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Blumenthal Recieves Accolade While Ramsey Falls From Grace

Blumenthal Recieves Accolade While Ramsey Falls From Grace

El Bulli in Spain was "Restaurant" magazine's top choice this year (photo by Creative Commons user FotoosVanRobin)

Martin Hickman | The Indendant

‘Restaurant’ magazine’s influential survey of the world’s best eateries deals another blow to British chef after series of setbacks

Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck was named one of the top restaurants in the world last night as Gordon Ramsay suffered the ignominy of falling out of the top 100.

Just two months after hundreds of its £200-a-head diners fell violently ill, the Fat Duck, renowned for serving such unusual delicacies as nitro-green tea and salmon in liquorice, was named the second best restaurant in the world behind El Bulli in Spain for the fourth year running.

But the biggest casualty was Gordon Ramsay, whose worldwide restaurant empire has 10 Michelin stars, more than any other British chef. His finest restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, central London – one of only three British establishments with three Michelin stars – fell out of the top 100 completely.

Ramsay’s fall completes a hat trick of negative publicity for the chef in the past week, following news that his gastro pubs reheat food prepared in a central kitchen and environmental health reports that revealed pest controllers had been called in to tackle cockroaches at Claridge’s in 2007.

For Blumenthal, the rating was a sign of his global standing in a top 50 in which Britain’s one-time tally of 14 has slipped away to continental rivals. But for the 529 diners who complained they fell violently ill after eating at the Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, the accolade may be harder to swallow.

Within the next month the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is due to issue its report on the sickness, which is believed to have been caused by a winter vomiting bug spread by staff.

Some 800 chefs, critics and industry experts judged Restaurant magazine’s World’s Top 50 Restaurants, which was announced at Freemason’s Hall in central London last night.