It was an exciting year covering the food and restaurant scene here at Robb Report. After looking back at everything we published in 2017 and sorting through the data, it’s clear that readers love Michelin stars, Top Chef, people quitting their jobs, and Michelin star winners—not to overlook Top Chef contestants who quit their jobs. Don’t believe me? Well, here, in order, are the 10 most read dining stories of the year.
10. Want a Table at the New Noma? You’re Already Too Late
The mostly hotly anticipated restaurant opening of 2018 didn’t take long to sell out. In less than 24 hours, every single available table over a three-month span was booked. But you still have a slim chance of winning your way to opening night of the wildly influential restaurant’s new location.
9. Chef Michael Voltaggio Explains Why He’s Closing His Acclaimed L.A. Restaurant, Ink
When Top Chef winner and modernist maestro Michael Voltaggio announced he’d shut down his flagship restaurant Ink, it came as a shock. We wondered why he would do such a thing. So we sat down with the talented chef to understand why the thought process behind his drastic move and his ambitious plan to open a more casual convivial restaurant nearby in just a matter of weeks (a plan which he pulled off).
8. A 70-Year-Old Thai Street Food Vendor Just Won a Michelin Star
Michelin published its first ever guide to Bangkok in 2017, and while the Thai capitol didn’t have and restaurants earn three stars this time around, a standout street food vendor won itself a star.
7. America’s 3-Michelin-Star Restaurants of 2018
After the dust settled from the release of Michelin’s four U.S. guides—Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and New York—14 restaurants across America held the distinction of three Michelin stars. We profiled each of those haute dining destinations.
6. Where Are Top Chef’s Past Winners Now?
The Bravo chef competition show is now in the midst of its 15th season, still humming along as one of the rare reality TV shows the food world actually takes seriously. Before Top Chef Colorado kicked off, we looked back at what the previous 14 winners were up to now.
5. Gordon Ramsay Is Shocked by Farm-Raised Caviar’s Quality
When the bombastic English chef started worrying about the sustainability of his beloved caviar, he went in pursuit of a farm-raised alternative to wild beluga. He traveled to the south of Spain to see if cultivators there could raise sturgeon that would produce delicious sturgeon roe.
4. 3-Michelin-Star Grace Closes After Kitchen Staff Walks Out in Wake of Chef Quitting
For five years the brilliant chef Curtis Duffy poured all of his time and creativity into making the Chicago restaurant Grace one of the world’s very best. In 2015, he ascended to the mountaintop, leading Grace to become only the second Chicago restaurant to earn three Michelin stars. But in just a few days in December of this year it all unraveled, and now the restaurant is no more.
3. Only a Few People Left in the World Can Make This Pasta Nicknamed “The Threads of God”
Across Italy, there are little regions that make their own style of pasta, and one of them, “su filendeu” or “the threads of god” is nearing extinction. In Nuoro, a town of about 36,000 people in Sardinia, meet one of old women who is a keeper of the su filindeu flame.
2. The $106 Million Eataly World Will Be a Theme Park for Foodies
You may have visited an Eataly in one of the stateside locations in New York, Chicago, or Boston, but nothing would prepare you for the sheer size and scope of its newest outpost. FICO Eataly World—FICO is an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Contadina, which roughly translates to Italian Farming Factory—will be nearly 20 times as big as its downtown New York location. It’s so big that Italian bicycle maker Bianchi has crafted 500 bikes with baskets attached to the front so patrons can more easily traverse the 20-acre grounds.
1. Beyond Deadliest Catch: The Fishermen in Pursuit of One of the World’s Greatest Delicacies
Writer Justin Tejada heads to the farthest reaches of Alaska to meet the fisherman braving the frigid and dangerous waters near the arctic to catch king crab—and putting their lives on the line to do it.