The three-Michelin stars restaurant Noma in the Christianshavn neighborhood of Copenhagen, voted the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine’s World’s Best Restaurants in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2021, closes its doors. But chef and co-owner René Redzepi is constantly on the lookout for an authentic Scandinavian taste identity. Read more about what happens when the world-famous Copenhagen restaurant closes down.
Redzepi was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, to an immigrant father from the Republic of Macedonia, in Yugoslavia, and a Danish mother. Redzepi is noted for his work on the reinvention and refinement of a new Nordic cuisine and food that is characterized by inventiveness and clean flavors. According to an article in the New York Times Redzepi has plans to transform the kitchen into a full-time laboratory.
At NOMA, he served as far as possible only food that naturally grows and lives in the Nordics, e. g. cod liver rather than foie gras and apples rather than mangoes. For most, it was completely unthinkable that Redzepi would succeed with such a concept.
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Redzepi left high school when he was 15 years old and enrolled in a cooking school with a friend.
When he was 19 years old, he went to work at Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier in Southern France.
Redzepi sources much of his food locally and does research by foraging for food in the wild. He said that this comes from his time living in Macedonia, where food was local and fresh. Much of the approach to the menu and food at Noma was based on seasonal themes of what was available at the time. Redzepi has always focused on fermentation and dehydration, experimenting with using as much of the plants, meat, and fish as possible.
It is not the first time Redzepi focuses on research. Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen was the brain child of gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer and head chef René Redzepi. Read more about it by clicking the image below.
At the end of 2024, regular operations at his restaurant will cease and the kitchen will be transformed into a full-time laboratory focusing on recipe creation and goods for its e-commerce platform, Noma Projects.
There is enough food in the world, but it is the wrong food. 1.5 tons of food goes through an average human body in one year. More people get too much and the wrong food than go hungry. Redzepi admits it hurts to close the restaurant but says he cannot afford to produce top notch cuisine while also paying his nearly 100 employees a fair wage and at the same time produce diners at a reasonable price.
The Noma Project will research the food of the future. There are 80,000 edible plants in nature. We get 90 percent of our calories from just 30 of them. We can eat saltwort from the water’s edge, pea flowers from the meadow, mushrooms and seeds from the forest. Few know what untapped culinary resources are hidden in domestic hedgerows or bog landscapes or the Arctic North.
“We have to completely rethink the industry,” Redzepi says. “This is simply too hard, and we have to work in a different way.”
World-Famous Copenhagen Restaurants Closes Down, written by Tor Kjolberg.