French restaurant crowned ‘best in the world’ for the first time

French restaurant crowned 'best in the world' for the first time
Chef Mauro Colagreco in his restaurant vegetable garden. Photo: AFP
A restaurant in France has been crowned best in the world for the first time in the history of the title - although the chef is not French.

A French restaurant has been crowned best in the world for the first time in the history of the title, bagging the top award for Mirazur in south east France.

Mirazur, run by Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco, was crowned the world's best at an awards ceremony put on by British trade magazine Restaurant on Tuesday night.

In second spot in the World's 50 Best Restaurant awards, now as coveted by eateries as Michelin stars, was Noma in Copenhagen and in third was Asador Etxebarri in Spain.

An ecstatic Colagreco called his team to the stage and exclaimed “Wow, wow, wow” after his victory was announced at a ceremony in Singapore.

The Miazur team celebrate their win in Singapore

“Thank you my team. You deserve it, all these years. Thank you friends for supporting us during these last 13 years,” he said.

Mirazur in Menton, in southeast France near the Italian border, has three Michelin stars and offers diners dishes made with ingredients from Colagreco's own backyard farm, including fresh vegetables and seafood.

His dishes include monkfish, anchovy fillets with lemon juice, or oyster with tapioca, shallot cream and pear. 

Mirazur was awarded its third Michelin star in January. Colagreco, 42, opened the restaurant in 2006 and was awarded his first star the following year, before getting his second in 2012. 

The early days were tough for Colagreco, who moved to France in 2001 as a newly qualified chef, but since being awarded the second star the restaurant has seen its popularity grow.

Speaking a press conference after the awards, the chef said that “our vision is a desire to express ourselves, to give to our guests the best experience… it's a simple vision of life”.

The highest ranked restaurant in Asia was fourth-placed Gaggan in Bangkok, whose owner-chef Gaggan Anand has won praise for his modern spin on his native Indian cuisine.

This is the first time that a French eaterie has taken the title since the award was established.

Restaurant magazine, owned by William Reed Media, launched the awards in 2002 and they are now highly coveted, although the methodology used to select the best restaurants has faced criticism, especially from several French chefs who say it remains unclear.

There are no criteria for putting a restaurant on the list, which is based on an anonymous poll of more than 1,000 chefs, restaurant owners, food critics and other industry insiders from around the world.

Each member gets 10 votes and at least four of those votes have to go to restaurants outside their region.

The top restaurant award has gone to Spain seven times, the most of any country.

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