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Best Meals of 2009

I found last year’s best meals article to be so informative that I decided to publish a 2009 version. So, once again, I asked various chefs, bloggers, etc. people who are either in the food industry or passionate about food the following questions:

1. Name the best meal that you had in 2009
2. Name the chef or restaurant who showed the most potential in 2009

Last year’s responses yielded the names of a number of restaurants that hadn’t been on my radar before. A case in point is Els Casals, a restaurant up in the mountains around an hour and a half from Barcelona. If it wasn’t for Dan Barber naming it as his meal of the year in 2008, it would have never crossed my mind to go there. On this year’s list, the name that kept coming up was Paco Morales at Restaurant Ferrero in the Valencia region of Spain. In fact, five different people named him as the chef with the most potential, an astounding number considering I only interviewed 75 people. So guess who is going to be visiting Ferrero this summer?

If one were to look at this year’s list in terms of the chefs who named most often being “winners,’ I think it’s fair to say that the big winners in the U.S. were Paul Liebrandt of Corton, George Mendes of Aldea, Sean Brock of McCrady’s, Michael White of Marea and Ubuntu’s Jeremy Fox. Besides, Morales. European chefs whose name came up more often than other chefs include Noma’s Rene Redzepi and Adoni Aduriz at Mugaritz. Anyway I hope you enjoy the article and I hope it has a positive impact on your dining experiences in 2010.


A Life Worth Eating
Meal of the Year - El Poblet, Denia, Spain
Chef With Most Potential - Roberto Caporuscio, Keste Pizza & Wine
, New York, NY
www.alifewortheating.com

Alex Raij (Chef/Owner Txikito New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - Echaurren, Ezcaray, Spain
www.txikitonyc.com

Alex Stupak (Pastry Chef WD-50, New York, NY)
Meal of Year - Topolobampo, Chicago, Il
Chef With Most Potential - George Mendes, Aldea, New York, NY
www.wd-50.com

Amanda Kludt (Editor EaterNY.com)
Meal of the Year - Cochon Sunday at Joseph Leonard, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - George Mendes, Aldea, New York, NY
http://eater.com

Andy Carson (Exec. Chef, Quinones Room at Bacchanalia, Atlanta, GA)
Meal of the Year- Corton, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential -
Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, SC
www.starprovisions.com

Andy Hayler (Publisher of Andy Hayler’s Restaurant Guide)
Meal of the Year - Schloss Berg/Christian Bau, Perl Nenig, Germany
Chef With Most Potential - Nathan Outlaw, Fowey, United Kingdom
/www.andyhayler.com/

Angie Mosier (President Board of Directors, Southern Foodways Alliance)
Meal of the Year - Pok Pok, Portland, Oregon
Chef With Most Potential - Billy Allin, Cakes and Ale, Decatur, Georgia
www.southernfoodways.com/

Anna Sortun (Chef/Owner Oleana, Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Meal of the Year - Le Bernardin, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Phialdelphia, PA, Cathy Piuma, Oleana, Cambridge, MA)

www.oleanarestaurant.com

Anthony Bourdain (Host of No Reservations on the Travel Channel)
Meal of the Year - Royal Mail, Dunkfield, Australia
Chef With Most Potential - Michael White, Marea/Alto, New York, NY
www.travelchanel.com

Bob Macdonald (Co-author of Bob and Sue’s Culinary Adventures)
Meal of the Year - L’Astrance, Paris, France
Chef With Most Potential - Daniel Humm,
Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY
www.andrewzimmern.com

Brett Graham (Chef/Owner The Ledbury/Harwood Arms, London, UK)
Meal of the Year - Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef With Most Potential - Rene Redzepi, Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
www.theledbury.com

Brian Campbell (Pastry Chef, Kermadec, Auckland City, NZ)
Meal of the Year - El Poblet, Denia, Spain
Chef With Most Potential - Paco Morales, Hotel Ferrero
, Bocairent, Spain
www.sweetcuisine.net/

Bu Pu Sun’s Gastronomy Adventures
Meal of the Year - Urasawa, Beverly Hills, CA; Per Se, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Michael Ciramusti,
Providence, Los Angeles, CA
http://zhangyuqisfoodjourneys.blogspot.com/

Cathall Armstrong (Chef Owner Eve, Alexandria, Va)
Meal of the Year - French Laundry, Yountville, Ca
Chef With Most Potential - Jeremy Hoffman, Eve,
Alexandria, VA
www.restauranteve.com

