Noma wins world’s best restaurant as Denmark claims top two awards

René Redzepi, the chef and co-owner of the Danish restaurant Noma in Copenhagen

Chef René Redzepi, famed for foraging techniques, claims first place for Copenhagen eatery

Copenhagen has confirmed its reputation as the global dining destination of the moment after its top eateries finished first and second in the 2021 World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, widely considered the Oscars of gastronomy.

The new Noma from the chef René Redzepi, famed for his foraging and fermenting techniques, was named best restaurant at a ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium, on Tuesday night. The old one topped the list in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 and came second in 2019.

“No trip to Noma is ever the same,” the citation said, mentioning highlights from previous seasons including a vegetarian celeriac shawarma and a duck dish of leg, brain and heart served with “claw, feather and beak”.

Composite image: dishes from Noma, plus its founders and various alumni

William Drew, the director of content for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said Noma had “arguably been the most influential restaurant of its generation, setting new standards in terms of research and ingredient sourcing, dish development and presentation”.

Staff at Noma – whose current game and forest season menu costs 2,800 Danish kroner (£320) plus 1,800 kroner for the accompanying wines, and according to social media posts features raw sumac, bear and reindeer brain – exploded with joy at the news.

The restaurant picked up a coveted third Michelin star earlier this year, praised for its “strong connection to nature and holistic approach … which sees unusual seasonal ingredients showcased in creative and complex dishes.”

No award was given last year because of the pandemic, and this year’s title means Noma, which first opened in the Danish capital’s Christianshavn district in 2003, is level with Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli for the most top finishes.

A rule introduced in 2019 in principle prevents previous winners, including New York’s Eleven Madison Park, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray, UK, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and Mirazur in Menton, France, from competing, but Noma qualified because it closed in 2016, reopening at a new address and with a different concept two years later.

Staff at Noma prepare food in the kitchen
Staff at Noma prepare food in the kitchen. Photograph: Thibault Savary/AFP/Getty

Redzepi said his first win 11 years ago “gave us a chance to be a part of a transformation of an entire region’s food culture”, adding that the pandemic had “taught us all how fragile our dreams can be, how incredibly gruelling and difficult this industry can be”.

The annual list is voted on by more than 1,000 gastronomes including food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and international culinary experts, who awarded second place this year to another Michelin three-star Copenhagen eatery, Geranium.

The restaurant says of its cuisine that its approach aims to explore “the living formative forces of nature” and “observe and understand the connections between the formative forces and the physical matter of all organisms”.

World’s 10 best restaurants

Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Asador Etxebarri (Axpe, Spain)

Central (Lima, Peru) Best restaurant in South America

Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)

Frantzén (Stockholm, Sweden)

Maido (Lima, Peru)

Odette (Singapore) Best restaurant in Asia

Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) Best restaurant in North America

10 The Chairman (Hong Kong) Highest climber award

Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2018 Unveiled

Via news.michelin.co.uk

Michelin is pleased to unveil the new selection of the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland, which highlights a total of 2,067 restaurants and 1,155 hotels and guesthouses.

In this selection, London continues to build on its reputation as a world-class destination for rich, varied eating experiences. But the offer across Great Britain and Ireland as a whole is developing, often based around exceptional regional ingredients.

This year, The Araki has been awarded Three Michelin Stars. “With its nine-seater counter, The Araki has gone from strength to strength. When Mitsuhiro Araki moved to London from Tokyo in 2014 he set himself the challenge of using largely European fish and his sushi is now simply sublime,” comments Michael Ellis, International Director of the Michelin guides. It joins a select group of restaurants with three Michelin Stars: The Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn in Bray, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay which has retained the award under its new chef, Matt Abé.

In this new selection, Claude Bosi at Bibendum, located in the famous Michelin House in London, gains two Michelin Stars. Claude’s sophisticated French cuisine is a perfect fit and has been one of the openings of the year. In total, the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2018 features 20 restaurants awarded two Michelin Stars.

