Noma: A Sense of Place

A Tantalizing Glimpse Into the Kitchen of the World’s Best Restaurant

Even in the restaurant business, where trends seem to be born in the time it takes to boil an egg, the rise of the Copenhagen restaurant Noma can only be described as a gastronomic sensation. Launched seven years ago, the two-Michelin-starred restaurant achieved the ultimate recognition this April, topping S.Pellegrino’s list of the World’s Best Restaurants for 2010. Its charismatic head chef, René Redzepi (still in his early 30s), previously worked in the kitchen of renowned restaurants such as The French Laundry in the US and Spain's El Bulli, before taking the risk of opening Noma in an elegantly refurbished warehouse on the waterfront of Copenhagen’s Christianshavn district. Redzepi’s critics took some convincing, given his radically different approach to haute gastronomy: instead of the caviar and foie gras frenzy one typically finds on the menu at high-end outfits, his modus operandi is to offer guests a sense of time and place by only serving seasonal ingredients from the Nordic region, like sorrel, puffin eggs and musk ox. This goes hand in hand with the established manifesto for the New Nordic Kitchen—which, above all, advocates an uncompromising respect for ingredients—drawn up in 2004 by Redzepi and Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma. With Redzepi taking a leading position worldwide in encouraging chefs to reevaluate "going local," Noma has long overcome the skepticism with which it was initially met, and now serves some of the most innovative and refined cuisine in the world. NOWNESS sent photographer Joss McKinley to capture Noma's chefs preparing such delicacies as smoked bone marrow fudge and tartar of ox, for diners that have waited up to three months for their coveted seat at Redzepi’s table.

~ Nicole Stich and Oliver Seidel, co-authors of delicious:days

Read an interview with Noma head chef René Redzepi here.

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