British restaurant guide enrages French critics

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Indy Lifestyle Online

France's gastronomic establishment on Wednesday reacted with outrage to an upmarket British restaurant guide that excluded French eateries from its top 10 list.

The list by the magazine Restaurant, published on Monday, named the 50 top tables in the world chosen by 800 international critics, and included the Parisian bistro Chateaubriand plus several other eateries of French chefs.

But there were no French restaurants in the top 10, in which the title of best in the world went to chef Rene Redzepi's restaurant Noma in Copenhagen.

The other top 10 places went to restaurants in Spain, the United States, Britain and Italy.

The restaurant critic for French newspaper Le Monde, Jean-Claude Ribaut, rejected the choices overall as "a farce" and "a swindle", saying the magazine listed only the best-known restaurants, not the best.

He criticised the magazine's method of ranking the restaurants based on a tally of the number of critics who cite an establishment's name.

"All it tells you is which are the most well-known restaurants and the most fashionable," Ribaut told AFP. This "exacerbates nationalistic" attachments, he added.

Among several other outraged French critics, Francois Simon of Le Figaro, perhaps France's most influential food writer, branded the list "idiotic."

"There is no such thing as the best restaurant in the world," he said.

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