- Words by Mr John Lanchester
The broad rule of thumb with restaurants and food is the same as it is with all other areas of globalised life: you can get everything, everywhere, all the time. Produce is more internationalised than ever, and so are trends and cooking techniques - and as for the idea of keeping an idea secret, forget it. The bloggers and tweeters are across new developments as soon as they happen; no sooner has a chef put something on his menu for the first time than a customer has photographed it and uploaded it for the benefit of any chef in the world who wants to pinch, copy or imitate.
The important restaurant trend that has grown in response to that is to head in the opposite direction. It's about food that you precisely can't get anywhere else, or at any other moment: it's about unique experiences. Top chefs are now focused on locality and specificity. This cooking emphasises the sense of place. Ten years ago, the most influential restaurant in the world was generally agreed to be Mr Ferran Adrià's El Bulli on the Costa Brava, which was focused on technique and newness; its successor, Mr René Redzepi's Noma in Copenhagen, is all about locality, seasonality and sustainability. Click through the slides, above, to find out about eight places that exemplify the trend.