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BY JES MAGILL
When UK-based Jeffrey Merrihue tells
people what he’s been up to, the first thing
they feel is jealous. He has recently travelled
the globe, dining at every restaurant on the
World’s 50 Best Restaurants List.
Contrary to what he imagined, he
was delighted to discover that six of the
most exciting dining experiences on his
mega foodie foray were a long distance
from the extremely popular, established
culinary hotspots that normally attract
“It would be easy to think that
standards might drop outside the world’s
gourmet powerhouses – the countries
covered by the Michelin list – but, in fact,
the opposite is true,” Merrihue says.
“Six of the most exhilarating restaurants
on the list, for me, were in the world’s
farthest flung destinations.”
Down this part of the world we’re pretty
chuffed because Merrihue’s second
best dining experience was at Attica in
Melbourne where Kiwi-born chef Ben
Shewry has been at the helm for quite
some time now.
Merrihue’s credentials: He’s a
marketing partner with The World’s 50
Best Restaurants, CEO of Mofilms and Mr
Jones, a brand/tech company leveraging
30,000 creatives globally to create and
distribute brand videos, and CEO/ co-
founder of FoodieHub, the largest network
of food experts that track down the world’s
most essential places to dine.
Merrihue’s gourmand adventures make
great reading. His first pick was Ultraviolet by
Paul Pairet in Shanghai, with an audio-visual
gourmet experience Merrihue says he’ll
remember for a life time. Ultraviolet comes in
at No. 24 on the World’s 50 Best List.
In second place was Attica. Using local
produce such as kangaroo and wallaby,
Merrihue says Shewry defines “Australia
on a plate.” Attica is currently 32 on the
World’s 50 Best list.
Judged number two on Latin America’s 50
Best Restaurants list, 42 on the World’s Best
list and third on Merrihue’s unofficial “best”
list was Boragó, known as the breakout
Latin restaurant of 2015. Chef Rodolfo
Guzmán is a famous forager and served
Merrihue a plate of leaves: “Great”, he says.
Chefs favourite, Faviken in Sweden
came in at number four on Merrihue’s list.
Judged hard to get there but “dazzling”.
Magnus Nilsson sawed the joint of an
animal for a dish featuring marrow,
combining “traditional and modern
techniques to superb effect.” Faviken is 25
on The World’s Best 50 list.
Staying north and providing Merrihue
the “most surprisingly good meal of the
tour” was White Rabbit in Moscow. The
restaurant’s theme seems whimsical
but the, “The food was serious – Russian
cooking updated with modern techniques.”
The last stop on Merrihue’s tour was
The Test Kitchen in Cape Town: “Great
local ingredients prepared with confidence
and flair.” At number 28 on the World’s 50
Best list, chef Luke Dale-Roberts served
the Billionaire Shortbread: a porcini
mushroom shortbread with truffle jelly,
duck liver parfait, dark chocolate and gold
Maldon salt. And his last word, “historic”.
More accolades for Melbourne-based
Ben Shewry at Attica.
Marketing partner with
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list,
Jeffrey Merrihue, has just travelled to
the farthest flung dining destinations
on the list, and that includes
Ripponlea Garden Broth
Cape Grim Beef
Another great year for Attica
One year after taking full ownership of Attica restaurant in Melbourne,
the accolades continue to rain down on Kiwi chef Ben Shewry. The
10-year-old establishment was voted the best restaurant in Australasia
by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants judges – the only Australian
restaurant to make the 2016 list; coming in at 33, one place down from
For the first time, an Italian restaurant has taken top spot on the list,
with Osteria Francescana in Modena knocking Girona’s El Celler de Can
Roca from the number-one spot.
It was big news for Antipodean cuisine too, with the announcement
at this year’s awards that the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants will
be announced in Melbourne. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list
isn’t everyone’s cup of tea though, evolving from a more casual, non-
commerical model at its inception, to a much more commercial model.
It has been criticised for being elitist, sexist, anti-French, and most of
the restaurants claimed too expensive. Whatever one’s view, the fact
that the list is coming to town is good news for many. Leading Auckland
chef Sid Sahrawat (SidArt and Cassia), says: “It’s pretty cool for San
Pellegrino [the event sponsors], to be coming to Melbourne next year.”
Hospitality BUSINESS | July 2016 | 7
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