Noma located in Copenhagen has revolutionized the cuisine to the point of deserving the title of the best restaurant in the world for several years. René Redzepi, who Co-founded Noma in 2003 with Claus Meyer (a food activist who runs a chain of stores and restaurants in Denmark), began “working on the idea of highlighting local recipes and products in a country that didn’t have that much culinary tradition”. That was the basis for creating, together with a group of chefs and journalists, the Manifesto of the “New Nordic Cuisine”, a movement that today translates into something more than a style of Scandinavian gastronomy or a list of haute cuisine spaces. Its creation helped revolutionize the region’s food and shape its identity.
Its values are focused on ethics, sustainability, and quality, putting local and seasonal products as essential. The innovation and its modernity have had such an impact on the gastronomic market that the denominated “Noma Effect” has emerged.
The menu is strictly seasonal and is divided into three periods: seafood in winter, vegetables in summer, and game and forest products in autumn. The Danish restaurant not only changes its menu seasonally but also changes its context, facade, landscape, and look in each of the three seasons. In between each season the restaurant closes to design the new menu, and the team looks for unexpected ingredients looking to make a difference and innovate at the highest level.
No trip to Noma is ever the same, as Redzepi and his team constantly seek out unexpected ingredients and turn them into beautiful dishes. One of his projects was to create recipes with insects, making it a trend. In addition, Noma delved into the world of preservation and the creation of strange ingredients such as peaso (similar to miso but made from fermented peas). Among his groundbreaking innovations was the redesign of his kitchen in 2013, when he united all the sections so that several people could work on the same dish at the same time, something the restaurant’s founder felt brought everyone closer together as a team.
Another of its peculiarities is that the chefs come out of the kitchen to deliver the dishes to the customers, something is never seen before. The disappearance of the traditional white tablecloths managed to create another kind of elegance. The beautiful way in which he presents food using leaves or seeds, or simply recreating elements of nature, makes the presentation of his dishes a unique experience.
For Redzepi, Noma is just one way to achieve a goal: to take care of the planet. And everything he does serves that goal. Whether it’s the restaurant or Noma Projects, a line of homemade products he has just launched. The Danish chef wants to turn us all into food gatherers, but his idea has a bigger background. It’s about foraging for food, whether in the form of wild herbs or edible insects. And about taking advantage of everything nature gives us.
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