Being an ex chef I pay attention when I see lists like The Worlds 50 Best Restaurants 2006. Looking at the list I see two restaurants that I dream of eating at one day and one I dreamt of eating at many years ago.
Number 4 on the list is the one I most want to visit The French Laundry. From all accounts a fantastic eatery and at the top of it's game. Number 2 The Fat Duck is the other. I have to admit I've never heard of El Bulli from Spain, but it tops the list.
Great to see an Aussie venue at number 5, Tetsuya's. This is probably the one restaurant on the list that I will actually get to eat at. Also great to see one particular restaurant still on the list after so many years. I once stood outside of it and peered in when I was cooking in London, imagining what it would have been like to work under the guidance of either Michel or Albert Roux. In the 80's these guys were demi-gods and Le Gavroche was the place to eat, It's at number 27.
I have two degrees of seperation with the number 14 restaurant, Gordon Ramsay. One of my apprentices worked with him after he left my place/guidance, he would have learnt a hell of a lot more from that guy than I could ever teach him.
Ahhh the days of old :o)