Star of The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards night: Noma dishwasher, Ali

It was a gesture that spoke a thousand words. Instead of taking to the podium like he’s done twice before, chef Rene Redzepi, owner of the best restaurant in the world, relinquished the spotlight and passed the mic over to his dishwasher who spoke on Noma’s behalf.

All eyes were on Ali Sonko at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in London Monday night, after Noma was named the best restaurant in the world for the third year in a row. As Sonko thanked the academy, the celebrity chef -- a young Danish man who has been called a game-changer in the industry -- stood back with the rest of his team, shouting out words of encouragement to the restaurant’s nervous head dishwasher.

“I’m so happy, I say thank you for all of us,” said Sonko in broken but earnest English over the din of excited hooting and hollering from the rest of staff.

There is a back story to all of this. In 2010, when Noma topped the list for the first time, staff members donned T-shirts emblazoned with Sonko’s face in his honor after he had been barred from entering the UK for visa issues and was unable to attend.

The gestures -- both then and Monday night -- speak volumes about the kind of restaurant Redzepi runs and the sense of teamwork that prevails over the kitchen brigade.

In a post-ceremony interview with William Drew, editor of Restaurant magazine which hosts the event, Redzepi spoke in ‘We’s’ and very few ‘I’s,’ saying that while the team doesn’t work for accolades, the attention heaped on the restaurant has helped shine the spotlight on what used to be an overlooked part of the world.

“It’s magical for our region, the momentum that we have,” he said. “This helps create confidence to a generation of cooks, to see that the big world is actually looking at this small country, this small corner of Copenhagen.”

Redzepi is widely cited for birthing New Nordic cuisine, popularizing the foraging movement and using hyper-local ingredients like wild plants and herbs from the Danish countryside. Dishes at Noma have also revived the traditions of Scandinavian cooking and ingredients like Icelandic skyr curd, halibut, Greenland musk ox and berries.

Meanwhile, like the results of the 50 Best Restaurants  -- Noma, El Celler de Can Roca, and Mugaritz, both of Spain were also the top three restaurants last year -- the ceremony itself was likewise largely uneventful.

Perhaps the only comic relief was when French chef Iñaki Aizpitarte  of Le Chateaubriand in Paris donned Jamie Oliver masks when his name was called out. Le Chateaubriand fell from the ninth spot last year to 15th spot this year.

In all, 47 of the 50 restaurants were represented at the awards this year. Conspicuously absent in London was a contingent of French chefs or representatives from Michelin-starred restaurants like Bras, which landed the No. 47 spot, Pierre Gagnaire, which landed the 17th position, and L'Atelier Saint-Germain de Joel Robuchon, in the 12th spot.

For the full results, visit http://www.theworlds50best.com

  • Custom faux-tique electric tram aims to replace New York's horses over the neigh-sayers 38 minutes ago
    Custom faux-tique electric tram aims to replace New York's horses over the neigh-sayers

    For the record, it's the year 2014. I mention that in case someone reading this story about a push to replace horses with motorized carriages thinks they've stumbled onto some archival piece by accident. It's been more than 100 years since the first vehicles began to trundle around Manhattan, but the last remaining vestiges of horse-powered transport in the city could be nigh — if the backers of a massive electric wagon get their way.

  • Can home remedies cure jock itch and athlete’s foot? 3 hours ago
    Can home remedies cure jock itch and athlete’s foot?

    Contrary to its name, a ringworm infection is not caused by a worm but by a fungus. It can be contagious and is often characterised by a red circular rash with clearer skin in the middle. Offering tips about what … Continue reading →

  • 2015 Acura TLX blends two sedans into one alphabet soup 5 hours ago
    2015 Acura TLX blends two sedans into one alphabet soup

    Nearly three decades have passed since Honda gave us the car we didn’t know we wanted: a fancified Accord called the Legend, which Honda sold under a newly created luxury brand called Acura. Acura, along with the Lexus and Infiniti brands that followed, proceeded to turn the luxury market on its nose. But since then, everyone from Hyundai to Bentley has stepped up its luxury game while Acura got a bit lost in ubiquity with a cadre of similar-looking products, all with confusing alphabet soup names like ILX, TSX, TL and RLX.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...

  • Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers
    Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers

    Singaporeans on social media reacted angrily to news that tissue sellers at hawker centres and street corners are being required to pay for an annual licence.

  • Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes
    Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

    By Narae Kim JINDO South Korea (Reuters) - More than 280 people, many of them students from the same high school, were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years. It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea's southwest coast, but some survivors spoke of a loud noise prior to the disaster.