One hundred and fifty restaurants have one Michelin Star this year, including 17 new ones. In Ireland, there is now a Michelin-starred pub: The Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna. In Scotland, Michael Smith earns a Michelin Star for his restaurant Loch Bay, a converted crofter’s house on the Isle of Skye. Also awarded one Michelin Star is Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ Paco Tapas – this tapas bar is named after Peter’s father and is further evidence of Bristol’s exciting dining scene. Tom Kerridge’s Marlow pub, The Coach, receives a Michelin Star, as do two much more formal establishments: Matt Worswick at The Latymer in Surrey, and Coworth Park in Ascot. Mark Birchall has put his experience from L’Enclume to good use at Moor Hall, in Lancashire, which gains a Michelin Star, as does Michael Caines’ Lympstone Manor in Devon. Meanwhile talented young chef Niall Keating has begun to make his mark with a Michelin Star at Whatley Manor in Wiltshire.

In London, A.Wong receives a Michelin Star for its contemporary Cantonese cooking, while Anne-Sophie Pic has a Michelin Star for her French cuisine at La Dame de Pic. Phil Howard receives a Michelin Star for Elystan Street and the traditional Nordic dishes at Aquavit are also rewarded with a Michelin Star. Two Indian restaurants in London are on this year’s list of Michelin Star winners: Jamavar and the re-opened Vineet Bhatia.

The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland also features 27 new Bib Gourmands – which are chosen for their good quality, good value cooking. This year the new Bib Gourmands include Kricket and Kiln in Soho. In Ireland there are six new Bibs, including Two Cooks in Sallins and Kai in Galway. In Wales there’s the Hare & Hounds in Aberthin; and Noble in Holywood, Northern Ireland.

Also published today is the Michelin Guide London 2018. This guide provides extended text on London’s restaurants, with additional photographs and information on all Starred establishments, along with a pull-out map.

Both guides can be purchased from bookshops and at http://travel.michelin.co.uk/. They are published today and will be in bookshops from Thursday, October 5.

For a list of all restaurants with Michelin Stars and Bib Gourmands, including details of additions and deletions, please download the Awards List

 
awardslist2018gbi

 

Celebrity chefs fundraising extravaganza in Furness

WORLD class chefs created culinary finesse of the highest order for lucky diners supporting a great Furness community fundraising weekend. The fund raises thousands of pounds to support needy families, community groups and charities across Furness as part of the legacy of the late Ray Armstrong. Diners were wowed with the impressive fine dining experience courtesy of culinary geniuses and their teams who all use Lake District Farmers meat products in their top notch London establishments.

read more at nwemail.co.uk

Why Chefs Love Pop-up Food Festivals Even More Than the Guests

On Friday January 20, the multi-Michelin starred British chef Michael Wignall cooked a seven-course tasting menu for about 110 folks at Obsession 17, the gastronomic festival dedicated to culinary excellence held annually at the Michelin-starred Northcote hotel and restaurant in Lancashire, England. The dinner, which included dishes such as torched eel, rillette and consommé, with Granny Smith apple, aerated white chocolate and Oscietra caviar, was entirely delicious, and ended in the early hours, followed, inevitably, by a session of decompression—i.e. drinks—in the bar. Wignall then grabbed a few hours sleep before catching an early flight from Manchester to Exeter to arrive at his own establishment, Gidleigh Park in Devon, in time to prepare and run the restaurant’s lunch service.

read more at europe.newsweek.com

World’s first pizza chain to switch to 100 percent sustainable seafood

Kotipizza is the largest pizza chain in Finland. As the world’s only pizza chain to offer this assurance to its customers, Kotipizza is promoting its commitment to sustainable seafood with a marketing campaign fronted by national TV advertising. The move puts MSC certified tuna and shrimp firmly on the menu and meets the growing demand from consumers for sustainable seafood.

read more at msc.org

Slovenian chef Ana Roš named the world’s best female chef – The Upcoming

A self-taught chef, Roš grew up influenced by the cuisines of Slovenia’s neighbouring countries: Italy, Hungary, Austria and Croatia. At Hiša Franko, Roš draws inspiration from Slovenia’s culinary heritage and ingredients, adding audacious, surprising twists to traditional dishes. Housed in an historic 1860 building, Hiša Franko is a family business with Roš working alongside her sommelier husband, Valter.

read more at theupcoming.co.uktheupcoming.co.uk

Pubs and Restaurants will Face Fines for Serving ‘Overdone’ Food

Roast potato crackdown phase two: Soon pubs and restaurants will face fines for serving ‘overdone' food

 

telegraph.co.uk

Pubs and restaurants could soon be fined for serving well-done items such as triple-cooked chips or thin and crispy pizza under a second phase of the Government's crackdown on burnt food.
Pubs and restaurants could soon be fined for serving well-done items such as triple-cooked chips or thin and crispy pizza under a second phase of the Government's crackdown on burnt food.

