The World's 50 Best Restaurants were announced last night, once again proving that Sao Paulo, Brazil and Lima, Peru are the undisputed culinary champions of the South American continent.
For the second year running, the leading South American restaurant was D.O.M in Sao Paulo, whose Indiana Jones-like head chef Alex Atala is the poster boy of experimental Amazonian cuisine. Read more about his gung-ho food philosophy here. The only other Brazilian entry on the list is Mani – a delightfully feminine antidote to Atala’s manly food.
For the first time in a while Astrid y Gastón has been knocked off its perch as the best restaurant in Peru. This honor goes to Central whose head chef actually worked at Astrid y Gastón before opening his own restaurant. Central is at once decidedly international and distinctly Peruvian, but all of the food pays homage to pachamama, the Quechua earth goddess. Central is especially famous for the home-made chocolate which is incorporated into its dishes.
2014 sees the addition of a Chilean restaurant to the Top 100 – Boragó in Santiago is the creation of Rodolfo Guzman and its theatrical cuisine is inspired by Chile’s amazing geographical diversity: from the wilds of Patagonia and the heights of the Andes, to the barren Atacama and the bountiful Pacific.
Here’s a summary of who’s up and who’s down on the global list in 2014.
If you’re visiting Lima, Sao Paulo or Santiago we urge you to eat at at least one of the restaurants on the list. You’ll get to experience world-class cuisine at seriously affordable prices (especially in Lima), while at the same time entering into an intimate dialogue with the history and traditions of South America. Just be warned – you’ll probably have to book well in advance.
If you’re going elsewhere in South America, have a look at Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants – for now you’ll have to make do with the 2013 list, but the 2014 winners will be announced in September.