Heston Blumenthal – famous for using science to whip up unusual culinary delights – has made his way into the top ten in the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world.
Heston, 46, won seventh place for his award-winning restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in the swanky Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, which features takes of historical British recipes from as far back as the 14th century.
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Speaking at the awards ceremony at London's Guildhall on Monday, Heston said: "I feel like the elder statesman now. I didn’t expect Dinner to be so high. The thing is the Duck is probably 50 to 100 percent better than it was when we were no 1.
"I don't think you can have a no1 restaurant, the restaurant world has changed. It used to be all about three stars, but all of a sudden specific numbers make a difference.
"But once you have three Michelin stars, losing one is far worse than dropping ten places in this. It’s far more fluid, transient."
Heston's three Michelin star restaurant The Fat Duck moved down the list to 33rd.
Spain, on the other hand, went straight to the top when El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, took the crown for the best restaurant in the world, according to the list.
The restaurant, run by three brothers – Joan is head chef, Jordi head pastry chef and Josep the sommelier – features creations such as caramelised olives served on a bonsai tree on its menu, using traditional Catalan ingredients. The family-run restaurant, which calls itself "a freestyle restaurant committed to the avant garde" had been at no. 2 for the last two years.
After they scooped the best title, knocking Denmark's Noma off the top spot, the Rocas brothers said: "We don't know if we are the best restaurant in the world. But we can assure you we will continue to work with generosity and humility."
Spain has more reason to celebrate after the prestigious list was unveiled at the glitzy, gastronomic affair. Two other restaurants, Mugaritz and Arzak, both in San Sebastian, held their long-standing places in the top ten.
Britain featured further in the upper echelons of the list with The Ledbury in London's swish Notting Hill, run by leading Australian chef Brett Graham. The restaurant's extraordinary yet down-to-earth cuisine moved it up one place to 13th best restaurant in the world.