Christina Tosi (Pastry Chef Momofuku Milk Bar, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - David Kinch Dinner at Ssam Bar, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Brooks Headley,
Del Posto, New York, NY
www.momofuku.com


Chuckeats
Meal of the Year - Sawada, Tokyo, Japan
Chef With Most Potential - Jeremy Fox, Ubuntu
, Napa, CA
www.chuckeats.com

Christopher Russell (GM Union Square Cafe, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - Sushi Zen, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential Andrew Carmellini & Karen DeMasco, Locanda Verde
, New York, NY
www.unionsquarecafe.com

Cindy Wolf (Chef/owner Charleston, Baltimore, MD)
Meal of the Year - Guy Savoy, Paris, France
Chef With Most Potential - Joan Junca, Ca l’Enric, La Vall de Bianya, Spain
www.charlestonrestaurant.com/

Dan Barber (Chef/Owner Blue Hill/Blue Hill Stone Barns)
Meal of the Year - Senzone, Madrid, Spain (under chef Francisco "Paco" Morales)
Chef With Most Potential -
Francisco "Paco" Morales, Hotel Fererro, Bocairent, Spain
www.bluehillfarm.com/

Daniel Humm (Executive Chef, Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - L’Ambroisie, Paris, France
Chef With Most Potential - Andreas Caminada,
Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
Eleven Madison Park

Daniel Patterson (Chef/Owner Coi, San Francisco)
Meal of the Year - Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef With Most Potential - Mourad Llahlou, Aziza, San Francisco, CA
http://coirestaurant.com/

Danny Meyer (CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group)
Meal of the Year - Ubuntu, Napa, California
Chef With Most Potential
- Gregory Marchand, "Frenchie", Paris, France
www.ushgnyc.com/

David Chang (Chef/Owner Momofuku)
Meal of the Year - El Bulli, Roses, Spain
Chef With Most Potential - Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco, NY
www.momofuku.com

Don Lindgren (Owner, Rabelais Books, Portland, ME)
Meal of the Year - Bresca, Portland, ME
Chef With Most Potential - Andrew Caylor, Hugo’s, Portland, ME
www.rabelaisbooks.com

Docsconz - the Blog
Meal of the Year - Senzone, Madrid, Spain (under chef Francisco "Paco" Morales)
Chef With Most Potential - George Mendes, Aldea, New York, NY
http://docsconz.typepad.com/

Eric Ripert (Chef/owner Le Bernardin, New York, NY and host of Avec Eric)
Meal of the Year - L20, Chicago, Illinois
Chef With Most Potential - Gavin Kayson, Cafe Boulud, New York, NY
http://aveceric.com/

Fabio Trabocchi (Chef Four Seasons, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year -Corton, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Paul Liebrandt, Corton, New York, NY
www.fourseasonsrestaurant.com

Food For Thought Miami
Meal of the Year - NAOE, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Chef With Most Potential -Kevin Cory, NAOE, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
www.foodforthoughmiami.com

Food Snob
Meal of the Year - L’Arpege, Paris, France; Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef With Most Potential - Jeremy Fox, Ubuntu,
Napa, CA
http://foodsnobblog.wordpress.com/

Fred Plotkin (Author of Italy For the Gourmet Traveller)
Meal of the Year - Trattoria da Rosa, Macerata, Italy
www.fredplotkin.com


Gale Gand (Pastry chef Tru, Chicago, IL)
Meal of Year - Roasting Whitefish stuffed with Lemons and Herbs over a Fire Pit with the Hardy Boys at their home in Michigan
Chef With Most Potential - Chris Pandel, Bristol, Chicago, IL
www.galegand.com

Gastros-on-Tour
Meal of the Year - Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef With Most Potential - Kobe Desramaults, In de Wulf, Heuvelland, Belgium
www.gastrosontour.wordpress.com

Georges Mendes (Chef/owner Aldea, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - Corton, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Peter Serpico, Momofuku Ko, New York, NY
http://aldea.com

Good Food
Meal of the Year - Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef With Most Potential - Kobe Desramaults, In de Wulf, Heuvelland, Belgium
http://verygoodfood.com

High-End Food
Meal of the Year - Schloss Berg/Christian Bau, Perl Nening, Germany
Chef With Most Potential - Michael Hoffman, Margaux
, Berlin, Germany
[highendfood.wordpress.com" > http://highendfood.wordpress.com

Jay Rayner (Restaurant critic The Observer, London, UK)
Meal of the Year - Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef With Most Potential - Peter & Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias, Casamia
, Bristol, UK
www.guardian.co.uk

