World’s 50 Best Restaurants Announced Today


London's Guildhall, site of tonight's "50 Best" Awards.
London’s Guildhall, site of tonight’s “50 Best” Awards.

Here comes another year of second-guessing. The annual list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” will be announced in London later today (approx. 3/3:30 p.m. Chicago time) and there are bound to be head-scratches. Full disclosure: I’m one of the 26 Academy Chairs for the List, overseeing a group of 35 voters, covering the Mid-USA/Mid-Canada Region. There are more than 930 voters around the world, all of whom vote for seven restaurants – four from within their region, three from anywhere else. Also, those 35 judges are broken up equally into three groups: chefs/restaurateurs, writers/broadcasters and gastronauts/gourmands with the funds to travel and eat. Every year, we have to rotate in 10 new judges, and all of the voting is done online, on a secure site; there is no huddling or organizing of votes. Also, judges must have eaten in the restaurant they vote for at some point in the last 18 months (although this is done on the honor system; we don’t collect dining receipts). That said, I’m sure there will be some questions asked, as there are every year; the list is not perfect. It is simply a jumping-off point for a discussion about which restaurants are currently top-of-mind among those of us who live to eat. The big question: will Copenhagen’s Noma four-peat as #1? Will Alinea move up from last year’s #7 spot? I’ll have the interviews and North American wrap-up right back here later today.


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