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This Japanese-Peruvian Restaurant Has Been Crowned Latin America’s Best Restaurant

Maido grabs top honors for a third year running.

octopus muchame Photo: courtesy Maido

The World’s 50 Best list no longer allows a restaurant to claim the No. 1 spot more than once. You’ll never see Osteria Francescana, Eleven Madison Park or this year’s winner—Mirazur—atop the charts again. However, that’s not the case with the same organization’s Latin America’s 50 Best rankings. So, for the third year in a row, Nikkei restaurant Maido has been crowned the best restaurant in Latin America, besting Virgilio Martinez’s Central in Lima and Enrique Olvera’s Pujol in Mexico City, which each held second and third, respectively, yet again.

The result is yet another confirmation of the 50 Best organization’s love of Nikkei, of which Maido’s chef Mitsuharu Tsumura has become a global ambassador. The cuisine was born after Japanese immigrants came to Peru in the late 1800s. Some of them eventually opened restaurants and it wasn’t long before Peruvian ingredients and Japanese techniques began to merge, creating a new style of food altogether. The result was a cuisine that featured potatoes, yellow pepper, wasabi, miso, and ginger, built upon a base of lime with chili and soy sauce. “It’s a mixture of citrus, spice, and soy,” Tsumara told Fine Dining Lovers.

Although this year’s list was largely static at the top, there was some minor shuffling just below. Don Julio in Argentina jumped two spots from six to four, pushing Chilean restaurant Boragó down a place to five, while Alex Atala’s legendary Brazilian restaurant D.O.M. dropped five spots down to 10.

Of course, the organization has come in for some intense scrutiny over the last week. During the World’s 50 Best Bars ceremony, the group awarded an icon award to Charles Schumann, which didn’t sit well with bartenders who saw misogynist comments Schumann made in the past and objected to him being held up for celebration. After days of complaints, Schumann gave back the award.

Accusations of misogyny are not exclusive to the handling of the Best Bars awards. The restaurants lists—World, Latin America and Asia—have skewed overwhelmingly toward establishments run by male chefs. The group behind the rankings has vowed to improve representation in the voting body by bringing gender parity to the judges. Those changes will take effect next year.

Latin America’s 50 Best Rankings

1. Maido (Lima, Peru) *The Best Restaurant in Latin America/The Best Restaurant in Peru
2. Central (Lima, Peru) *Sustainable Restaurant Award
3. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) *The Best Restaurant in Mexico
4. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *The Best Restaurant in Argentina
5. Boragó (Santiago, Chile) *The Best Restaurant in Chile
6. A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil) *The Best Restaurant in Brazil
7. El Chato (Bogotá, Colombia) *The Best Restaurant in Colombia
8. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)
9. Osso (Lima, Peru)
10. D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil)
11. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)
12. Isolina (Lima, Peru)
13. Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Peru)
14. Alcalde (Guadalajara, Mexico) *Highest Climber
15. Pangea (Monterrey, Mexico)
16. Sud 777 (Mexico City, Mexico)
17. Maito (Panama City, Panama) *The Best Restaurant in Panama
18. Maní (São Paulo, Brazil)
19. Rafael (Lima, Peru)
20. Mishiguene (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
21. Kjolle (Lima, Peru) *Highest New Entry
22. Harry Sasson (Bogotá, Colombia)
23. Oteque (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
24. Lasai (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) *Art of Hospitality Award
25. Tegui (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
26. La Mar (Lima, Peru)
27. Rosetta (Mexico City, Mexico)
28. Máximo Bistrot (Mexico City, Mexico)
29. Chila (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
30. Ambrosía (Santiago, Chile)
31. Nicos (Mexico City, Mexico)
32. Le Chique (Cancun, Mexico)
33. Parador La Huella (José Ignacio, Uruguay) *The Best Restaurant in Uruguay
34. De Patio (Santiago, Chile) *New Entry
35. Olympe (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
36. Mil (Cusco, Peru) *New Entry
37. Restaurante 040 (Santiago, Chile)
38. La Docena (Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico) *New Entry
39. El Baqueano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
40. Evvai (São Paulo, Brazil) *New Entry
41. La Docena (Guadalajara, Mexico)
42. Manu (Curitiba, Brazil) *New Entry
43. Mocotó (São Paulo, Brazil)
44. Osaka (Santiago, Chile)
45. Elena (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
46. Gran Dabbang (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
47. 99 (Santiago, Chile)
48. Malabar (Lima, Peru)
49. Mayta (Lima, Peru) *New Entry
50. Narda Comedor (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

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