Jeanie Voltsinis (Concierge Soho Grand Hotel, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - Degustation, New York, NY; Sushi Yasuda, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - George Mendes, Aldea, New York, NY
www.SohoGrand.com

Joe Sparatta (Chef, Elements, Princetom NJ)
Meal of the Year - Michel Bras Dinner, WD-50, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Sean Brock
, McCrady’s, Charleston, DC
www.elementsprinceton.com

John B. Shields (Executive Chef Town House, Chilhowie, VA)
Meal of the Year - Mugaritz, Errenteria, Spain
Chef With Most Potential - Tarver King (formerly of Goodstone, Middleburg, VA)
www.townhouseva.com

John Talbot’s Paris
Meal of the Year - Ze Kitchen Galerie, Paris, France
Chef With Most Potential - William Ledeuil, Ze Kitchen Galerie, Paris, France
http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/

Josh Ozersky
Meal of the Year - Le Bernardin, New York, NY; Marea, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Gordon Finn, Alto, New York, NY
www.the-feedbag.com/

Julot: Ze Blog
Meal of the Year - L’Ami Louis, Paris, France
Chef With Most Potential - Guillaume Delage, Jadis, Paris
www.julotlespinceaux.com/

Karen Urie (Pastry Chef Town House, Chilhowie, VA)
Meal of the Year - Mugaritz, Errenteria, Spain
Chef With Most Potential - Sean Brock, Charleston, SC
www.townhouseva.com

Katsuya Fukashima (Executive Chef Think Food Group)
Meal of the Year - Bar Masa, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Jameson Blankenship, Morimoto, New York. NY
www.thinkfoodgroup.com/

Knoopjelos
Meal of the Year - Elzenduin, Ter Heijde, Netherlands, Cordial, Oss, Netherlands
Chef With Most Potential - Niven Kunz, Niven, Rijswijk, Netherlands, Peter Gast, 't Schulten Hues, Zutphen, Netherlands
www.knoopjelos.nl/


Kobe Desramaults (Chef/owner In de Wulf, Heuvelland, Belgium)
Meal of the Year - Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef With Most Potential - Gert De Mangeleer, Hertog Jan, Brugges, Belgium
www.indewulf.be/nl/keuken/filosofie/

Krista Kern Darjelais (Chef/owner Bresca, Portland, Maine)
Meal of the Year - Per Se, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Jessica Wilson, A Voce, New York, NY
www.bresca.org

Luxeat
Meal of the Year - L’Osier, Tokyo, Japan
Chef With Most Potential - Rene Redzepi, Noma, Copenhagen
www.luxeat.com

Michael Carlson (Chef/Owner Schwa, Chicago, IL)
Meal of the Year - Alinea, Chicago, IL
Chef With Most Potential - Paul Liebrandt, Corton, NY
www.schwarestaurant.com

Michelle Bernstein (Chef/owner Michy’s, Miami, Florida)
Meal of the Year - Locanda Verde, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential
- Karen Demasco, Locanda Verde, New York, NY
www.chefmichellebernstein.com/

Mike Anthony (Executive Chef Gramercy Tavern)
Meal of the Year - Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France, Petersham Nursery, London, U.K.
Chef With Most Potential - Nick Anderer, Maialino, New York, NY
www.gramercytavern.com

Mike Latta (Chef/owner Fig, Charleston, SC)
Meal of the Year - Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Mike Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY
www.eatatfig.com

Mourad Lahlo (Chef/Owner Aziza, San Francisco, CA)
Meal of the Year - Spotted Pig, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Louis Maldonado, Aziza, San Francisco, Ca
www.aziza-sf.com

Mrs. P (Saintly Wife of Celebrity Food Blogger)
Meal of the Year - Per Se, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential
- John Shields, Town House, Chilhowie, VA
www.opinionatedaboutdining.com

Nathanial Zimet (Chef/Owner Le Boucherie, New Orleans, LA)
Meal of the Year - Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
Chef With Most Potential - Shane Ingram, FourSquare, Durham, NC
www.boucherie-nola.com

Patrice Demers (Pastry Chef Restaurant Laloux, Montreal, QC)
Meal of the Year - Mugaritz, Errenteria, Spain; Corton, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Paco Morales, Hotel Ferrero, Bociarnet, Spain
www.laloux.com/

Paul Liebrandt (Executive Chef Corton, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - Arpege, Paris, France
Chef With Most Potential
- Alex Stupak, WD-50, New York, NY
www.cortonnyc.com

