“With drummers and cooks, there’s this release of energy when it all just explodes,” says René Redzepi, who enlisted fellow Dane, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, to pen the opening of his second book, A Work in Progress, a journal that provides a window into daily life at his restaurant, Noma. Redzepi’s Copenhagen hotspot has earned two Michelin stars, as well as the accolade of World’s Best Restaurant three years running from 2010 to 2012. Today’s short was directed by filmmaker Emile Rafael, who took Redzepi to London’s Barbican, and the resulting contrast between striking brutalist architecture and flourishing greenery reflects the Chef du Patron’s pan-disciplinary approach to his work: From Noma’s annual MAD symposium of cooks, scientists and academics—multimillionaire street-artist David Choe spoke at this year’s event—to his non-profit, research institution the Nordic Food Lab and involvement in the radical, global culinary series, Cook It Raw, Redzepi is tirelessly expansive in his approach. A week’s service at Noma concludes with Saturday Night Projects, where his protégées prepare and discuss a forum of new dishes. “At 2am, the amount of pressure is extremely high, yet it is also one of the most gratifying moments when you see these 18 year olds put out a dish with historical perspective and newness as if from nowhere,” says Redzepi of the weekly ritual. “There’s nobody to pay for it; it’s just cooking for the sake of it. And we never take those ideas for the restaurant’s menu. It’s their masterpiece.”
A Work in Progress by René Redzepi is out now on Phaidon.