Clickhole’s Review of Noma Is Absolutely Spot-on

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One of the best restaurants in the world. Photo: Niels Quist Petersen / Demotix

There are just two and a half months left before René Redzepi closes Noma in its current form, so Clickhole used the occasion to “review” the restaurant and, in the process, wrote the ultimate “I went foraging with René Redzepi” story. The (fake) profile finds the author spending several days behind the scenes at the storied Danish restaurant, and the whole thing is very much worth a read, because in it you will find many fantastic lines like the ones below:

On meeting the world-famous chef: “When I first encounter René Redzepi, he is cutting a live elk in half with a chainsaw.”

Proof that Redzepi is no ordinary forager: “A lot of times you can find these lovely little rose hip flowers pickling in the stomach fluids of the larger field mammals that live around here.”

On the amazing wild fauna found in Denmark: “Redzepi, using hand grenades to displace large mounds of sand, almost immediately uncovers a veritable buffet of herbs and produce sticking out every which way from the soil. There’s wild parsnip, beach peas, sea lettuce, spicy lilac, Osama bin Laden’s beached corpse, horseradish, mustard flowers, and verdant goosefoot—all growing within the same 4-foot radius.”

Ramps definitely aren’t seasonal enough for Noma: “While I’m still savoring the parsnip, Redzepi heads off on a determined search for a king musk carrot, a vegetable that is only mature and in season for eight seconds each year.”

Redzepi doesn’t mince words when giving advice to young cooks: “’To be a good chef, you must respect the ingredients,’ he muses. ‘You don’t go into this profession unless you’re willing to be blown up by root vegetables from time to time.’”

Some of the Nordic Food Lab’s experiments include: “… a crudo that knows where you live; a means of genetically altering the pheromones of ants so that the ants taste like moths; … a meat-locker-sized thermal centrifuge chamber in which butter can be melted; [and] a method for consolidating 100 individual raisins into one huge, unified raisin wad.”

On the cutting-edge tools the kitchen uses: “Instead of food processors, they huck produce into the whirring blades of a 300-year-old windmill whenever there’s a good breeze.”

Noma’s labor standards may be outdated: “While chefs are hard at work carefully plating mussels and whipping up intricate emulsions, a wee hunchback named Fossegaar, wearing a lace bonnet and leather knee breeches, plucks away at traditional melodies on his hurdy-gurdy, for which he is paid in porridge.”

What it’s like to finally eat at Noma: “The space imparts an air of tranquil nothingness, conserving one’s emotional energy for the wondrous drama that is about to unfold at the tables.”

They take trompe l’oeil to the next level: “One particularly mesmerizing dish utilizes a hidden vent in the plate to send up gusts of citric dry ice vapor to animate a grilled prawn in a puppet-like fashion, creating the illusion that it is fervently worshipping a turnip.”

How eating a seemingly “unremarkable piece of saltwater taffy” at Noma makes you feel: “If all of this wasn’t already wonderful enough, I look over to my left and see that my childhood dog and Nelson Mandela are both still alive, and they’re playing a duet on a piano made of gold.”

You will experience a food coma like no other: “The ecstasy of everything is too much for me to handle, and dizzy with bliss, I fall into a coma and don’t wake up for 56 days. And this is exactly what fine dining should be.”

Redzepi has big plans for the next version of Noma: “The main thing I would like to do is figure out how to catch some clouds and cook them … That would be pretty neat.”

Clickhole’s Review of Noma Is Absolutely Spot-on