Under a new European Union food hygiene directive, due to be adopted in the UK by the the end of 2017, pubs and restaurants will be told to take reasonable steps to reduce acrylamide in food or face enforcement measures.

Until now many local establishments will be unaware that they may soon need to drastically alter cooking practices to reduce acrylamide, which forms when potatoes and grain-based items are cooked in temperatures hotter than 120C.

It means those continuing to serve “high acrylamide” foods, such as brown roast potatoes or burned Yorkshire puddings, could be visited by the Food Standards Agency's enforcement officers and face hefty fines.

The move is being planned despite scientists accusing the Government of “massively overreacting” as there is no scientific proof of a link between acrylamide consumption and cancer in humans.

The FSA's advice is based on experiments on mice, rather than any studies showing that acrylamide causes cancer in people.

telegraph.co.ukThe new rules are also likely to be hit with a backlash from the catering industry as the British Beer and Pub Association said it would resist attempts by the FSA to become a “chip fat controller”.

Andy Bale, General Manager at the White Lion in North London, said: “The welfare of our customers is top priority for us but if customers want their chips well done then they should be allowed this.

“Over consumption of alcohol is seen as one of the biggest threats to health and yet we serve this to customers every day with the caveat that if we think someone's had enough we won't serve them any more.”

 

Restaurants will be offered a guide full of tips on how to reduce acrylamide in food which will also be used by the FSA's enforcement team to gauge whether levels are unacceptably high.

The guide will include colour charts designed to be kept in kitchens to show chefs which shades of yellow and brown are safe for cooked chips and potatoes to match.

It will also advise chefs to buy types of potatoes which are low in starch and blanch chips and potatoes before frying or roasting, and cooking them at a lower heat and for less time.

telegraph.co.uk

 

Dr Lisa Ackerley, food safety adviser at the British Hospitality Association, the body which is producing the guidance, attempted to reassure caterers. She said: “Everyone is in the same boat and all restaurants need to reduce acrylamide if then can. Thankfully because consumer awareness improving now, customers will be more likely to understand why restaurants are not serving overdone products several months down the line.”

A spokesman at the British Beer and Pub Association which represents pubs in the UK, said: “We have made members aware of the need to reduce acrylamide but we are also mindful that many people enjoy crispy roast potatoes as part of their dinner.

“We are hoping the FSA adopts a realistic and pragmatic approach with the new code, and will be resisting any attempts to enforce a chip fat controller approach.”

 

Why I Decided to Close My Michelin Starred Restaurant – Kobe Desramaults

 

Why I Decided to Close My Michelin-Starred Restaurant | MUNCHIES

 

vice.com

A month ago, the Instagram account of Kobe Desramaults exploded. The star chef, one of the Flemish Foodies, celebrated the last shift with his team after he decided to close his restaurant.

Here, Kobe Desramaults looks back on his star restaurant, the kitchen that he set up, and he tells why he decided to permanently close the doors of his restaurant In De Wulf.
A month ago, the Instagram account of Kobe Desramaults exploded. The star chef, one of the Flemish Foodies, celebrated the last shift with his team after he decided to close his restaurant. Here, Kobe Desramaults looks back on his star restaurant, the kitchen that he set up, and he tells why he decided to permanently close the doors of his restaurant In De Wulf.
 

 

When I started In De Wulf, we were cooking in an old barn in the garden with two people. Since then, we’ve experimented a lot and continued to grow until we found a suitable concept for our business. Setting up a good restaurant is a bit like creating an artwork: when it’s done, the artist doesn’t need to adjust anything, because nothing can be added anymore. That’s exactly what I started to find annoying.
 

