Number 30: Understated luxury coupled with outstanding contemporary French cooking in NYC

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Per Se has featured in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for its entire life. The East Coast satellite of Thomas Keller’s iconic French Laundry in Yountville, California, it represents the urban ideal of an American luxury restaurant offering a synthesis of culinary art and superlative service.

Per Se’s large dining room is unflashy, contemporary and elegant, with stained woods, stone and muted tones, and sweeping windows offering uninterrupted views of Columbus Circle and Central Park. The food is as understated yet immaculate as the décor. Menus embrace seasonality and show a witty playfulness that punctuates the confidence in the kitchen, now under the matured stewardship of Eli Kaimeh, who has been Per Se’s chef de cuisine since 2010.

Continue reading


No.24 Amber – HONG KONG, CHINA

The acclaimed Amber can be found in The Landmark, Mandarin Oriental’s smaller more individual Hong Kong hotel, and the stunning restaurant reflects that sense of independence combined with luxury.

Dutch-born chef and culinary director Richard Ekkebus’s food is fundamentally French, but also modern, imaginative and tinged with influences he has picked up over his globe-trotting career. Having trained and worked in Holland, France, Mauritius and Barbados through his career – including stints under iconic French chefs Pierre Gagnaire and Alain Passard – he has been at Amber’s helm since its opening in 2005. Ekkebus and his chef de cuisine Maxime Gilbert source the finest ingredients from near and far, successfully playing on Hong Kong’s position as an east-west crossroads, as a trading hub and a former British colony. Signatures include sea urchin in lobster jelly, with cauliflower, caviar and crispy seaweed waffle; Kagoshima wagyu beef with purée of forgotten Cévennes onion; and abinao 85% chocolate soufflé with cacao sorbet.

Continue reading


Accomplished Austrian chef puts Portugal on the fine-dining map

The restaurant at this luxury spa and beach resort on the Algarve truly is a ‘house of joy’ thanks to the culinary talents of executive chef Dieter Koschina. Originally from Austria, he honed his skills in leading establishments in Vienna and Germany before settling in his adopted country of Portugal more than two decades ago. These countries’ contrasting food cultures continue to inspire Koschina with fabulous Portuguese produce combined with northern European cooking techniques to create truly original and delicious dishes.

Continue reading


Elegance and refinement result in sublime seafood dishes

Widely considered one of the top seafood restaurants in the world, Le Bernardin has been perfecting its sophisticated and refined food offer under the guidance of chef Eric Ripert for 20 years. Yet the restaurant continues to move forward by constantly evolving its menus.

With a focus on freshness, sourcing and subtle textures and flavours, dishes are exquisitely delicate in their execution and presentation. Drawing inspiration from its New York surroundings as well as French cooking techniques and international flavours, Le Bernardin pays homage to its ingredients themselves, with a graceful simplicity at the heart of the cooking, enhancing and elevating the fish.
At Le Bernardin the menu is split into Almost Raw, Barely Touched and Lightly Cooked sections, while two distinct tasting menus offer a balanced showcase of Ripert’s refined culinary style. Barely cooked scallop is simply paired with brown butter dashi; sautéed langoustine comes with truffle, chanterelle, and aged balsamic vinaigrette; and Ripert’s signature dish of layers of thinly pounded yellowfin tuna, foie gras and toasted baguette with chives and extra virgin olive oil continues to delight with its immaculate attention to detail.

Polished service and a superlative wine list overseen by chief sommelier Aldo Sohm underline Le Bernardin’s status as a world-class restaurant of the highest order. The dining room also exudes style, with teal panels, shimmering metal mesh evoking a sense of the sea and a three-panel painting of a blustering ocean.

Source: http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/le-bernardin


True hospitality in an inhospitable environment

With his long hair and beard and an ability to retain a certain style when dressed in all-weather gear – shotgun slung over one shoulder, a brace of hazelhens in hand – Magnus Nilsson has become the poster-boy for the new wave of Scandinavian cooking that has captured the world’s imagination.

