by Mary Alexander

La Colombe restaurant's innovative chef Luke Dale-Roberts “effortlessly combines Asian influences with a modern French style of cooking,” say organisers of the World's Best 50 Restaurants list.

South Africa’s La Colombe has been named the 12th best restaurant in the world, and the best restaurant in the Middle East and Africa, in the 2010 edition of the prestigious S Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, produced by the British Restaurant magazine.

The awards organisers said the restaurant “effortlessly combines Asian influences with a modern French style of cooking”. Based at the Constantia Uitsig wine estate south of Cape Town, La Colombe has been headed by chef Luke Dale-Roberts since 2006, who has “developed ideas such as a creamy miso dressing or cepe and sage brioche to retain a loyal clientele”.

La Colombe was also the winner of the Chef of the Year 2009 and Restaurant of the Year for both 2008 and 2009 in the Prudential Eat Out Awards, and was given a three-star rating, the highest, in the 2009 and 2010 issues of the Rossouw’s Restaurants guide.

The restaurant named the very best in the world was Copenhagen’s Noma, run by 32-year-old head chef Rene Redzepi. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled from the votes of 806 international critics, journalists and food experts, who rate innovation in cooking over haute cuisine.

Another South African restaurant to make the list was Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek in the Western Cape, which at 31 was up six places on the 2009 list. The restaurant is headed by chef Margot Janse, who organisers described as “a true champion of South African cuisine,” using “local meats such as warthog loin or springbok to great effect”.

In 2009 La Quartier Francais was named the 2009 Best Restaurant in the Middle East and Africa, and was one of the top 10 restaurants in the Prudential Eat Out Awards.

“This year’s list is an exciting one that highlights in particular the wealth of young, dynamic chefs bringing new ideas to the world of gastronomy,” said Paul Wootton, editor of Restaurant . The magazine is the UK’s leading publication for restauranteurs and chefs, and has been running the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, regarded as the Oscars of the food world, since 2002.

In second place on the top list, after four consecutive years at number one, was Spain’s El Bulli restaurant, headed by Ferran Adrià. Adrià was also honoured with Restaurant’s inaugural Chef of the Decade Award.

The UK’s Fat Duck, run by famous television chef and culinary chemist Heston Blumenthal was in third place, with Blumenthal also receiving the Chef’s Choice Award.

The full list of the S Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2010 includes:

  1. Noma in Denmark
  2. El Bulli in Spain
  3. The Fat Duck in UK
  4. El Celler de Can Roca in Spain
  5. Mugaritz in Spain
  6. Osteria Francescana in Italy
  7. Alinea in the USA
  8. Daniel in the USA
  9. Arzak in Spain
  10. Per Se in the USA
  11. Le Chateaubriand in France
  12. La Colombe in South Africa
  13. Pierre Gagnaire in France
  14. L’Hotel de Ville – Philippe Rochat in Switzerland
  15. Le Bernardin in the USA
  16. L’Astrance in France
  17. Hof Van Cleve in Belgium
  18. D.O.M. in Brazil
  19. Oud Sluis in Holland
  20. Le Calendre in Italy
  21. Steirereck in Austria
  22. Vendome in Germany
  23. Chef Dominique in Finland
  24. Les Creations de Narisawa in Japan
  25. Mathias Dahlgren in Sweden
  26. Momofuku SSam Bar in the USA
  27. Quay in Australia
  28. Iggy’s in Singapore
  29. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in France
  30. Schloss Schauenstein in Switzerland
  31. Le Quartier Francais in South Africa
  32. The French Laundry in the USA
  33. Martin Berasategui in Spain
  34. Aqua in the UK
  35. Combal Zero in Italy
  36. Dal Pescatore in Italy
  37. De Librije in the Netherlands
  38. Tetsuya’s in Australia
  39. Jaan Par Andre in Singapore
  40. Il Canto in Italy
  41. Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athenee in France
  42. Oaxen Krog in Sweden
  43. St John in the UK
  44. La Maison Troisgros in France
  45. wd~50 in the USA
  46. Biko in Mexico
  47. Die Schwarzwaldstube in Germany
  48. Nihonryori RyuGin in Japan
  49. Hibiscus in the UK
  50. Eleven Madison Park in the USA