Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 14:57 UK

Ramsay misses out in food awards

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea
Gordon Ramsay's flagship restaurant fails to make a list of the world's best places to eat

Gordon Ramsay's flagship restaurant has failed to make a list of the world's top 50 restaurants for the first time.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London was not even included in the 2009 long list of the 100 best places to eat.

Spanish restaurant El Bulli was voted the best in the world with Briton Heston Blumenthal picking up second place for the Fat Duck in Bray.

The San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list is chosen by 806 chefs, critics and industry experts.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay was ranked 13th last year and has appeared on the list every year since the awards were established in 2002.

The restaurant in London's Chelsea was the first the chef opened independently before he built up his global brand with restaurants, television appearances and books.

None of Ramsay's restaurants made the top 50, but another of his London restaurants, Maze, was ranked 91st.

Last week Ramsay attracted criticism when it was revealed that some of the food served at his three gastropubs and one restaurant is pre-prepared at a central facility in London.


El Bulli, Spain
The Fat Duck, UK
Noma, Denmark
Mugaritz, Spain
El Celler de Can Roca, Spain
Per Se, USA
Bras, France
Arzak, Spain
Pierre Gagnaire, France

Responding to news of his restaurant's departure from the list a spokeswoman said: "Gordon takes all these sort of surveys with a pinch of salt.

"As always, Gordon regards his thousands of customers as his most valued critics. They are his judge and jury."

The editor of Restaurant magazine, which organises the awards, said he was surprised Ramsay's restaurant was excluded.

Paul Wootton said: "It does seem to be a bit of an anomaly and I can't tell you for sure why some voters have chosen not to vote for Gordon Ramsay this year.

"I think there may be a feeling among part of the restaurant industry and the foodie fraternity that some of the superchefs with large empires of restaurants are spreading themselves too thin.

"Restaurant Gordon Ramsay continues to be a great restaurant and we should remember it remains the only three Michelin star restaurant in London."

If you had told me 10 or 15 years ago that I would be in the top 200 restaurants in the world I would have been delighted
Heston Blumenthal, Fat Duck owner

Spanish chef Ferran Adria could celebrate for the fourth time in a row as his restaurant El Bulli was voted the best place to eat in the world.

The restaurant at Roses on the Costa Brava first opened in 1961 to provide food for people playing at a nearby minigolf course.

It has evolved to become a top destination for lovers of avant-garde cuisine. Demand for tables far exceeds the capacity of the restaurant, which is only open from June to December.

'Very happy'

Adria dedicated his award to Blumenthal, whose Fat Duck restaurant held onto second place for the third consecutive year. The Spanish chef said the Briton had handled his restaurant's recent food scare "with honesty".

The Berkshire restaurant was forced to close for two weeks last month after a series of diners fell ill. The Health Protection Agency is still investigating what happened.

Blumenthal said the news that he had retained second place on the list was very welcome.

"I'm very happy and especially in the light of the last six weeks, I needed some good news. If you had told me 10 or 15 years ago that I would be in the top 200 restaurants in the world I would have been delighted."

The Fat Duck was one of only four British restaurants in the top 50.

Fergus Henderson's St John restaurant in Clerkenwell, London, was the next best performer. The restaurant, which specialises in preparing offal and less popular cuts of meat, moved up two places from 16 to 14.

France and the United States had the most top-ranking restaurants with eight each in the top 50.

But it was Spain that was crowned as the top destination for food lovers. Of the six Spanish restaurants in the list of 50, three were in the top five.

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