Top 7 Richest Royal Families

Now after the Price William and Kate Middleton wedding a couple of weeks ago, it made curious to verify which are the Top 7 Richest Royal Families in the World. One thing is for sure: Williams grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, is the richest woman among them, but she didn’t make the cut into the Top 7 List:

1. King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Country: Thailand

Fortune: $30 billion (unchanged)

Age: 82

World’s longest-reigning monarch battled personal health crisis, political unrest. Highly revered King was hospitalized last year with reported lung infection. Meanwhile political protests and government backlash became violent, disrupting the stock market (its stock exchange building suffered fire damage amid rioting) and scaring off both investors and tourists. U.S.-born, Swiss-educated ruler has not stepped into this fray. Monarch’s assets, held under the Crown Property Bureau and composed mainly of public investments and real estate, held up thanks to prior year’s upswing. But continuing turmoil may eventually take its toll.

2. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah

Country: Brunei

Fortune: $20 billion (unchanged)

Age: 63

Sultan is divorcing his third wife; remains married to first wife and mother of eventual successor, Prince Al-Muhtadee Bilah Bolkiah. He and Brunei weathered global recession with conservative economic policies and currency pegged to Singapore’s. But oil production is slowing; reserves are expected to last only 25 years. Trying to diversify economy. Sultan continues to spend lavishly: reportedly purchased 48 handbags, 24 “duck” umbrellas from Lederer de Paris shop in New York recently. Case against brother Prince Jefri, accused of pilfering $15 billion from sultanate, remains in courts.

3. King Abdullah bin Abul Aziz

Country: Saudi Arabia

Fortune: $18 billion (up)

Age: 86

Managed to steer Saudi Arabia through the global recession with government spending and high oil production; the country is projected to record 4% growth this year. King’s fortune up as a result. This year hosted the 12th annual Gulf Cooperation Council attended by fellow royals from Qatar, Kuwait and Dubai. Known for trying to lighten up his Kingdom’s strict religious laws; recently fired a cleric for criticizing a new co-ed university that is set to open in Saudi Arabia.

4. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan

Country:  United Arab Emirates

Fortune: $15 billion (down)

Age: 62

Re-elected president of the UAE for a second five-year term in November by the emirates’ Federal Supreme Council. The hereditary ruler of the tiny emirate of Abu Dhabi provided $10 billion bailout package to debt-burdened brother state of Dubai in December. Did not escape downturn; fortune down $3 billion as result of last year’s 40% decline in oil export earnings, coupled with double-digit declines in real estate and stock markets. Continuing to promote his Abu Dhabi 2030 plan to reinvent it as a tourism and cultural hub.

5. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Country: Dubai

Fortune: $4.5 billion (down)

Age: 60

Fortune tumbled due to emirate’s heavy debt load of $109 billion racked up by state-owned companies in heady days; $15.5 billion of debt due this year. His own Dubai Holding owes banks $12 billion, majority through investment companies Dubai Group and Dubai International Capital, which own stakes in Sony’s and Airbus’ parent. Last December sold stake in Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes at a 60% discount to purchase two years ago. Recently stated that the UAE economy is doing fine and that the worst for Dubai is over. Renowned horseman has valuable equine assets.

6. Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein

Country: Liechtenstein

Fortune: $3.5 billion (unchanged)

Age: 65

Head of a nearly 900-year-old family, prince celebrating his 65th birthday with display at Vienna’s Liechtenstein Museum of roughly 140 artworks acquired during his reign, including works by Rembrandt and Rubens; also promoting his new book The State in the Third Millennium. Meanwhile, country trying to cut government expenditures to plug budget gap of 15%. Profits at his privately owned LGT bank down 35% last year. Liechtenstein taken off of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development’s “uncooperative tax haven” list May 2009, a year after tax evasion scandals brought investigations and calls for more transparency in the country’s banking sector.

7. King Mohammed IV

Country: Morocco

Fortune: $2.5 billion (unchanged)

Age: 46

Ascended throne after father’s death in 1999; focused on alleviating poverty and improving on father’s human rights record. Royal assets include a majority stake in OCP Group, the country’s sole phosphate miner, as well as significant property holdings. Phosphate prices on the rise after a dip last year. King’s ambitious goal of attracting 10 million annual tourists to Morocco by 2010 close to being achieved with some help from Hollywood: comely country served as backdrop to recent star vehicles Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia.

