When it comes for the world’s best chefs to eat out, where do they go? The recently published book Where Chefs Eat, by The Guardian food writer Joe Warwick asked 400 of the most famous chefs to name their favorite places for a meal.
It’s just been published and is already destined to be one of this year’s most talked-about books in fine dining circles: Phaidon’s Where Chefs Eat is a guidebook to the world’s best restaurants, according to the opinions of the world’s best chefs. But this isn’t a strictly Michelin-starred affair: the often-surprising list includes tons of low-cost eateries, breakfast places, and even hot dog stands.
Curated by Warwick, the book features 2,300 restaurants that have been selected and praised by 400 of the world’s most respected chefs. Each chef was asked to provide an answer for each of the following eight questions: "what is your standard, go-to restaurant; what’s your favorite place for breakfast; where do you go for a late-night meal after work; what’s your favorite eatery specialized in “local” cuisine; what’s your favorite “cheap” meal; where do you go to celebrate special occasions; what’s a restaurant worth travelling for; and which restaurant they wish they had opened themselves."
Réné Redzepi, the acclaimed Noma chef and star of Nordic cuisine, reveals his favorite sandwich spot in Copenhagen—the traditional Schønnemann—and his favorite café, Coffee Collective, where beans are roasted onsite.
Among Markus Samuelsson’s favorites of New York’s Aquavit: Minetta's Tavern in Greenwich Village, and the Italian restaurant, Roberta's, in Brooklyn, run by self-taught chef Carlo Mirarchi.
Who better than Ferran Adrià to give advice about eating in Spain? Among his suggestions: Tapas24 in Barcelona for a casual meal, and Rias de Galicia, for an exquisite meal of raw fish.
Henston Blumenthal, who together with Adrià, is considered the godfather of molecular cuisine, loves the Northern Indian restaurant Maliks Tandoori in Cookham, Berkshire: “I don’t even order there,” he writes, “I just let them bring me whatever they want, and it’s always excellent.”
Craig Stoll, who owns the four Italian restaurants under the name Delfina in San Francisco, says that his favorite pizza ever is in Rome’s 00100—a super casual takeaway where they sell simple pizzas by the kilogram.
With regards to high-end, avant-garde cuisine, the noodle master David Chang suggests Benu in San Francisco, and names Sydney’s Golden Century as the best Cantonese restaurant in the world. Traditional mainstays of fine dining include Chez George—a favorite of Fergus Henderson (of St John’s in London): Chez George opened in 1964 and has barely changed since then, but it continues to please even the most sophisticated of palates.
Some cited destinations are a bit inconvenient for just about anyone, but top-tier chefs claim they are worth the trip: English chef Stephen Harris (whose gastropub in Kent has become one of the UK’s most exclusive restaurants), recommends a trip to Faviken Magasinet—about 750 km north of Stockholm—for incredible dishes made from local Arctic ingredients.
Despite so much variation in the answers and the wide range of personal tastes and preferences, many chefs reached a consensus when asked which restaurant they wish they had opened themselves.
The most common answer? Noma in Copenhagen, which has been voted the world’s best restaurant three years in a row.