After two years as runner-up in the annual 50 Best Restaurants of the World competition organized by London’s Restaurant magazine, a family-run eatery in a Spanish provincial capital was declared in London yesterday the world’s best restaurant.
El Celler de Can Roca, owned and run by three brothers–Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca–in Girona, north of Barcelona, was named the world’s best by a distinguished jury assembled by the British gastronomic magazine. This accolade is considered by some insiders to be the Nobel Prize of restaurants.
The list of the 50 Best Restaurants is compiled from the opinions of more than 900 food critics, chefs, restauranteurs and gastronomic experts from around the world, each of whom cast up to seven votes, a minimum of three of which must go to restaurants located outside their own regions of the world.
The Danish establishment Noma, which had been at the top of the list for the past three years, according to the 50 Best jury, finished second. There were three Spanish restaurants in the top ten this year; the other two were Mugaritz (in fourth place this year) in the Basque town of Errenteria, and perennial prize winner Arzak (eighth this year) in San Sebastian. Spain’s previous best restaurant in the world was Ferran Adrià’s elBulli, ranked number one in the world by Restaurant a record five times between 2002 and 2009. el Bulli is located just 30 miles north of El Celler in the town of Roses.
A news release from Restaurant magazine affirms that El Celler, which placed second in the past two editions of the prize, had “gained global acclaim for its combination of Catalan dishes and cutting-edge techniques and the passion that the Roca brothers share for hospitality.”