BILBAO, Spain (AFP) — Italy’s Osteria Francescana was crowned the world’s best restaurant for the second time on Tuesday by an influential list compiled by British trade magazine Restaurant, beating out top eateries in Spain and France.
Run by chef Massimo Bottura, the restaurant in Modena, Italy, overtook last year’s winner, New York’s Eleven Madison Park, in the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” awards, which were handed out in Bilbao in Spain’s northern Basque Country, famous for its avant-garde haute cuisine.
Osteria Francescana first won the award in 2016.
Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca, which took the top honor in 2013 and 2015, came in second while third place went to Mirazur in southern France.
Restaurant magazine launched the awards in 2002 and they are now as coveted by restaurants as Michelin stars, although the methodology used to select the best restaurants has faced criticism, especially from several French chefs who say it is unclear.
There are no criteria for putting a restaurant on the list, which is based on an anonymous poll of more than 1,000 chefs, restaurant owners, food critics and other industry insiders from around the world.
Each member gets 10 votes and at least four of those votes have to go to restaurants outside their region.
The winner has been in Spain seven times, the most of any country. In addition to El Celler de Can Roca’s two wins, ground-breaking Spanish chef Ferran Adria’s El Bulli, which he closed in 2011, took the prize a record five times.
This year was the first time the ceremony was held in Spain. The event has been held before in London, New York and Melbourne.