The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2014

Rene Redzepi, Noma

Rene Redzepi, Noma

It almost seems as though you can't cross the street in the British capital right now without tripping over a top chef. The finest kitchen talent from around the globe has converged on London for the announcement of the World's 50 Best Restaurants, and though the awards won't be handed out until the evening of Monday 28 April (around six in the morning Tuesday 29, east-coast Australian time) speculation about the winners is the talk of the town.

We can't claim to have the final word - the organisers are keeping it a closer secret than ever - but GT's Pat Nourse is a member of the voting academy, and has made an impromptu poll of his fellow regional chairpeople to give us the lay of the land.

Of the 30 panelists we've just spoken to, 15 are tipping Spain's El Celler de Can Roca, which was named number one in 2013, to hold onto the top spot. The next most widely tipped restaurant was Italy's Osteria Francescana, with the few remaining dissenters suggesting that either a re-entry from previous winner Noma, or an upset from New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park was on the cards.

Despite some difference of opinion about who tonight's winner might be, the voting chairs seemed agreed that it was looking like a win-win outcome, each of the top-tipped venues deserving in their own way. "After all," says William Drew, editor of Restaurant magazine, which organises the World's 50 Best Restaurants, "it's a celebration first and foremost rather than a competition."

UPDATE
Congratulations to René Redzepi and his team at Noma for reclaiming the number-one spot in the World's 50 Best Restaurants. Only one Australian restaurant made the 50 (Attica, at 32) but Australians made gains abroad with Tetsuya Wakuda's Waku Ghin at 50, David Thompson's Nahm up at 13 and Brett Graham at The Ledbury easing into number 10. 

GT's friend and columnist Fergus Henderson, of London's St John was honoured with the lifetime achievement award.


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