Category Archives: Melbourne

Eleven Madison Park Claims Number One Spot at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award

Eleven Madison Park in New York has secured the No.1 spot in the 2017 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This year’s winners were revealed at an awards ceremony at the historic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.

Now in its 15th year, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants welcomes six brand new entries and three re-entries to the 2017 ranking. Showcasing a broad cross-section of cultures and cuisines, it includes restaurants from 22 countries across five continents. France, Spain and the USA each count six restaurants on the list.

In claiming the No.1 position on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Eleven Madison Park earns the dual titles of The World’s Best Restaurant and The Best Restaurant in North America. After debuting on the list at No.50 in 2010, Eleven Madison Park has hovered within the top 10 since 2012, rising to No.3 last year. The restaurant’s co-owners, Will Guidara and Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm, enhance the fine-dining experience with a sense of fun, blurring the line between the kitchen and the dining room. Housed in an art deco building overlooking New York’s Madison Park, the restaurant’s multi-course seasonal tasting menu celebrates the city’s rich history and culinary traditions.

Seven restaurants in Asia are included on the 2017 list, with Japan and Thailand each counting two entries.

After claiming the No.1 position for a third consecutive year at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in February, Gaggan in Bangkok rises 16 places to No.7 to claim The Best Restaurant in Asia title. Elsewhere, Singapore’s Restaurant André climbs an impressive 18 places to secure the No.14 spot while Den in Tokyo, the 2016 recipient of the Miele One To Watch Award, arrives on the list at No.45. Asia is also represented by Tokyo’s Narisawa (No.18), Hong Kong’s Amber (No.24), Bangkok’s Nahm (No.28) and Shanghai’s Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (No.41).

Last year’s No.1, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, claims the No.2 position to retain its title as The Best Restaurant in Europe. Italy is also represented by familiar favorites Piazza Duomo (No.15) and Le Calandre (No.29) as well as first-time entry Reale, in Castel Di Sangro, debuting on the list at No. 43.

France has doubled its number of restaurants on the list. Among France’s six entries, three rank in the top 20. Mirazur leads at No.4, followed by Arpège (No.12) while Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée makes a dramatic re-entry on the list to land at No.13. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen, the restaurant headed by Yannick Alléno, debuts at No.31, earning the coveted Highest New Entry Award. Other Paris-based restaurants Septime (No.35) and L’Astrance (No.46) also move up the ranking, rising 15 and 11 places respectively. Aside from celebrating Septime’s climb up the rankings, the restaurant also claims the Sustainable Restaurant Award.

Spain retains its strong presence on the list with three of its six restaurants landing in the top 10. Former No.1 El Celler de Can Roca leads the contingent at No.3 and is also the 2017 recipient of the The Ferrari Trento Art of Hospitality Award in recognition of the restaurant’s warm atmosphere and ever-gracious service. Asador Etxebarri climbs four places to No.6 while Mugaritz in San Sebastian now sits at No.9.

While one New York restaurant takes the No.1 spot, another debuts on the list: Enrique Olvera’s Cosme is a first-time entry at No.40 while his other restaurant, Pujol in Mexico City, rises five places to No.20. Meanwhile, Dan Barber’s progressive restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, rises 37 places to No.11 to earn the Highest Climber Award.

New York-based pastry entrepreneur Dominique Ansel is also honoured this year, claiming the 2017 title of The World’s Best Pastry Chef. Since opening his eponymous SoHo bakery in 2011 and launching the Cronut, his signature croissant-doughnut hybrid, French-born Ansel has extended his global influence to London and Tokyo. This award recognises his relentless creativity, innovation and ability to span the retail and restaurant sectors.

Host country Australia is represented by two restaurants, including one newcomer. Attica in Melbourne (No.32) rises one place to retain its title as The Best Restaurant in Australasia, while Brae in regional Victoria enters the ranking for the first time at No.44.

South America boasts five restaurants from across the continent on the list, including the debut of Tegui in Buenos Aires at No.49. Maido in Lima, last year’s winner of the Highest Climber Award, continues its upward trajectory, rising five places to No.8. Chef Virgilio Martínez steals the limelight with two award wins. His restaurant, Central (No.5), in Peru, is named The Best Restaurant in South America, while he is this year’s recipient of the peer-voted Chefs’ Choice Award.

The city of Copenhagen also fares well, with two of the Danish capital’s restaurants recognised. Geranium rises nine places to claim the No.19 position while Relae, the two-time winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award, climbs one place to No.39.

Respected chef Heston Blumenthal has double reason to celebrate. As well as being the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award, his London restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, rises nine places to sit at No.36. The winners’ circle also includes Ana Roš of Hiša Franko, Slovenia, who is named The World’s Best Female Chef 2017.


Credit: Catch On

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Ana Roš Named as World’s Best Female Chef 2017

Ana Roš of Hiša Franko in Kobarid, Slovenia, has been named The World’s Best Female Chef 2017. She will be presented with the honor at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony at the historic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on April 5th.

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A self-taught chef, Roš grew up influenced by the cuisines of Slovenia’s neighboring countries – Italy, Hungary, Austria and Croatia. At Hiša Franko, Roš draws inspiration from Slovenia’s culinary heritage and ingredients, adding audacious, surprising twists to traditional dishes.

Housed in an historic 1860 building, Hiša Franko is a family business with Roš working alongside her husband, Valter. Together they present an innovative, inviting dining experience that evokes the warmth and hospitality of a private residence. With Hiša Franko situated in Slovenia’s beautiful Soča Valley only three kilometers from the Italian border, Roš takes full advantage of the location to source ingredients from local producers.

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A former national ski champion, Roš originally pursued a career in the diplomatic corps. In 2000, however, she and Valter took ownership of Hiša Franko from Valter’s father, prompting Roš to begin her gastronomic journey. While honing her culinary skills, Roš discovered the exceptional quality and diversity of Soča Valley produce. Building on this foundation, Roš developed a sophisticated, seasonal menu that highlights the freshness of local ingredients and introduces gourmands to the traditions of her native cuisine.

Throughout her career, Roš has connected food with philanthropy. The 44-year-old chef has traveled to India to mentor underprivileged girls, taught recovering addicts how to cook and hosts an annual event for local children in her kitchen to demonstrate the simple pleasures of baking bread. Her participation in global culinary events and congresses has raised her profile, further boosted by her featuring in the acclaimed Netflix series, Chef’s Table.

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Accepting the prestigious accolade, Roš added: “The award came as a surprise to me. It is a big responsibility to accept this award, especially as a self-taught cook, but the recognition provides an opportunity for people to reassess Slovenia as an interesting gastronomic destination.”

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Roš follows in the footsteps of a series of notable female chefs in holding this prestigious title, including the inimitable Dominique Crenn in 2016, as well as Hélène Darroze (2015), Helena Rizzo (2014), Elena Arzak (2013), Nadia Santini (2012) and Anne-Sophie Pic (2011). The selection of this year’s winner also reflects the broad gastronomic geography of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants brand, shining the spotlight on a chef from a relatively little-known culinary country.


Images credit: Suzan Gabrijan & Hisa Franko