Despite the fact that picking the best restaurant in the world is as absurd as voting for the world’s best anything, no one could deny that the 50 best restaurants list is a genius PR initiative. Thanks to the marketing power of these annual, highly publicised awards living culinary legends have been born. If Ferran Adrià and René Redzepi had not been chosen to be the world’s best chefs for several years, no matter how talented they are, they wouldn’t be such mainstream media superstars as they are now.
But let’s talk about Mirazur, which, if to take the San Pellegrino awards seriously, is now the 11th best restaurant in the world and the best in France. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have driven to the outskirts of Menton for three times if I didn’t love the place. Mauro Colagreco, originally from Argentine, is passionate about excellent ingredients and has mastered contemporary cooking techniques to perfection. Having said that, he is someone who is following and going together with the gastronomic trends rather than creating them.
Does food have to be innovative or fashionable to be good? Of course no, but once you are crowned as the best restaurant in France, you have the burden of being better than many other brilliant French chefs such as Pascal Barbot from L’Astrance, Alain Passard from L’Arpège or Eric Frechon from Epicure just to name a few. And that’s quite a challenging burden. Someone asked me recently if Mirazur is worth a special trip. I answered yes, if you intend to drive for a nice, relaxed dinner from somewhere in the South of France. However, if you do choose to play the San Pellegrino/ Restaurant magazine game, you might be disappointed.