Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has seen his Fat Duck restaurant slip from second to third in the latest world restaurant rankings.
But the creator of dishes like snail porridge and scrambled egg and bacon ice cream won a consolation "Chefs' Chef" prize at the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2010 awards.
Danish eaterie Noma was crowned the best restaurant in the world, pushing Spain's famous El Bulli, which had held top spot for the previous five years, into second place.
The demotion for "culinary alchemist" Blumenthal comes after the Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, was forced to close for more than two weeks after a food poisoning scare.
The three Michelin-star restaurant shut in February last year when dozens of diners were taken ill with norovirus. Investigators later concluded the bug was brought into the restaurant by contaminated shellfish.
The awards panel said Blumenthal's top three position confirmed his reputation as "one of the most exciting and admired chefs in the world".
But the UK restaurant scene suffered another blow with just two other British establishments making the coveted top 50 - compared to three last year. St John in the City of London and Hibiscus in Mayfair, London came 43rd and 49th respectively.
Winner Noma, on Copenhagen's dockside, specialises in "cold climate cuisine" and is famous for using local ingredients largely unheard of outside of the Nordic region.
One of its signature dishes is radishes in edible soil, and meals can cost around £150 per head.
The World's 50 Best Restaurants awards are organised by Restaurant magazine, and determined by votes from more than 800 international critics, journalists and food experts.