Published on Spear’s WMS on 3rd May 2013:
As the chatter quietens down and lights dim inside the Guildhall ready for the countdown of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, a flurry of activity restarts.
The results had been leaked. ‘It’s all over the internet,’ screams Twitter.
How silly are we to be sitting down, waiting eagerly to see if Noma had been toppled?
‘Can everyone switch off their phone please?’ came the announcement. I guess the organisers knew too.
But still, there’s a slim chance that the results were fake. As the countdown begins, it was obvious — we’re all trapped here for the next hour listening to what we already knew. The Spanish have taken the crown: El Celler de Can Roca is number one.
Christ, this is tedious. Especially as the champagne had been ditched at the reception; the thirst is coming on strong.
Even more annoying, perhaps, was the prospect of having to file a story overnight because, apparently, only three media outlets in the world have been given access to the results before the event. So much for embargoes, eh?
But then it struck me. Something that was even more annoying than losing sleep. Knowing the results doesn’t mean that the event was any less of a celebration — of achievements, creativity, hospitality, innovation, etc. The list goes on.
Because if you, like me and like them, have worked inside a kitchen, you know hard work doesn’t even begin to describe it. Sure, if the results were just posted on Twitter each year, we probably wouldn’t have to needlessly sit there while Mark Durden-Smith whittled down the numbers until we get to number one but actually, for everyone on the list, this was their 15 minutes.
So shush, Twitter, let them have their moment of glory and savour their spot in restaurant history.