With Masterchef: The Professionals back on our screens at last, we’re being treated to a master class in great food. (Featured image is by cyclonebill)
A far more challenging cookery contest than the usual Masterchef, in which John Torode puts amateur cooks through their paces, The Professionals is all about technical skills, a good palate and an eye for detail.
Michelin-star chef Michel Roux Jr is on hand to test not only the professional chefs’ ability to blend flavours and create fantastic dishes, but also their knowledge of food and their essential cookery skills.
It is a cookery competition which is not for the faint-hearted; the stakes are high, the time constraints are strict, and Michel is not a forgiving judge.
Many good cooks have fallen by the wayside over the course of four series of the show, leaving only the best of the best.
This year is no different, as the hopefuls are challenged to work with niche food, create different sauces and even impress some of the UK’s toughest food critics.
There’s no doubt that all the professional chefs have plenty of skill, as the dishes they create get the taste buds tingling just by looking at them.
So, where can you find the sort of culinary delights that would make Michel Roux Jr proud? Here’s a look at some of the best restaurants in the world.
This restaurant in central Copenhagen boasts two Michelin stars and was voted the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine earlier this year, for the third year in a row. What’s more, our sister site momondo.com, collaborated with Noma on a guide book to Copenhagen. All places in the book (it includes city maps and street descriptions) are recommended by the knowledgeable staff from Noma.
Run by the world-renowned chef René Redzepi, Noma opened in 2004 in a converted waterfront warehouse in the heart of Denmark’s capital city.
Best known for its reinvention and unique interpretation of traditional Nordic cuisine, Noma also places an importance on foraging to create out-of-this-world food.
Per Se, New York
New York is a city known for its high-quality casual dining and for having some of the best street food in the world, but it knows a thing or two about fine dining as well.
For the best of the best, head to Per Se in the Time Warner Centre. This fantastic restaurant has been called the best in the city by the New York Times and is one of only seven restaurants in the US to have three Michelin stars.
Overlooking Central Park, Per Se’s menu changes and evolves on a daily basis, and is constantly under scrutiny to deliver the best dining experience possible.
L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joël Robuchon, Paris
L’Atelier is a chain of high-class restaurants owned by leading chef Joël Robuchon, with locations dotted around the world.
L’Atelier Saint-Germain, in Paris, is the jewel in Robuchon’s crown and combines superb cuisine with a fun and interactive dining experience – not an easy task.
The restaurant has a sushi bar-like design, with many of the seats overlooking the cooking area. This creates a relaxed and fun atmosphere, and gives guests the chance to see fine French cooking in action.
The Fat Duck, Berkshire
One of the world’s best-known restaurants, Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck offers dishes that you’re guaranteed not to find anywhere else in the world.
Blumenthal is known for food science experimentation, and The Fat Duck’s menu is peppered with intriguing choices that challenge our perception of what food should be.
Some of the highlights from the off-the-wall menu include scrambled egg-and-bacon ice cream, snail porridge, and the famous “Sound of the Sea” – an oyster, clam, mussel and seaweed dish served with an iPod.
El Celler de Can Roca, Spain
While France springs to mind immediately when most of us think of fine dining, Spain has a large number of world-renowned restaurants with Michelin stars aplenty.
El Celler de Can Roca, in the city of Girona, is probably the best that Spain has to offer. Set up by three brothers in 1986, the restaurant now has three Michelin stars.
Traditional Catalan ingredients take centre stage on the menu, and the three Roca brothers combine simple flavours and fun cooking to creating a truly memorable experience.