Everything in life comes to an end at a particular moment, and the same goes for kitchens, which is fine by me. At this time in my life, I feel a lot more like doing a cuisine spontanée, a spontaneous kitchen where I can decide what I’m going to make every day. That wasn’t possible at In De Wulf.

 

vice.com

 

Of course I couldn’t just quit in the middle of a shift. My 20 cooks would have looked at me and thought, “What’s he doing?” But I was just getting a little tired of having the same routine over and over. People coming, people going—it requires a lot of energy. A team should see and understand each other as a kind of small family, and at In De Wulf, the family became too big.

I have gone through a lot of phases in my business, including some dark and sad days. I’ve always fought for the business, and I have incredibly beautiful memories of it. Deciding to quit and leave it all behind was certainly a difficult decision, but also the right choice.

I also have other projects in mind: I bought the oldest building of the village, a farm that was once a pub. I’m still not sure what I’ll do with it exactly, but I’m giving myself four years to think about it.

Of course, If I open a new restaurant, the only thing I’ll change is the setting. My kitchen will remain the same: a raw kitchen with fermented and aged products. This is a logical consequence of my career, as I’ve worked very hard to create this kind of cuisine. In the beginning, I just reproduced what I had learned in other cuisines, especially in the three-star restaurant Oud Sluis in the Netherlands, which has since closed. One day I realized that didn’t make me happy, even though I won Michelin stars with it. I wasn’t expressing myself, but someone else.

 

vice.comI decided to get my inspiration elsewhere: I went to Bras (a famous French restaurant) and while I sat there, facing their famous gargouillou, it opened my eyes. I pulled myself back together and decided to work with local products, and to do everything myself: maturing, fermenting, and even creating my own miso.

Our signature dish at In De Wulf was pigeon. I’ve played with the maturation of the meat, and I’ve even experimented in a cold store for 100 days before I got the perfect recipe. The pigeons were delivered in full and stayed in the cold store for two weeks before being cleaned. Then we filled them with hay and smoked them lightly. After that we’d let them rest in a cold room for four weeks, well packed in hay. I like to treat the pigeon meat this way. The flesh ripens and absorbs the taste, and it needs nothing else.

We served the pigeon in this simple way, too, without decorations or a pile of sliced beetroot. It didn’t need that. I also like to mature cream and convert it into butter in a wooden barrel, so you get an incredible flavor.

On the plate, I’d rather keep it simple as well, with at most only a few simple products. If people eat a large menu with complicated courses, they won’t remember all the ingredients. I prefer that people can still perfectly remember what they have eaten when they leave at the end of the night. They don’t need to have photos of it to remember.

I also love the purity of charcoal. Cooking on charcoal is harder than on wood fire; you have to really keep up with your head, be constantly focused, and understand what is happening with the meat. When you taste the meat, you know that nature has done its work here. Whether it’s the cooking method, aging, or fermentation, we let nature speak. And we just help a little.

Voilà, that’s my kitchen.

 

Diner Hospitalised after Head Chef throws Hot Chilli Power in his Eyes

 

Mother-of-two Mrs Evans said her husband  is having specialist check-ups and is taking steroid eye drops to suppress his body's severe reaction to the chilli. Meanwhile, chef Kamrul Islam, 46, has said  he threw chilli into the face of customer David Evans because he feared he was about to be punched. I've been running this restaurant here for 18 years and I've never had to do anything like this.

 telegraph.co.uk

It is the question that annoyed Marco Pierre White so much he banned it from his restaurants – a hovering waiter asking, “are enjoying your meal, sir?”

And, after what happened at south Wales curry house, it is easy to see why.

When David Evans, from south Wales, and his wife Michelle gave an honest opinion to that polite enquiry they had no idea what what was to come next.

“Tough and rubbery,” they said.

The next thing Mr Evans knew was a raging head chef had stormed out of his kitchen and thrown chilli powder in his eyes, leaving the 46-year-old pipe-fitter sick with the pain as it burned into his eyes.

Mr Evans had to be rushed to hospital and have drips flush liquid wash through his eyes.

