Last night, Mexico City hosted the coronation of a new group of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, a regional version of the annual awards given out by the group behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Peruvian restaurant Central has been named the top restaurant in Latin America for the second year in a row.
Chef Virgilio Martinez’s Central—known for a tasting menu exploring the biodiversity of the Amazon and the Andes—was joined at the top of the list by a couple of its fellow Lima restaurants. Prolific restaurateur Gaston Acurio’s Astrid y Gaston took the third spot on the list, while Micha Tsumura’s Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant Maido came in at number five. Rounding out the top five are Rudolfo Guzman’s Boragó in Santiago, Chile (number two) and Alex Atala’s D.O.M. in São Paulo (number four).
Overall, Mexico and Argentina cleaned up with the most restaurants on the list at 10 apiece; Peru and Brazil were not far behind with nine and eight entries, respectively. These top restaurants include the likes of Quintonil (which this year vaulted to the top restaurant from Mexico) and its fellow Mexican heavyweights Pujol and Biko, as well as contemporary Argentinian restaurant Tegui and chef Helena Rizzo’s beloved Maní in São Paulo.
In addition, Pujol chef Enrique Olvera won the lifetime achievement award for his work in Mexico City, while Astrid Gutsche, married to chef Gaston Acurio, won the award for best pastry chef for her work in Peru’s Acurio restaurant group. Roberta Sudbrack, chef of an eponymous restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was named Latin America’s Best Female Chef.
The Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants awards are sponsored by S. Pellegrino and voted upon by a group of 252 journalists, food critics, chefs, restaurant owners, and other big names on the food world scene. The organization and its global edition have been criticized in the past for being insular and allowing cronyism in its voting process, but have an enormous influence on restaurant bottom lines—and provide a great guide for travelers. Here’s the list of the top 10:
1. Central in Lima, Peru.
2. Boragó in Santiago, Chile.
3. Astrid y Gaston in Lima, Peru.
4. D.O.M. in São Paulo, Brazil.
5. Maido in Lima, Peru.
6. Quintonil in Mexico City, Mexico.
7. Tegui in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
8. Maní in São Paulo, Brazil.
9. Pujol in Mexico City, Mexico.
10. Biko in Mexico City, Mexico.