Source: Fortune
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Top 7 Best Restaurants in the World in 2011

Back in December 2010 when we started our blog, this was one of the first and most popular post: Top 7 Best Restaurants in the World in 2010. Last month the S. Pellegrino publication gave the award to the Best Restaurants in 2011. The biggest absence is obviously El Bulli (which won the award for the Best Restaurant 5 times!), since it will close in July 30, 2011, and the cannot take more reserves! There is also interesting that this year a Latin American Restaurant make the cut for the Top 7 (since 2002 no other Latin American Restaurant made it), climbing 11 positions from last year’s ranking:

7. D.O.M.

DOM 540x354

Rua Barao de Capanema, 549 Jardins, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Tel: +551130880761

2010 rank: 18

D.O.M has become a priority destination for all globe-hopping gastronomes, not that chef Alex Atala is resting on his laurels. Instead he scours the Amazon to pepper his with indigenous ingredients, from the staple manioc tuber and its tupuci juice to Amazonian herbs and the huge white-fleshed pirarucu fish to ensure his restaurant is unlike any other on the list.

6. Alinea

Alinea 500x356

1723 North Halstead, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA

Tel: +13128670110

2010 rank: 7

Alinea represents one of the most radical re-imaginings of fine food by any chef in American history and has propelled Grant Achatz to chef superstardom.

Everything about his restaurant is unique, from the deconstructed food, unfamiliar flavour combinations and theatre to the tableware, with dishes served in and on all manner of implements: test tubes, cylinders, multi-layered bowls that come apart. It’s boundary-shifting stuff.

5. The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck 1499x966

High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AQ, England

Tel: +441628580333

2010 rank: 3

Heston Blumenthal’s world-famous, but still tiny restaurant in Bray, has blazed a trail for experimental cooking in this country, but one of its enduring features is also that it is brilliant fun. Sure, guests’ sensory perceptions are challenged, their notion of possibility expanded, but never in a po-faced way.

Instead, gourmand pilgrims can be witnessed smiling and laughing their way through a foodie marathon.

4. Osteria Francescana

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22 Via stelle, Modena, Italy

Tel: +39059210118

2010 rank: 6

Much of the food at Osteria Francescana takes its inspiration from the art world, but this is only half the story.

The unrivalled culinary heritage of the Emilia-Romagna region is chef Massimo Bottura’s other great muse, and the kitchen offers a menu of traditional food alongside more left-field creations. The cooking is exciting and gratifying, the overall experience progressive and relaxed.

3. Mugaritz

mugaritz 539x378

Otzazulueta baserria. Aldura aldea 20 zk. – Errenteria 20100. Gipuzkoa, Spain

Tel: +34943522455

2010 rank: 5

Mugaritz has two dégustation menus that change daily according to what chef Andoni Luis Aduriz can get his hands on at the street markets and what’s growing in the restaurant’s herb garden.

Whatever happens, you can expect to sample the team’s intricate dishes that seek to reconnect diners with nature. His self-dubbed ‘techno-emotional’ approach sees the appliance of science and a rigorous understanding of ingredients jostle with produce-driven cuisine.

2. El Celler de Can Roca

el celler de can roca 753x503

Ctra. Taialà, 40, 17007 Girona, Spain

Tel: +34972222157

2010 rank: 4

El Celler de Can Roca is possibly the least well-known restaurant to have ever held the much-vaunted number-two spot on the list, a quirk which, far from being a hindrance, has allowed the three brothers Roca to get on with what they do best. Their ’emotional cuisine’ with different ingredients and combinations can trigger childhood memories or take you back to a specific place in your past.

1. Noma


Strandgade 93, 1401 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Tel: +4532963297

2010 rank: 1

Noma is best known for its fanatical approach to foraging but there is much more to this ground-breaking restaurant than the mere picking of Mother Nature’s pocket.

It’s the entire package, from its ingredient ingenuity to flawless execution, that makes it a beacon of excellence and which leads to an emotive, intense, liberating way of eating, unlike any other. Many have copied chef Rene Redzepi’s approach, most have failed. For the best in class, Noma really is the number one place to go.

Source: S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants
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Top 7 Best Restaurants in the World in 2010

Wondering where to make reservations for that special dinner you are planning? Here we can give you a hint showing which are the 7 best restaurants in the world:

7. Alinea

1723 North Halstead, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA


“Alinea is a chef driven restaurant – we live and die by the work, cuisine and vision of Grant Achatz”. That is the view of Grant’s Business partner in Alinea.

Judging by our Academy’s opinions, the Chicago staff of Alinea can rest assured their lives are in safe hands with Achatz at the helm. And you’ll know why if you ever get to try dishes such as the all American peanut butter and jelly sandwich, served with bread wrapped round a grape on a specially made spike.

This is arguably the most cutting edge food in America. And in 2010, Grant Achatz’s Chicago outpost has been crowned as the Best Restaurant in North America.  The future is bright for Achatz with two new “projects” in the pipeline for 2010.

6. Osteria Francescana

22 Via stelle, Modena, Italy


Osteria Francescana has only been in the  World’s 50 Best Restaurants listing since 2009, so being 6th must be particularly sweet for Massimo Bottura.
This is the most cutting edge food in Italy. Bottura is a master of color, texture and geometry, the results are quite superb looking dishes.

