France may be synonymous with food in the world's consciousness, but it just can’t seem to crack the top 10 in Britain's Restaurant magazine’s The World's 50 Best Restaurants global ranking.
The first French name you’ll see in this year’s ranking pops in at number 11 with Mirazur in the French Riviera town of Menton. The good news is that Mirazur has shot up the rankings after the restaurant came in at 28 on 2013’s list.
“Mirazur leaps 17 places to rest tantalizingly close to the top 10 on the 2014 list, a reflection of the considerable evolution of Mauro Colagreco’s cuisine over the past few years,” according to Restaurant’s write up. “A near-obsessive approach to ingredients saw the Argentine-born Colagreco become the first ever non-French chef to be named “revelation of the year” in the influential Gault Millau guide.”
France also notched four other spots in the top 50, (one less than last year) which include Alain Passard’s L'Arpège in Paris (25th place), Le Chateaubriand (27th), Joel Robuchon’s L'Atelier Saint-Germain (31st) and Pascal Barbot’s L'Astrance (38th) all situated in the French capital. These names all featured in last year's World's 50 Best Restaurant rankings (see gallery below).
The global crown this year, as it has in four of the past five years, went to Noma which is in the Danish capital city Copenhagen.
“In the past year or so, the restaurant has been transformed once again with a fresh approach and energy. Its renewed confidence is based on greater knowledge and considered experimentation, rather than the intuition and raw discovery of its earlier period," the reviewers wrote.
Here are the others that made the world's top 10:
2. El Celler de Can Roca: Gerona, Spain
3. Osteria Francescana: Modena, Italy
4. Eleven Madison Park: New York City, US
5. Dinner Heston Blumenthal: London, UK
6. Mugaritz: Saint Sebastian, Spain
7. D.O.M.: Sao Paulo, Brazil
8. Arzak: Saint Sebastian, Spain
9. Alinea: Chicago, US
10. The Ledbury: London, UK
Restaurant magazine's rankings are regularly criticized in France, which is home to the world renowned Michelin guide that ranks the country’s best eateries, French daily Le Monde reported.
The list, which is done in conjunction with water brand San Pellegrino, is seen as being being carried out with a dubious methodology and influenced by the whims of the corporate food industry.
However, even the critics recognize the hefty impact the rankings have on sales and prestige.
In terms of process, the restaurants are chosen by some 900 chefs and food critics around the globe. Each one can vote for seven restaurants, at which they must have eaten within the past 18 months. The voters simply rank their favorites in descending order.