Osteria Francescana Renamed Best Restaurant in the World

Massimo Bottura’s Modenese establishment beat out NYC’s Eleven Madison Park for the top spot.

By Ethan L. Johns
June 20, 2018

Image: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

After being knocked from the top of the list in 2017, Osteria Francescana has regained its place as the best restaurant in the world.

Chef Massimo Bottura and Lara T. Gilmore, his wife and business partner, accepted the award on Tuesday night at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony in Bilbao, Spain.

In his acceptance speech, Bottura thanked his kitchen team and referenced his charitable Food for Life refettorios, which address both food waste and the “social isolation” of food insecurity by provide quality meals made from recovered food that would have otherwise been wasted.

“This is for you, because all together we are creating a community and this community can truly create a revolution in the food world and beyond,” the chef said. “We have to feed the world, we have to fight waste. I want to use this spotlight to make visible the invisible.”

The top four spots have not changed much from 2017, except that Will Guidara and Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park dropped from the number one spot to the fourth after a renovation of the restaurant’s dining room last year. Osteria Francescana is followed, once again, by Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca (this year coming in at number two) and France’s Mirazur (number three). Gaggan, located in Bangkok, claimed spot number five.

Osteria Francescana, located in Modena, Italy, was opened in 1995 by Bottura, where it was met with distaste from the culinarily conservative community. It won the award of best restaurant in the world in 2016 and has been given three stars from the Michelin Guide.

Bottura was profiled in the first season of the Netflix series Chef’s Table, which highlighted the chef’s playful and artistic dishes with names like “Oops! I dropped the lemon tart,” as well as modern ones, like “Five ages of Parmigiano Reggiano in different textures and temperatures,” which highlights the region’s classic ingredients.

The heavily-branded World’s 50 Best Restaurants competition has been criticized in the past for its elitism, its voting protocols and its exclusion of female-run kitchens.

This year, the highest-ranked restaurant run by a woman is Cosme, which is led by chef Daniela Soto-Innes. She is one of four four chefs to see their establishments win a place in the top 50. Clare Smyth, chef of Core by Clare Smyth in London, was named the “World’s Best Female Chef of 2018.”

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns