The latest trend in fine dining has nothing to do with molecular gastronomy or pan-Latin fusion: Sustainability is the new order of the day. At the influential World's 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in London last month, the organizers presented their first Sustainable Restaurant Award to Narisawa, helmed by Tokyo chef Yoshihiro Narisawa.

"In the kitchen, I will keep trying to use our traditional food products — rice, soy beans, Japanese fermented foods — and bring those to the fine-dining scene," Narisawa commented after the ceremony.

The award, audited by the British-based Sustainable Restaurant Association (whose president is star chef Raymond Blanc), coincides with the launch of its global sustainability rating system. A nonprofit organization established in 2010, the SRA determines ratings by first checking whether ingredients are organically and ethically produced, and sourced locally. It also considers the restaurant's waste- and water-management strategies, as well as its charitable contributions to the community.