Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Best Restaurants in the World

All this brouhaha about the Restaurant magazine's 50 Best Restaurants in the World makes me think of this delightful little piece I did for the (once cool) Gridskipper website a couple years back. It also gives me a little pause for thought. And lets me share my pearls of wisdom with you. As well as snagging a bit of this high internet traffic in the process.

Any kind of "best of" list deserves a little ridicule , because "best" is so obviously subjective in so many ways, and top tables performing at the absolute gastronomic stratosphere can be so vastly different in form, function, inspiration and in what crowd they draw. They can be hard to understand and alien. So when every newspaper and website from Helsinki to Hoboken is raving about the snail porridge and bacon and egg ice cream that they never tasted, it's easy to see why people go for these easy to swallow lists. That being said, none of the judges involved were actually required to prove they went to any of the restaurants they judged, nor was it deemed important by Restaurant Magazine when they went (ie in the last year).

Anyway, as a friend (and contest judge) told me when I got all prissy about the list , "Adrian, it's just a fun party with chefs". So I'll leave it at that.

6 comments:

PhilD said...

Shame about your photo at the top of your delightful little piece. I assume it is from your youth...?

Adrian said...

ain't me Phil, change yer glasses..

Forest said...

hmm...i do find the list a bit suspect...especially considering a couple of the restaurants on it where I've eaten and not been that impressed (most specifically: quartier francais in SA) but I am always curious to see it. But, it doesn't really sway me one way or another as to where to eat. it probably just makes it harder to get reservations at #1. it's like when Tokyo trounced paris in Mich stars few years back. interesting blip, but it's not like I'm going to move to japan because of it.

Cris Beltrão said...

I completely agree! Just wrote about it here in Rio de Janeiro. What about Russia, India, China and their wonderful cuisines!? Who makes those lists?? Even the restaurants listed in Singapore and Japan have very european menus. Yes... people do love lists.

Atelier Conti said...

Lists do seem a little silly, but I suppose writers need some way to organize their ideas.

Happy to have discovered your blog and I look forward to your pearls of wisdom on Paris. Even 50 choices is way too many for me! Always looking for that 1 great new place.

epicureonabudget said...

I couldn't agree more. From what I understand, the head organizer of this years, San Pellegrino 50 Best is also Head of the Spanish Gastronomic Academy. No wonder 4 of the top 10 were Spanish restaurants...