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Want to visit one of the world's 50 best restaurants? ... You'll need to catch a plane

Take a peek at what’s on offer at some of the best restaurants on the planet…

THIS YEAR’S LIST of the world’s 50 best restaurants has been released – with Spanish eatery ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ claiming the top spot.

There are no Irish restaurants on the list this year – meaning you’ll have to hop on a plane or a ferry to the UK to get a table at one of the 50.

London’s ‘Dinner’ by Heston Blumenthal makes number 7 in the list this time out.

The Ledbury, also in London, is at number 20.

led2 Source: The Ledbury Menu

Creative genius

“El Celler de Can Roca”, which is run by brothers Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca, tops the list for a second time. It also took the number one spot in 2013.

Each of the brothers at the restaurant have their own speciality: the first is head chef, the second creates the desserts, while the third sibling is in charge of the wine.

The awards, run by trade magazine Restaurant, lauded the brothers’ combined talents as a “holy trinity”.

“Curiosity and creativity propel the Rocas back to the top,” read a statement on the awards website.

This is a restaurant that has never forgotten its humble roots, its sense of familial warmth, or the need to serve remarkably delicious dishes and outstanding wines.

broth Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca Source: cellercanroca.com

Top ten

The Spanish eatery knocked Danish four-time winner ‘Noma’ down to third place, with Italy’s ‘Osteria Francescana’ taking the second spot.

The top 10 was rounded out by restaurants in Peru, the United States, Spain, Britain, Japan, Brazil and Thailand.

El Celler uses ingredients typical of its native region of Catalonia, and is famed for its 14-course “culinary experience” paired with wines and sherries from the Iberian peninsula.

Joan Roca told AFP he hoped the award would help the local cuisine would gain “visibility… especially the excellence in our particular area where we operate”.

The awards, which have run since 2002, have become a reference point for the world’s foodies but were hit by allegations this year of cosy deals between restaurants and jury members.

pho Second place: Osteria Francescana Source: Osteria Francescana

Criticism

The contest is run by British media company William Reed, and criticism has focused on the methodology used to select the best restaurants.

The jury is made up of 972 “independent experts” including food writers, chefs, restaurant owners and gourmets in 27 regions.

Jury members choose their seven favourite restaurants where they have eaten in the past 18 months.

Critics say the system is open to abuse since the jury do not have to offer physical evidence of having actually visited any particular restaurant.

Yet organisers hired the Deloitte consultancy firm to oversee the voting, and say jury members cannot vote on restaurants in which they have an interest.

Nevertheless an internet petition against the competition amassed more than 350 signatures, including those of France’s Joel Robuchon and Italy’s Giancarlo Perbellini, calling for sponsors to boycott the “opaque” awards.

To respond to the criticism, a team from ’50 Best’ travelled to Paris last month on a charm offensive.

“We are sometimes portrayed as anti-French in France. We wanted to show that that is very far from the truth,” William Drew, editor in chief of World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said at a press conference in Paris.

The award has been claimed five times by Ferran Adria’s ‘El Bulli’ in Spain, which has since closed, and four times by Rene Redzepi’s ‘Noma’, housed in a former warehouse in Copenhagen.

The full list of the 50 best restaurants can be viewed here. 

- © AFP, 2015 with reporting by Daragh Brophy.

Read: Can you tell what this is? A peek at the menu, at the best restaurant in Ireland…

Read: Was your favourite takeaway shut down over food safety breaches last month? 

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