Restaurant critic and food journalist Matt Preston has a tough job. He gets to dine on haute cuisine at some of the world’s finest restaurants, carefully savoring every morsel of food as he assesses the taste, texture, color and how well everything marries with the rest of the meal. On a recent assignment, the British born critic (who now makes Australia his home) was asked to eat at each of the world’s top five restaurants as rated by Restaurant magazine. The list is also known as the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. His task? To personally rate and rank the top five restaurants and determine if they really warranted being among the most prestigious eateries in the world. He was also asked to determine whether they were really worth the money spent on a meal. It was a tough job, but Preston was up for the challenge.
The top five, as ranked on the S. Pellegrino list are:
Preston gladly traveled, in rapid succession, from restaurant to restaurant, with his wife Emma in tow. Together they went on a whirlwind gastronomical tasting vacation, and after much deliberation, Preston took the top five restaurants and partially reordered the list to reflect his top five. They are El Bulli, El Caller de Can Roca, Mugaritz, Noma and The Fat Duck.
Preston says that because of its relentless pursuit of “the new,”El Bulli has to be the leader of the pack, but Noma and Mugaritz would be the likely winners if he were asked to pick a place to eat at every week for a year. He also cautioned that reviewers can be fickle, since favorite restaurants can change from day to day or even hour to hour!
Coincidentally, Preston’s wife Emma did not agree with his assessment of the top five. She placed El Bulli on the bottom of “her”list!