elBulli chef Ferran Adrià, who famously closed his restaurant back in July of 2011, was asked by the Italian publication La Stampa how he felt about Noma chef René Redzepi taking the #1 spot in the World's 50 Best List. Adrià joked, "I still am beating him 5 to 3." Redzepi is on something of a roll, having received the #1 distinction in the World's 50 Best List three years running. This was after elBulli won five times in a row; Noma took the top slot for the first time in 2010, which was also the year Adrià pulled elBulli out of the running.
In the interview with La Stampa, Adrià discusses lecturing at Harvard, becoming a recognizable figure around the world, and the distinction between molecular and techno-emotional cuisine. But one of the last questions was: "René Redzepi, one of the young chefs who passed through elBulli, has snatched up the distinction of best chef in the world three times. He serves live ants at dinner: is he crazier than you?"
The best contemporary chefs have passed through my kitchen, which means that I don't rule with an iron fist and am a great teacher. René does what I was doing years ago: using products exclusively from his area, with a level of coherence and creativity that's very natural to me. I can't help be happy for him for having won the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best three years in a row. However, I'm still beating him 5 to 3.
If anything, it's a challenge to Redzepi to keep it up. But keep in mind that this was Spanish translated into Italian, then translated into English — so there might be something lost in translation, as sometimes happens with Adrià.
· Ferran Adrià "A un anno dalla fine del Bulli insegno creatività a Harvard" [La Vanguardia via Fine Dining Lovers]
· All Ferran Adrià Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All René Redzepi Coverage on Eater [-E-]