empathetic. Helmed by Charles Reed, Tim Brooke Webb, Helene Pietrini William Drew and Tiago Restani together with Laura Price, Maria Olite Stephanie Danvers, Vasu Read, Rikki Mudie and Emer Schlosser who keep the Worlds 50 best continuing be the Best of the best.