It’s easier to realise the art of good cooking than to try and understand the science it relies on. And that isn’t a bad thing. For the same reason a joke isn’t funny if you have to explain it, a beautifully roasted duck breast—its crisp skin and pink flesh glistening in a cherry and red wine jus—isn’t as sexy if we were to go on and on about the laborious task of roasting and boiling duck bones to make a stock that would need to be further reduced by simmering for another few hours to achieve the ideal consistency for said glaze.
That being said, we also need to make time to appreciate the beauty of a well-cooked dish. If you didn’t grow up with a kitchen goddess of a grandma or mother, the food that many of today’s culinary heroes conceive are the perfect examples, as they are more than the product of an accurately adopted recipe. It’s the sum of parts—from a renewed passion for ingredients with providence to key memories—that compel and inspire them to challenge the norm and put forth their best work, day after day. Why else are more of the same chefs so invested in creative plating ideas? (Check out some stunning examples on page 48.) No doubt, the pleasure we get from such a feast is subjective, but that it is able to please such a diverse group is also testament to the well-designed and executed dishes.
More people are travelling the globe to the best restaurants “to eat emotions”, affirms an impassioned Massimo Bottura; read more about what drives the man behind the World’s Best Restaurant, Osteria Francescana, on page 22. Some travellers even find a way to incorporate an indulgent getaway—find our picks for resorts that combine eating well with conscious cooking on page 32. And lest we forget the bounty of world-class dining experiences our tiny island proudly celebrates, this edition of the T.dining Best Restaurants guide also honours—for the first time—our Top 20 Restaurants (page 72). We do hope you take a moment to savour the artistry on display the next time you partake of a meal on our recommendations.