The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ~ 2015

So, for a month or so the PR machine which handles The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has slowly been moving through the gears, and will probably continue to so for the rest of the week. Tonight will see the crowning of the culinary equivalent of Miss Universe, or not, if you start to read some of the backlash.

Yes, it’s been a long time coming but finally looks like there is starting to be an anti 50 Best Restaurant movement. For those that have been with since the start, will know that we broke the news that Noma had toppled El Bulli, or as The Times restaurant critic Giles Coren tweeted some years later when it continued to reign supreme:

Despite only starting its Twitter account 2 weeks ago, Occupy 50Best is slowly getting attention. The New York Times wrote an article:

World’s 50 Best Restaurants to Be Announced Amid Criticism Over Voting

pointing out that uber chef Joel Robuchon had signed the anti 50 Best Restaurant petition. Sadly the article is poor in various other aspects of its reporting, claiming;

even as the awards, which wield considerable power in the industry, have come under attack by some of the chefs that the list helped achieve international fame.

and going on to cite Robuchon. I think he made his reputation at Jamin, which closed 9years before the 50 Best Restaurant list was ever published.

But also claiming:

The scope and influence of the 50 Best list, first published in Britain in 2002 by the trade magazine Restaurant, has ballooned, making it the go-to food guide for globe-trotting gastronomes.

Again, many would argue with the global reach of Michelin, that the French tyre maker is still king in that respect.

But the fact that a chef with such a high profile, in Robuchon, has decided to so publicly dam a PR heavy occasion, shows that the tide is slowly turning against the 50 Best Restaurants list. Sadly this is the first that somebody from France with a high profile have thrown their toys out of the pram, a well respected restaurant critic quite publicly out what he thought was a clear anti French bias.

If Occupy 50Best actually had a credible agenda, then it might actually have some legs, but the claim that the awards are sexist just doesn’t stand up. The culinary community is dominated by the presence of men, & even more so at the top echelons. The fact that there is a separate award just for female chefs, which Helene Darroze won this year,  actually means that there is an award not open to men!!

That said, Occupy 50Best do have a credible argument when you see conversations like this on Twitter:

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World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Showing that voting isn’t quite as independent as they’d like you to believe.For those

For those that are marginally interested, the odds from the bookies were that the top 2 were to remain unchanged, but does it really matter?

One thing to bear in mind, who ever wins tonight, it doesn’t make them the best chef in the world, no, it just means they head up one half of a team which creates the best restaurant. Just something to bear in mind next time we see the ‘mouse-faced little c*nt’ grinning at you from a glossy Sunday supplement.

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