His wife, a 47-year-old college tutor, described what happened.

“What was meant to be a quick meal out with David turned out to be one of the most frightening times we've had,” she said. “We had our starter which wasn't very good but we ate it and didn't tell the waiter.

“To cut a long story short the chef came to our table he was extremely rude and aggressive and accused us of not wanting to pay for our food.

“He started swearing at me so David said there's no need to swear at my wife, the chef caused quite a scene and was shouting and swearing so David walked back to the kitchen door with him asking for an apology.

“The chef came to the door with a large bowl of chilli powder which he threw at David's face.

“He instantly thought he had been blinded and didn't know what he'd thrown at him, he was shaking in chock, hanging on to the counter being sick thinking he was going to go blind.

“It was horrific. He said he's never had so much pain in his life and was extremely distressed.

“Not one member of staff came to him to help or even ask if he was ok.

“We were in the toilet splashing water on his eyes until the police and ambulance came he was treated straight away in A&E. ”

The couple were taken from Prince of Bengal in Tonypandy, Rhondda, South Wales, to hospital for treatment.

“The chilli had even burnt the skin on David's hands and chest where the chilli had fallen down his shirt.

“He has to be on medication for his eyes until the doctor can see an improvement. We can't believe this has happened and have since read some bad reviews about this man.

“We want everyone to be aware of this and what has happened and are taking it further with the police.”

The couple are parents of West End singer Sophie Evans, 23, who was runner-up in the 2010 series Over the Rainbow to find a new star for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Wizard of Oz – and she went on to play Dorothy.

Mother-of-two Mrs Evans said her husband is having specialist check-ups and is taking steroid eye drops to suppress his body's severe reaction to the chilli.

Meanwhile, chef Kamrul Islam, 46, has said he threw chilli into the face of customer David Evans because he feared he was about to be punched.

Meanwhile, chef Kamrul Islam, 46, has said he threw chilli into the face of customer David Evans because he feared he was about to be punched.

Father-of-one Mr Islam said: “I ran into the kitchen to get away from him but he followed me. I was frightened and grabbed a handful of chilli just in case I needed to defend myself.

“I was frightened and threw it at him. Chilli will burn but it is not life threatening. I've been running this restaurant here for 18 years and I've never had to do anything like this. I'm very upset by it all.”

Bangladeshi-born Mr Islam – known as Kam to all his regular customers – said one of his staff had told him the customer had complained about the food.

He said: “I said I would reduce the bill which came to £82. I just wanted to get away. I went back into the kitchen where the husband followed me.

“It was self-defence and that is why I did what I did.

“I've never had trouble like this. All the people around here are very nice and I get on with people. I feel I am respected here and have a lot of good customers and friends.

“It was all seen on our CCTV and I'm happy for the police to see it. I was defending myself.”

Mr Islam said he was arrested at his restaurant but did not need to go to the police station.

He said: “I'm happy to talk to the police about it. I believe in the justice system. I have spoken to my barrister and given him all the information – he told me that I was acting in self-defence.”

South Wales Police confirmed officers are investigating an incident which took place at the Prince of Bengal restaurant, Tonypandy, on the evening of Saturday, January 21.

A spokesman said: “A man has been arrested on suspicion of common assault and has been bailed until January 31st, pending further inquiries.”

 

 

What Is Airbnb Actually Doing to the Hospitality Industry? – Hospitality & Catering News

 

What Is Airbnb Actually Doing to the Hospitality Industry? – Hospitality & Catering News

Roseanne Luth, Founder of Luth Research Airbnb sailed onto the lodging scene eight years ago, and the industry hasn’t been the same since. One estimate claims that by 2020, Airbnb hosts will take a staggering 500 million bookings a night. Hoteliers will be closely following as Airbnb’s legal battles wind their way through courts in San Francisco and New York City.

