Copenhagen has become the world's culinary capital after two of its restaurants were named the top two on the planet. Noma took the number one place, with city neighbour Geranium being placed at number two in the Top 50 World’s Best Restaurants.
“We have a new restaurant capital,” said British pastry chef Ravneet Gill, who hosted the Oscar-like awards ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium.
Noma has been in and around the world’s best lists for about 10 years, while Geranium is a newer kid on the block. “A little more than a year ago I thought it was all going to end. How would we remain through all of this,” said Noma chef Rene Redzepi, referring to the Covid-19 pandemic, on stage with some of the cooking team.
“For us at Noma we are entering a new cycle. We spent the last 18 months dreaming. We are going to go build it now. To our team, both former and current, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“The only one who truly believes we are the best restaurant is my mother but you are the best team in the galaxy,” he added.
As Covid circled the globe, hospitality and fine food largely took a back seat to lockdowns and emergency shopping. Some restaurants were not able to compete for a place on the list because of local Covid restrictions and some closed their doors for ever.
“Through the pandemic we have lost many chefs across the world. Many restaurants have also closed. We deeply regret their departures but know many of the people behind them will return,” the star-studded audience was told.
Ikoyi, based in St James Park just minutes from Buckingham Palace in London, won the One To Watch award after earning a place in the top 100 for the first time.
The world’s best pastry chef was named as Will Goldfarb, who is working in Indonesia.
The world’s best female chef was named as Pia Leon, who works in Lima, Peru, at Kjolle.
And Victor Arguinzoniz, working in Spain, was given the Chef’s Choice award, the only prize picked by chefs.
The Icon Award was won by Dominque Crenn, of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, who says she sees food as her art and a voice.