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Atelier Crenn, Benu Soar onto World’s 50 Best Restaurants List

Some of San Francisco’s most highly rated restaurants made the global rankings this year

Patricia Chang

This year’s World 50 Best Restaurants ceremony in Singapore was a night of firsts, at least for the Bay Area, as Atelier Crenn and Benu and joined for the first time.

Chef Dominique Crenn’s three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn debuted at No. 35, ranking in the top 50 after several misfires over the years. In 2016 the chef earned the title of “best female chef,” a controversial award that the chef herself criticized, calling it “stupid.” Last year, her restaurant did not make the list at all, including the extended list of runners up from 50-100. (It was, however, ranked at No. 83 in 2017 in its first appearance on the list.)

The other big first time Bay Area entrant: chef Corey Lee’s Benu, joining at No. 47. Last year Benu had hovered at No. 53; in 2017 it was ranked No. 63.

In the 50-120 (an extended number that debuted this year), Saison fell to No. 70, while Single Thread ranked at No. 71 (it debuted at No. 91 the year prior) as the Bay Area’s only representation.

The list of restaurants is determined by a voting body of chefs, writers, and other “taste hunters,” meant to reflect meals consumed in the past 18 months. Beyond the top 50 winners, the long list this year spanned 50-120 (apparently a nod to sponsor San Pellegrino’s 120th birthday, a telling move that indicates the very political and expensive world of these awards).

This year, five restaurants led (or co-led) by female chefs made the top 50; six restaurants lead by female chefs —including Nahm, the Bangkok restaurant helmed by Kin Khao’s Pim Techamuanvivit — made the long list.

Crenn, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer, was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Singapore, though her team, including partner/pastry chef Juan Contreras, was present. In an Instagram post, she acknowledged the hard work of her team, nothing that the voting panel is now comprised of as many women as there are men.

“And still more work to be done I recognize that these things take time. Equality and transparency are two of the most important qualities we can hope to see in any organization — in the world as a whole. However, as we all know, equality is not just about gender, but about background, race — and we need to see recognition of that. I look forward to seeing the continued evolution of 50 Best,” she wrote.

Of note this year is a new rule that prevents previous No. 1 restaurants from appearing on the list. The organization is calling that a diversity initiative, making room for other restaurants to join the list. It is also, however, a way to spare top chefs the pain of dropping in their rankings.

See the full list below; read Eater SF’s analysis of the 2019 long list here, and check out Eater National’s commentary on the top 50 here.)

The 2019 World’s 50 Best Restaurants List

1. Mirazur (Menton, France)

2. Noma (Copengagen, Denmark)

3. Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Spain)

4. Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand)

5. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

6. Central (Lima, Peru)

7. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)

8. Arpège (Paris, France)

9. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)

10. Maido (Lima, Peru)

11. Den (Tokyo, Japan)

12. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)

13. White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia)

14. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain)

15. Septime (Paris, France)

16. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)

17. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

18. Odette (Singapore)

19. Twins Garden (Moscow, Russia)

20. Tickets (Barcelona, Spain)

21. Frantzén (Stockholm, Sweden)

22. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

23. Cosme (New York City, USA)

24. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)

25. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen (Paris, France)

26. Boragó (Santiago, Chile)

27. The Clove Club (London, United Kingdom)

28. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantico Hills, USA)

29. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)

30. Elkano (Getaria, Spain)

31. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)

32. Nerua (Bilbao, Spain)

33. Lyle’s (London, United Kingdom)

34. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

35. Atelier Crenn (San Francisco, USA)

36. Le Bernardin (New York City, USA)

37. Alinea (Chicago, USA)

38. Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)

39. A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil)

40. Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)

41. The Chairman (Hong Kong)

42. Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)

43. Hof Van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)

44. Test Kitchen (Cape Town, South Africa)

45. Sühring (Bangkok, Thailand)

46. De Librije (Zwolle, Netherlands)

47. Benu (San Francisco, USA)

48. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai, China)

49. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)

50. Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)

Best Pastry Chef: Jessica Préalpato (Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris)

Best Female Chef: Daniela Soto-Innes (Cosme, New York City)

Icon Award: José Andrés (ThinkFoodGroup, Washington D.C.)

One to Watch: Lido 84 (Gardone Riviera, Italy)

BBVA Scholarship Winner: Andersen Lee

Sustainable Restaurant Award: Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)

Chefs’ Choice Award: Alain Passard

Highest Climber: Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain)

Art of Hospitality Award: Den (Tokyo, Japan)

Benu

22 Hawthorne Street, , CA 94105 (415) 685-4860 Visit Website

Atelier Crenn

3127 Fillmore Street, , CA 94123 (415) 440-0460 Visit Website

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