SPAIN’S top chefs have once again dominated the ranks at this year’s prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants event.
A record seven Spanish restaurants secured places in the top 50, including three snapping up coveted spots in the top 10.
Recognised as the most sought-after title in the culinary world, the Roca brothers at El Celler de can Roca were delighted to see their Catalan restaurant move up to second place, having been third last year.
They were pipped at the post by Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, in Italy, while Mirazur, in France, came in third.
The trio – headed up by chef Joan, sommelier Josep and Jordi as a master pâtissier – is world famous for its experimental extraordinary dishes.
Meanwhile, the Basque Country’s very own Andoni Luis Aduriz’s rural restaurant, Mugaritz, stayed put for a second year in ninth place.
Another Basque favourite Victor Arguinzoniz’s Asador Etxebarri in Atxondo fell four places to tenth.
Also in the top 50, were Disfrutar, in Barcelona, at 18, Arzak, in San Sebastian, at 31, Tickets, in Barcelona, at 32, and Azurmendi, near Bilbao, at 43.
The awards night, held last night at the Palacio Euskalduna, in Bilbao, saw the Basque city welcome some of the biggest names in gastronomy with a red carpet and a glamorous reception.
Since the awards were launched in 2002, Spanish restaurants have won the best in the world a staggering seven times, with El Bulli taking the top spot five times and El Cellar de Can Roca twice.
America got six restaurants in the Top 50, with England getting four, Italy four, France four and Peru three.
Spain also managed to get five more restaurants in the top 100, including Diverxo, in Madrid and Quique Dacosta, in Alicante.