Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

How do OAD and World’s 50 Best Restaurants actually rate, exactly?

Actually, it is always the same discussion that takes place when a new ranking appears. This year is a little different. It’s not so much about whether Mirazur really is the best restaurant in the world, as World’s 50 Best proclaimed yesterday.

It’s pretty certain that it’s not. Another new feature: In the future,  restaurants that were once at the top of the list will be included in the Hall of Fame, the eternal list of best restaurants. You cannot win from now on. The motivation behind this move can be understood: The global PR and marketing machine of the 50 Best naturally works best when there is something brand new to report every year. A new best restaurant in the world. And not, as in recent years, a constant change at the top. Noma back to one – or the Rocca brothers? At some point, this is no longer newsworthy.

But, does the new ductus make the list better? For the globetrotting gourmet tourist? For the restaurateurs? Maybe. But maybe not. Because at the latest when the ten best restaurants in the world have disappeared from the Hall of Fame, the best restaurant in the world is suddenly one that wouldn’t even have made it into the top 10. Theoretically, of course. The restaurants close and open and many things change…

How does the World’s 50 Best Voting work?

Another problem with the 50 Best list is the default to the rating. Ten votes may be cast by each of the jurors. The juror must have eaten at these ten restaurants within the last 18 months. And four of them must be outside his home region. That makes it complicated, both ways. First, the six votes for the home region are very much condensed into a few restaurants when the home region generally does not have many restaurants that matter in a global comparison. Conversely, if there is a local market with an extremely large number of top-notch restaurants, the votes are spread out over a very large number of restaurants. Think of Mexico or Brazil, the Oceania region and Australia – and France, Japan or Italy in comparison. In all regions, the same number of judges will split their six votes among all restaurants.

None of the employees of any of the sponsors associated with the awards votes or has any influence over the results. The Academy is comprised of over 1000 members, each selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene.

To create the Academy, and give it a fair representation of the global restaurant scene, we divide the world up into 26 geographical regions.

Then there’s the problem with restaurants outside your own voting zone. What to visit? What can be achieved quickly? Where can the juror visit as many restaurants as possible during a trip? You quickly end up in the big metropolises in the truest sense of the word. A four-day trip to New York or Paris? You can easily take six to eight restaurants with you. In addition, it may also be exciting to see what your own country’s best chefs are up to abroad. For the South Americans, that could be Argentine compatriot Mauro Colagreco, for example. Just earlier this year, his restaurant was awarded the third star. A good reason for a trip to France. To Menton. To Mirazur.

That’s certainly not why Mirazur has now taken the top spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. A lot also has to do with marketing, in the local market, but also internationally. Ultimately, the list is also an indicator of trends, good PR and efficient marketing. Very similar, by the way, to Opinionated about Dining’s other major international list, OAD for short.

How does the OAD ranking system work?

The various lists that OAD publishes over the course of a year are based on user-generated reviews of restaurants. Meanwhile, the system is open, new users can register directly and cast their votes. The top 200 voters are listed publicly – but not the respective reviews.

Our 2019 results are based on over 200,000 reviews contributed by more than 6,000 people who registered for the survey

Each user has his own score. This depends on the number of restaurants already rated and also the number of ratings for that restaurant. That is, reviews of restaurants that already have a high ranking make the score of the rating users increase faster: Each reviewer is assigned a weight that reflects the number of restaurants he/she has visited and those restaurants’ rank on the OAD list. Obviously, many other criteria are included in this algorithm, because a clear factor between the number of reviews and the score cannot be calculated; it varies depending on the user. It is possible that the score depends on a time factor or even on the quality of the ratings. Within the top 200 list of jurors, the score is currently distributed between 3,592 for 1st place and 273 for 200th place. It can be assumed that the majority of the more than 6,000 registered users are in the double-digit Socre range. The figures only ever refer to registered users, not active users – so the number of users who actually vote may be much lower. In general, however, the more experienced a voter is, the more important his or her vote is. It can be assumed that a user’s score will be included in their rating. Reviewers can assign a rating between 1 and 10 for each restaurant. Whether then a simple multiplication takes place or still further factors intervene is (me) not known.

Rankings are decided by a complicated algorithm giving extra points to more experienced diners than novices, which causes some critics to believe the list is too subjective. “Over time as I kept tweaking the algorithm, I realised that what I am really capturing is the motion of the community that is going to do this – going to Elkano, Etxebarri, Noma last year but not this year – so once I figured out a way to capture their motion, it started to fall into place,” says Plotnicki.

At a defined point in time, the voting is then stopped and the restaurants with the highest score form the respective top list.

What does the OAD listing say?

It is also a very good gauge of trends and of how individual countries are perceived in a global comparison. This differentiates OAD from restaurant ratings that are more concerned with comparability in the local market, such as. the Guide Micheling or Gault & Millau.

Unlike all other lists, local voter votes are of little relevance to OAD. Much more important are the votes of the users with the highest scores, such as the published Top 200 list. In other words, a small group of gourmets traveling worldwide, for the most part with some financial independence. And of course, these globetrotters are looking for very different qualities in a restaurant than many of the local diners. Here, in particular, the authenticity, the reproduction of local cuisine at the highest level, the precise taste of a region and its products are the focus of interest. This is already very well reflected in the current lists.

But there is another factor: the general interest in individual countries and regions. By the way, at OAD Europe it can be observed quite well how the award ceremony, which takes place once a year in changing countries, also has an effect. Among the hundreds of guests at the awards ceremony, there are of course always numerous voters. They use the trip to San Sebastian, Barcelona, Paris or London to visit many local restaurants in the days around the event. Accordingly, these countries play directly higher in the next year’s ranking…

In a recently published interview, British author Bruce Palling asks OAD founder Steve Plotnicki about his current favorites in the European ranking: He names two: Das Ernst from Berlin and Sosein from Heroldsberg. I see this as a very good sign for the perception of our region in the international context.

In the end, it’s safe to say: To be able to play at the top of the global rankings of World’s 50 Best and OAD, it’s not only what happens in the kitchen that counts. The important thing is the location, the story you tell and high visibility among the international jet-set gourmets.

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The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019

Europe’s best 2019

Europe’s best 2019

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