Credit: Courtesy of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Eleven Madison Park, the Manhattan restaurant co-owned by Will Guidara and Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm, has claimed the dual titles of ‘The World’s Best Restaurant’ and ‘The Best Restaurant in North America’ at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants award ceremony overnight in Melbourne.
The former No.3 was praised for its skill at commingling the experience of fine-dining “with a sense of fun, blurring the line between the kitchen and the dining room”. Located in an art deco building overlooking Manhattan’s Madison Park on the famed avenue of the same name, the restaurant’s multi-course seasonal tasting menu prides itself on being a celebration of New York’s “rich history and culinary traditions”. Chef Humm serves a seasonal tasting menu with a strong focus locally sourced ingredients, naturally, priced at a not entirely unreasonable $390 per person.
Each meal consists of 8-10 courses, including an array of communal and individual dishes, including a dish of celery root in pig bladder (pictured top), which Humm, who started working in kitchens at the age of 14 and won his first Michelin star at 24-years-old, cites as being a career-defining creation. Another of Humm’s signatures is his take on roasted duck in manifold iterations, including a classic honey and lavender version, another honey-glazed with turnips and huckleberries, and another with rutabega and honey.
Australian restaurants were well represented throughout the event, with two restaurants featuring prominently on the list. At No. 32, chef Ben Shewry’s Attica retained its title as ‘The Best Restaurant in Australasia’ for the second consecutive year. Brae, the restaurant helmed by chef Dan Hunter, made its first entry into the Top 50, debuting at No.44 having made a jump of 21 places from No.65 previously.
Last week, it was announced that Quay, the harbourside fine dining establishment which has risen to global prominence under the watch of chef Peter Gilmore, had climbed three spots this year to rank at No.95 in the countdown.
Other awards of note handed out at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Hall went to the mastermind behind pastry phenomenon The Cronut, Dominique Ansel, who was the recipient of the 2017 title of The World’s Best Pastry Chef in recognition of “his relentless creativity, innovation and ability to span the retail and restaurant sectors.” Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal was also named the 2017 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award; and Ana Roš of Hiša Franko, in Slovenia, was named The World’s Best Female Chef 2017. All three star chefs were in attendance at the ceremony, having made the not inconsiderable journey thanks to Etihad Airways, the event’s official airline partner. Ansel even went as far as to share a photograph of personalised Tim-Tams and Vegemite before making the return journey “for the loooong trip home. Never been on a plane for 30 hours before. ? “
The coveted culinary awards have been compiled every year since 2002 using the votes of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, a reputable group of 1,040 industry experts from 27 global regions. Each region is represented by 36 members who this year were allocated 10 votes (four of which must go to restaurants outside of their region). The highly-influential panel is made up of critics, chefs, restauranteurs and ‘gastronomes’, with their combined opinions forming the industry standard for the world’s finest dining establishments and most exciting up-and-comers, cuisines and culinary movements.
Eleven Madison Park dethroned Italian chef Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, which conceded the top spot to sit at No. 2, followed by El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, which has previously topped the list in both 2013 and 2015. You can view the list in full here.
Tile and cover image: Courtesy of The World’s Best 50 Restaurants