The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023

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The Word Valencia Is Lit Up In Front Of A Building.
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On the 20th of June, the culinary world came together in the beautiful city of Valencia, to celebrate The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.

The awards ceremony was hosted at the city’s Les Arts Opera House in the all-impressive Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. I was privileged to be at the awards ceremony, in person, myself.  The prestigious awards ceremony honours the pinnacle of gastronomic talent from 24 territories across five continents. This year, the awards saw Lima’s Central named The World’s Best Restaurant, as well as The Best Restaurant in South America 2023. This is the first year that a restaurant outside of Europe or the USA has been crowned number one. Central was followed by Disfrutar (No.2) in Barcelona and Diverxo (No.3) in Madrid.

Lima’s Central is the flagship restaurant of chefs Virgilio Martinez and Pía León. Central is an ode to Peru, with a menu that celebrates the unique biodiversity of the country’s indigenous ingredients – guided by its research arm, Mater Iniciativa – along with its traditions and history, whilst championing sustainability. William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, commented: “It gives me great pleasure to share the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 and celebrate the fantastic achievement of Central as the new No.1. Virgilio Martinez, Pía León and the whole Central team have truly paved the way in celebrating indigenous ingredients through their innovative dishes and warm hospitality. Their commitment to research, respect for their country’s heritage and promotion of Peru’s unique biodiversity is unmatched, and we’re honoured to name Central as The World’s Best Restaurant, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. This year’s list continues to show the breadth of culinary talent across the globe, and we look forward to seeing how it evolves even further in 2024 and beyond.”

South America further strengthens its position in global gastronomy, with the continent boasting nine restaurants overall including two new entries: Pía León’s Kjolle, (No.28) in Lima and El Chato (No.33) in Bogotá. Asia follows with seven restaurants on the list, including Singapore’s Odette named The Best Restaurant in Asia (No.14) along with new entries Le Du (No.15) and Gaggan Anand (No.17) in Bangkok and Sézanne, Tokyo (No.37). Two Dubai restaurants made the list for the very first time, with Trèsind Studio (No.11) named The Best Restaurant in Middle East & Africa, ahead of Orfali Bros Bistro (No.46).

The Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award was presented to Copenhagen’s Alchemist (No.5). An almost mystical dining experience in a remote, industrial corner of the city, an evening here is divided into several ‘acts’ where guests of head chef Rasmus Munk and his team are led through different locations, types of art and storytelling moments, alongside exquisite food born from Munk’s obsessive search for the finest ingredients.

Pía Salazar of Nuema, Quito, was the recipient of The World's Best Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Sosa. Already crowned Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef 2022, the Cuenca-born chef is helping put Ecuador on the culinary map with her experimental creations, turning fruit and vegetables into sweet masterpieces, like coconut with umami-rich yeast and black garlic, or leek and vanilla with cedrón, a herb resembling lemon verbena.

In its second year, the Beronia World's Best Sommelier Award was presented to Miguel Ángel Millán, sommelier of Madrid’s Diverxo. He expertly curates pairings to match chef Dabiz Muñoz’s ever-changing menu and takes the restaurant’s beverage programme to an exceptionally high level, establishing himself as one of the most important sommeliers on the international restaurant scene.

The winner of the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles, was Table by Bruno Verjus (No.10). The self-taught French chef serves simple, seasonal, no-fuss cuisine at this Paris restaurant, which has developed a loyal following among the city’s gourmands and is rapidly becoming an international dining destination.

Atomix (No.8) was awarded the Villa Massa Highest Climber Award and named The Best Restaurant in North America, after the New York favourite climbed 25 places from its position in last year’s ranking. The intimate 14-seat tasting menu restaurant from husband-and-wife team Junghyun ‘JP’ and Ellia Park won the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award as part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 and its progressive and distinctive Korean food has been widely acclaimed.

Julien Royer of Odette (No.14) in Singapore won the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award. Voted for the world’s leading chefs, this special prize was awarded to a chef who has had a significant positive influence on the culinary community. Royer’s restaurant, Odette, in the city’s National Gallery, was also named The Best Restaurant in Asia 2023.

The Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award was this year bestowed on Cape Town’s Fyn (No.75), where founding chef Peter Tempelhoff’s mission is to blur boundaries by interpreting South Africa through techniques largely rooted in Japanese cooking.

The evening also celebrated those honoured with pre-announced special awards, including the Champions of Change winners Nora Fitzgerald Belahcen, founder of Moroccan social enterprise Amal, and Othón Nolasco and Damián Diaz, the duo behind food-security project No Us Without You LA. Elena Reygadas, winner of The World’s Best Female Chef Award, Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz, winner of the Icon Award, and New York restaurant Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi, winner of the Resy One To Watch Award, were also presented with their trophies on stage.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards 2023, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, held at Valencia’s Les Arts Opera House, marks the 21st year of the prestigious global gastronomic ranking. And what a fabulous night it was. You can see the full 1-50 list here https://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50

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