hospitalityandcateringnews.com

Airbnb sailed onto the lodging scene eight years ago, and the industry hasn’t been the same since. Today, Airbnb operates in 191 countries and 34,000 cities. One estimate claims that by 2020, Airbnb hosts will take a staggering 500 million bookings a night.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, however. New York City, Barcelona, and Iceland are among the places that have mounted fierce resistance to the company, which enables people to list or rent short-term lodging. Hoteliers will be closely following as Airbnb’s legal battles wind their way through courts in San Francisco and New York City. But regardless of how individual court cases go, Airbnb has already had a huge impact on hotels, and it is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

There’s no question that Airbnb has disrupted the lodging industry, and hotels need to adapt by making better business decisions and better meeting their guests’ needs. Here’s how Airbnb is affecting hotels — and what hotels can do about it.  It’s important to state up front that the sky is not falling. A CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research study found travelers spent $2.4 billion on Airbnb lodging from October 2014 to September 2015.

In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a huge amount of money — just 1.7% of the $141 billion generated by hotels over the same period. Yet it was a significant jump in Airbnb lodging from the same period the previous year, and most hoteliers believe Airbnb is affecting their bottom line.

In January, Pennsylvania State University released a report commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association which estimated that nearly 40% of Airbnb’s revenue in the 12 largest US metropolitan areas came from hosts with at least two units.

The “at least” part is crucial. Some Airbnb hosts had more than two units, suggesting these are not merely hosts renting out a spare bedroom or their apartment while they’re out of town. These are hosts running unregulated hotels.

That’s why hotel advocates say the 1.6% room-rate decline New York hoteliers experienced in 2015 was no accident; it was the result of Airbnb.

The evidence is mounting. A 2015 study estimated Airbnb’s operations had a negative impact of $2.1 billion on the lodging industry and the economy of New York City as a whole in the previous year. The report estimated that hotels lose approximately $450 million in direct revenues to Airbnb on an annual basis.

Clearly, the lodging industry is in upheaval. It’s time for hotels to find ways to do something about it.

The hospitality industry has often been slow to adopt new technologies or find ways to improve its guests’ overall experience. With new players like Airbnb, innovation is a must for hotels that want to thrive.

Hotels need to evolve and adopt practices and technologies to better compete with services like Airbnb. Here are a few strategies they can try.

Airbnb knows an incredible amount about its users. It maps the user’s complete journey from browsing listings, booking and completing their stay, and leaving a review of their host once they have left. Because this is all completed through their own channel, Airbnb is able to use user data to improve the guest experience, tweak their product, and find growth opportunities.

Hotels would do well to adopt a similarly data-minded approach. Currently, many hotels have a piecemeal approach to technology, using many different technologies and platforms for various functions. This makes it hard to follow a guest’s journey, much less analyze it. Hotels need to adopt single platforms to give them a complete view of guests’ interactions with the hotel, from booking to checkout.

With the proper technology in place, hotels could use data to make better business decisions. Comprehensive data can help identify a new target market, present a new marketing angle, or open avenues for tailored offerings.

Those decisions need to be driven by data rather than instinct. The first step is for hotels to deeply invest in data and the technology required to capture it.

About 70-75% of Airbnb hosts and guests review one another within 14 days. In contrast, only 2-10% of hotel guests leave feedback.

This is a huge missed opportunity for hotels to better understand their guests’ needs and wants, and for hotel staff to see how their work impacts guests. There is no feedback loop between guests and staff, which makes it harder to build trust and deliver personalized service.

Hotels should consider how they can strengthen the feedback loop to get input from their guests, and how they can communicate back to their guests what they have done with that feedback.

The strength of hotels comes from the traditional elements of hospitality and service that Airbnb can’t offer. Hotels are more reliable and flexible with arrival times, and guests are less likely to be disturbed by rowdy neighbors. Many guests enjoy going to hotels for the entire hotel experience, with amenities like spas, concierge, and room service. These features are simply not available through Airbnb.

Collecting good data and strengthening the feedback loop will also help hotels to identify what their guests value. Perhaps it’s a flexible arrival time that appeals most, or having hotel staff a phone call away, 24 hours a day. The best way to know is to collect data and to ask guests directly. By investing in customer research and communication, hotels can find their unique advantages and leverage them.

Airbnb will continue its legal, regulatory, and public opinion battles. Smart hoteliers won’t wait for the outcomes to make changes that set their hotels apart.

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