By Patrick Hieger

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Last night in Lima, Peru, in front of a packed house that included some of the top culinary talent from Latin America, the 2014 edition of the Latin America’s 50 Best restaurants awards were announced. It was a night of eager anticipation, waiting to see who would make it in, who would be dropping out, and who, at night’s end, would be number one. There were certainly some surprises, particularly when the top five changed entirely this year, many say for the better.  The awards this year did seem a good deal more balanced and even, highlighting a large pack of hot young talent that will continue to lead the region towards culinary greatness.

When Central took the number one spot of the evening, he didn’t take to the stage alone. He, along with his sister who manages the front of house, his sommelier Greg Smith, and his wife and chef de cuisine, Maria Pia Leon, received the award together highlighting the work they had done as a team to get to the top.  Although both Gastón Acurio and newly-minted head chef Diego Muñoz were on hand, neither took to the stage to receive their award.  Overall, it was a night full of smiles, hugs, and well wishes, even though many of the big names slipped one or more positions, replaced by newer restaurants.

The awards are based on anonymous votes from a group of more than 200 voters throughout Latin America.  While they will ultimately mean a massive surge in reservations, press and opportunities for each of the restaurants, the results are still based largely on opinion.

Below, the list in its entirety.  Now, on to Mistura. 

Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014
1.  Central (Lima, Perú) *Best of Peru
2. Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Perú)
3. D.O.M (São Paulo, Brazil) *Best of Brazil
4. Maní (São Paulo, Brazil)
5. Boragó (Santiago, Chile) *Best of Chile
6. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) *Best of Mexico
7. Maido (Lima, Peru)
8. Biko (Mexico City, Mexico)
9. Tegui (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *Best of Argentina
10. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)
11. Malabar (Lima, Peru)
12. Mocotó (São Paulo, Brazil)
13. Roberta Sudbrack (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
14. Aramburu (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
15. La Mar (Lima, Peru)
16. Tarquino (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
17. Parador La Huella (José Ignacio, Uruguay) *Best of Uruguay
18. El Baqueano (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *Highest Climber
19. Pangea (Mexico City, Mexico)
20. Fiesta (Lima, Peru)
21. Chila (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
22. La Cabrera (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
23. Tomo 1 (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
24. Sud 777 (Mexico City, Mexico)
25. Manzanilla (Ensenada, Mexico)
26. MeroToro (Mexico City, Mexico)
27. Rafael (Lima, Peru)
28. Alto (Caracas, Venezuela) *Best of Venezuela
29. Oviedo (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
30. Osaka (Santiago, Chile)
31. La Picantería (Lima Peru) *New Entry
32. Gustu (La Paz, Bolivia) *New Entry *Best of Bolivia
33. Rosetta (Mexico City, Mexico) *New Entry
34. Remanso Do Bosque (Belém, Brazil)
35. Olympe (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
36. Epice (São Paulo, Brazil)
37. Ambrosia (Santiago, Chile) *New Entry
38. Attimo (São Paulo, Brazil)
39. Criterión (Bogotá, Colombia) *Best of Colombia
40. Francis Mallmann 1884 (Mendoza, Argentina)
41. Amaranta (Toluca, Mexico) *New Entry
42. Corazón de Tierra (Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico)
43. Harry Sasson (Bogotá, Colombia)
44. Fasano (São Paulo, Brazil)
45. La Bourgogne (Punta del Este, Uruguay)
46. El Cielo (Bogotá, Colombia)
47. Sucre (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
48. Elena (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
49. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia) *New Entry
50. Pura Tierra (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

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