Priscilla Ferguson (Author of Accounting For Taste, The Triumph of French Cuisine)
Meal of the Year - Yam'Tcha, Paris, France
Chef With Most Potential
- Adeline Grattard, Yam’Tcha, Paris, France
www.accounting fortaste,com

Rene Redzepi (Chef/owner Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Meal of the Year - Kikunoi, Kyoto, Japan
Chef With Most Potential - Mauro Colagreco. Mirazur, Menton, France
www.noma.dk

Rob Evans (Chef/Owner Hugo’s, Portland, ME)
Meal of the Year - Miyake, Portland, ME
Chef With Most Potential - Kevin Binkley’s, Binkley’s, Cave Creek, AZ; Andrew Caylor, Hugo’s, Portland, ME
[hugos.net/" > http://hugos.net/


Rob Gardner (Editor-at-Large, Local Beet)
Meal of the Year - Prairie Fruits Farm beef dinner, Champaign, Il
Chef With Most Potential - Rick Bayless,
Xoco, Chicago, IL
www.thelocalbeet.com/

Robert Bohr (Wine Director, Cru, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - Alinea, Chicago, IL
Chef With Most Potential - George Mendes, Aldea, New York, NY
www.cru-nyc.com

Ryan Poli (Executive Chef, Perrenial, Chicago, Il)
Meal of the Year - Schwa, Chicago, Il
Chef With Most Potential - Jose Maria Puente, Pepitas, Siero, Spain
www.perennialchicago.com

Sean Brock (Chef McCrady’s, Charleston, SC)
Meal of the Year - Coi, San Francisco, CA
Chef With Most Potential - Jeremy Fox, Ubuntu, Napa, CA
www.mccradysrestaurant.com/

Stephen Harris (Chef/owner, The Sportsman, Seasalter, UK)
Meal of the Year - Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark; L’Astrance, Paris, France
Chef With Most Potential - Marc Wilkinson, Fraiche, Wirrel, United Kingdom
www.restaurantfraiche.com

Steve Plotnicki (Celebrity Food Blogger and Publisher of the Opinionated About Dining Survey)
Meal of the Year - El Bulli, Roses, Spain
Chef With Most Potential -
John Shields, Town House, Chilhowie, Virginia; Scott Anderson, Elements, Princeton, N.J.
www.opinionatedaboutdining.com

Soa Davis (Chef/consultant, Le Bernardin, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
Chef With Most Potential - George Mendes, Aldea, New York, NY
www.le-bernardin.com

(editor’s note - We gave the following chef dispensation and allowed him to tell us his dish of the year)
Thomas Keller (Chef/Owner of The French Laundry and author of Ad Hoc at Home)
Dish of the Year - Fusselli with Red Wine Braised Octopus & Bone Marrow, Michael White, Marea, New York, NY
www.frenchlaundry.com/

Tom Aikens (Chef/owner Tom Aikens, London, U.K.)
Meal of the Year - Troisgros, Roanne, France
Chef With Most Potential - Claude Bosi, Hibiscus, London, U.K.
www.tomaikens.co.uk

Tomostyle
Meal of the Year - L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Paris, France
Chef With Most Potential - Ludo Lefebvre, LudoBites, Los Angeles, California
tomostyle.wordpress.com/

Travels With a Gourmet
Meal of the Year - Itineraires, Paris, France,; Busaba Eathai, London, U.K.
Chef With Most Potential - Dani Garcia, La Borega Iberica
Travels With a Gourmet

Ulterior Epicure
Meal of the Year - Uubuntu, Napa, CA; Manresa, Los Gatos, CA; Raku, Las Vegas, NV
Chef With Most Potential - Eric Johnson and Jason Casey, Union J, Hong Kong
http://ulteriorepicure.com/

Veal Cheeks
Meal of the Year - The French Laundry, Yountville, California
Chef With Most Potential - Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore, Maryland
" > http://vealcheeks.blogspot.com

Wandering Epicures
Meal of the Year - Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY
Chef With Most Potential - Mike Latta at Fig, Charleston, S.C.
http:/epicures.com

Wesley Genovart (Chef Degustation, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year - Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
Chef With Most Potential - George Mendes, Aldea, New York, NY
OAD Degustation Review

Don’t forget to participate in this year’s dining guide. The 2010 results for the U.S. & Canada are scheduled to be released on February 1 with the European results being released later in the month. So far close to 2,000 people have registered and 28,000 ratings have been submitted covering over 8,000 restaurants in North America and Europe. If you would like to participate (I would love it if you do), just click on the link below and enter the word “olive" (without the quotation marks) as the pre-approval code. Thanks and have a great New Year!

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