Osteria Francescana’s walls are adorned with some of the best contemporary art in the world, and Bottura matches them on the plate with his artistic skill.

Take his interpretation of a New York skyline, a dish of Italian meats gently cooked sous vide, standing in for buildings and parsley foam depicting foliage…..Massimo is a welcome addition to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants indeed.

5. Mugaritz

Otzazulueta baserria. Aldura aldea 20 zk. – Errenteria 20100. Gipuzkoa, Spain


Andoni Luis Aduriz is often portrayed as the quiet man of Nueva Cocina. His food is less flamboyant than that of many modern Spanish chefs, and, ostensibly, he is less driven by new technology and kitchen science. But it is all a matter of degree. Aduriz spent two years studying the chemistry of coagulation in order to produce the perfect poached egg. Clearly, he is a chef in possession of a fathomless curiosity and a razor-sharp cutting-edge. “I encourage my team to make an individual effort to explore the origin of everything they touch and transform over fire.”

Where Aduriz veers away from molecular gastronomy, however, is that this learning and technical wizardry very much plays a support role in the Mugaritz kitchen. From baking carrots in clay and ash to creating “crunchy milk sheets”, technique and technology are very much a means to an end.

And what is that end? Well, it’s about coaxing the best flavour from the ingredients. It’s also about paying a creative homage to the natural world. This often involves exploring obscure ingredients, such as winter purslane, roasted acorn skins or amaranth grains, and making original, daring marriages on the plate. At a more profound level, it’s about attempting to produce food which resonates on an emotional as well as sensual level.

Mugaritz’s Naturan menu is full of arresting ideas: warm lettuce hearts soaked in vanilla brine; sheep’s milk curd seasoned with hay and toasted fern; beef roasted with the embers of vine cuttings. It is subtler, earthier, less sexy even, than what is going on at El Bulli, but, be in no doubt, Mugaritz is playing a pivotal role in the great global shift away from tradition, orthodoxy and dull restaurant food.

4. El Celler de Can Roca

Ctra. Taialà, 40, 17007 Girona, Spain


El Celler de Can Roca is the work of three brothers: head chef Joan Roca, maitre ‘d and head sommelier Josep and pastry chef Jordi. Such a meteoric climb into the top 10 might be attributed to their move and new state-of-the-art kitchen-cum-lab, a wine cellar that offers customers an audio-visual journey through five key wine regions and a breathtaking dining space created with natural, organic materials and an abundance of natural light. Spain has yet another top 10 masterpiece restaurant in El Celler De Can Roca.

3. The Fat Duck

High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AQ, England


The Fat Duck is one of the world’s truly unique experiences. The Fat Duck has revolutionized the perception of high-end dining among the wider public in the UK and beyond, with it’s scientific, theatrical and (most of all) fun approach to food and eating out.

Nothing on this menu stands still. Dishes may appear year after year, but they continue to be refined and tweeked to perfection. Examples on the current menu include Salmon poached in Liquorice with Artichokes, and Roast Foie Gras with Rhubarb Braised Konbu & Crab Biscuit.

Heston Blumenthal continues to receive the respect and admiration of his peers having this year been voted the “Electrolux Chefs Choice” by his fellow 50 Best chefs.

2. El Bulli

Apartado 30, 17480 Roses en Cala Montjol, Spain


Ferran’s generous willingness to share his knowledge means his influence now spans the globe. Many of those who have worked with him have taken his techniques and ideas back to their part of the world. Maybe this is what drives Adria to surpass himself each year, in the knowledge that the people who have worked for him are one day capable of topping this list themselves.

Ferran Adria continues to tear up the fine dining rule book, presenting customers with food that often defies description, and maybe even defies the laws of physics too.

El Bulli won the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Award no less than 5 times in the last decade. This achievement earn Ferran Adria the accolade of Chef of the Decade in 2010.

1. Noma

Strandgade 93, 1401 Copenhagen K, Denmark


For those in the know, Rene’s colossal achievement of winning the World’s Best Restaurant Award in such a short space of time is no surprise. But just look at the legends he has leapfrogged and you cannot help but think something truly significant is taking place at Rene’s Copenhagen restaurant.

Noma is a homage to soil and sea, a reminder of the source of our food. Take his starter of crunchy baby carrots from the fertile Lammefjorden region of Denmark, served with edible “soil” made from malt, hazelnuts and beer, with a cream herb emulsion beneath – you are literally eating the earth!

Great restaurants are a blend of sophisticated cooking, imaginative ideas and respect for ingredients. Noma is more than this. It’s a experience that reminds you why some restaurants deserve to be revered, and why we created this list.

 Source: S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants List
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