Culinary Culture: Noma’s reinvention of Danish cuisine

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Award-winning Chef Rene Redzepi

REGARDED as one of the greatest dining experiences on Earth, Noma was named Restaurant Magazine’s top restaurant in the world in 2014, taking back its crown after coming second in the previous year.

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Andrew Kingford-Smith look at the history of this restaurant and its Danish head chef René Redzepi, revealing the cultural impact of this culinary pioneer.

Opened in 2004, Copenhagen-based restaurant Noma could still be regarded as an infant in the global restaurant scene. Congruent with this theme of youth, head chef and co-founder René Redzepi was only 26 when he teamed up with Claus Meyer to open this gastronomic titan to be.

The concept behind the restaurant was bold: to reinvent Nordic cuisine. Within one year Noma had already caught the attention of the culinary world; in 2005 it earned its first Michelin Star for its new approach to Nordic delicacies, and by 2007, it was the only restaurant in Denmark’s capital to hold two Michelin Stars. The following couple of years saw Noma climb the ranks of Restaurant Magazine’s top 50 until 2010, when Redzepi usurped El Bulli – the four-time winner and Redzepi’s previous employer – and Noma took the title of the best restaurant in the world.

noma-food20160928Rene Redzepi says, “For me cooking is something that is completely transparent and without pretense, that is honest and generous and has something true and original to it.”

On the surface this might seem like a very modest philosophy, but for René Redzepi it has brought him from a humble background as the son of a poor immigrant to the founder and head chef at the world´s best restaurant, Noma.

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