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World's 50 best restaurants for 2019

CNN logo CNN 6/25/2019 By Maureen O'Hare, CNN
a room filled with furniture and a large window © Courtesy Nicolas Lobbestael

There's a new world's best restaurant -- and it isn't the one that many were expecting.

Mediterranean venue Mirazur has taken the number one spot at the World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards in Singapore -- an event considered the Oscars of the fine dining world.

Run by Argentinian-Italian chef Mauro Colagrec, Mirazur is located in Menton France, close to the Italian border. The victory adds to a remarkable year that began with Mirazur being awarded its third Michelin star.

Colagrec and his team took to the stage at Marina Bay Sands with a banner stitched from the flags of the nations that have shaped them: France, Argentina, Italy and Brazil.

France "allows me to express myself," Colagrec told the crowd, but "cuisine is able to cross all kinds of borders."

Close, but no Noma

A new rule introduced this year rendered previous winners of the top award from being eligible for the list, so the one guarantee of the evening was that there would be a new star at the top of the pile.

However, the hotly tipped Noma, which opened at its new Copenhagen location last year to the kind of buzz one would expect for perhaps the world's most famous restaurant, only made it to second place in the list.

Western Europe ruled the podium, with Spanish restaurant Asador Etxebarri -- where all dishes, even dessert, are flame-grilled -- took third place.

Bangkok's Gaggan, which has topped the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list a record four times, took fourth place and, naturally, the Best Restaurant in Asia award.

Live well in Lima

Diners who can't get a table at Noma can always try its Copenhagen neighbor Geranium, in fifth place, where head chef Rasmus Kofoed serves an adventurous tasting menu with standout dishes including beeswax and pollen ice cream with rhubarb.

The Peruvian capital of Lima had two restaurants in the top 10: chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León's Central, where you can dine on piranha served inside a tooth-filled piranha head, and Maido, whose deal is Japanese-Peruvian fusion, with a highlight being the 50-hours-cooked beef short rib.

Spain's Mugaritz and Disfrutar were at number seven and number nine respectively, with Barcelona's Disfrutar making a remarkable rise, having been 2018's highest new entry.

Best Female Chef

Mexican-born Daniela Soto-Ines was named World's Best Female Chef -- an award that regularly attracts controversy as some see it celebrating the inequality that the event's organizers say it helps address. In her speech she addressed the often aggressive culture that persists in kitchens around the world, saying.

"I decided that if I ever ran my own kitchen it would be more like the kitchens I grew up in: full of joy, happiness and community," she said.

"As a Mexican woman leading a diverse team, I believe with every day, every meal, every guest, we can fight against the ignorance and prejudice which tells us our voices shouldn't be heard [...] Not only does our happiness matter, but we can spread it."

Soto-Ines's Manhattan restaurant Cosme was named 28th best in the world.

Jessica Préalpato was named World's Best Pastry Chef. Her treats can be sampled at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée in that capital of patisserie, Paris.

Icon Award

Spanish-American chef José Andrés won the Icon Award, in recognition of his work as founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit dedicated to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters.

In his speech, he said that "we need to be honoring not only the men who seem to be getting the most credit," but also the women who are "really feeding the world [...] every single day in every city."

He also paused to remember CNN's Anthony Bourdain, as the awards took place on the newly announced Anthony Bourdain Day, to mark the late chef's birthday. Bourdain taught us that "we are not supposed to be afraid of people not like us," he said.

Alain Passard, head chef of Paris restaurant Arpege, took home the Chefs' Choice Award -- voted for by his peers -- while his restaurant was named eighth best in the world.

Julien Royer's restaurant Odette, housed in Singapore's National Gallery, got loud cheers from the home crowd when it was awarded 18th position. This was the first time the awards had been held in Asia.

Tokyo's Den won the Art of Hospitality Award while modern Italian restaurant Lido 84, in the majestic setting of Italy's Lake Garda, was named 2019's One to Watch.

The world's 50 best restaurants

1. Mirazur (Menton, France)

2. Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark) *Highest-ever new entry*

3. Asador Etxebarri (Axpe, Spain)

4. Gaggan (Bangkok) *best restaurant in Asia*

5. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

6. Central (Lima, Peru) *best restaurant in South America*

7. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)

8. Arpege (Paris, France) Alain Passard's place

9. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain) *last year's highest new entry*

10. Maido (Lima, Peru)

11. Den (Tokyo, Japan) *Art of Hospitality Award*

12. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) *Best Restaurant in North America*

13. White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia)

14. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain) *Highest Climber Award*

15. Septime (Paris, France)

16. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)

17. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

18. Odette (Singapore)

19. Twins Garden (Moscow, Russia) *new entry*

20. Tickets (Barcelona, Spain)

21. Frantzén (Stockholm, Sweden)

22. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

23. Cosme (New York City)

24. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)

25. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen (Paris, France)

26. Boragó (Santiago, Chile)

27. The Clove Club (London, UK)

28. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantico Hills, New York)

29. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)

30. Elkano (Getaria, Spain)

31. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)

32. Nerua (Bilbao, Spain)

33. Lyle's (London, UK)

34. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

35. Atelier Crenn (San Francisco)

36. Le Bernardin (New York City)

37. Alinea (Chicago)

38. Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)

39. A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil)

40. Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)

41. The Chairman (Hong Kong, China)

42. Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)

43. Hof van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)

44. Test Kitchen (Cape Town, South Africa) *Best restaurant in Africa*

45. Sühring (Bangkok, Thailand)

46. De Librije (Zwolle, Netherlands)

47. Benu (San Francisco)

48. Ultraviolet (Shanghai, China)

49. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)

50. Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)

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