The aforementioned look isn’t for the glossy magazines either: the tiny Fäviken lays claim to being among the most isolated restaurants on the planet (it has the same latitude as Iceland) and Nilsson can regularly be found foraging and hunting in the 20,000-acre hunting estate for ingredients to serve in his rustic dining room. This is no mean feat considering that the landscape in which Nilsson stalks is frozen for half of the year, meaning that his skills in preserving vegetables, meat and game have to match his talent behind the stove, which he possesses in abundance.

More than mere sustenance, a meal at Fäviken is something of a rite of passage. Nilsson’s cooking is bold and creative with seemingly simple preparations often requiring a time-honoured skill and patience that has long died out in many kitchens. A dish of rakfisk (fermented trout) and sour cream, for example, requires a three-day brine followed by a six-month maturing process where pH levels must be kept under continual observation. All this effort amounts to one, albeit delicious, bite for the lucky diner.

Source: http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/faviken


Cutting-edge cooking rooted in the Austrian landscape

Chef Heinz Reitbauer pushes the boundaries of Austrian cuisine in thrilling ways at his beautiful restaurant on the banks of the river Wien in Vienna’s central park. His cooking draws heavily on the Styrian roots of his family, incorporating unusual ingredients from the region’s fields and rivers, as well as his own farm. The stunning produce is handled with the utmost respect in the kitchen, with Reitbauer using his own ground-breaking cookery techniques that are now inspiring other chefs around the world.

Hot beeswax is used to cook the freshwater mountain fish char, served with yellow carrot, pollen and sour cream, while the chef also cooks with heated blocks of Himalayan pink salt and special branding irons heated to 600°C.

The restaurant trade has always been in Reitbauer’s blood. His parents first set up Steirereck in 1970 and he trained under some of Europe’s best chefs, including Alain Chapel near Lyon and Anton Mosimann in London, before returning home to eventually head up the family business. The knowledge he has accrued during his career is evident in beautifully presented dishes such as puntarella (chicory) with woodruff, sweet potato and sea buckthorn and a dessert of quince with burnt milk and lavender. A huge wine list showcasing hundreds of indigenous varietals from Austria’s best vineyards is further reason to visit.

Source: http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/steirereck


Japan’s leading restaurant celebrates nature with an added dash of drama

As a young man, Yoshihiro Narisawa left his native Japan to train in France, Switzerland and Italy – and his culinary tutelage is evident in the style of his eponymous Tokyo restaurant. But Narisawa does much more than simply transport European haute cuisine to the Far East; his genius is in blending classical French techniques with the finest Japanese ingredients – along with plenty of imagination and a dose of drama – making for a genuinely unique gastronomic journey. The combination has seen Narisawa retain its seat at the top table of global gastronomy for many years.

Continue reading


Stay cool with a new line of Atwater’s ice cream.

No need to scream for ice cream—we couldn’t be happier to learn that Atwater’s has moved into the ice-cream making business.

Owner Ned Atwater tells us that even before opening his first cafe 15 years back, he’d always dreamed of making his own dairy products including ice cream, yogurt, and cheese. “I always wanted a component of our business to be a creamery,” Atwater tells us, “but I never had the time or space.”

Now he has both.

Continue reading



Delicate produce-led cooking near the Franco-Italian border

Mirazur leaps 17 places to rest tantalisingly close to the top 10 on the 2014 list, a reflection of the considerable evolution of Mauro Colagreco’s cuisine over the past few years. While other chefs often bring more involvement to their food as the years wear on, Colagreco has de-cluttered his approach: the intention here is to serve ingredients with as little adornment as possible to allow the quality of the produce to shine.

Continue reading


Exceptional flair and gutsy innovation produce eclectic brilliance

British-born Luke Dale-Roberts has been making waves way beyond the shores of his adopted homeland of South Africa for some years, having featured in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants during his time at La Colombe. But it’s since the launch of his Test Kitchen in shabby-chic Woodstock just over three years ago that he has really started to carve out his own niche. Named the One To Watch last year, The Test Kitchen has seen the chef’s unique culinary style brings together a mix of techniques and flavours inspired and influenced by his stint at Bali Sugar, one of London’s first fusion restaurants, as well as his extensive travels in Asia.

Continue reading