Following the major announcement that he’s closing Noma — arguably the most influential restaurant in the world — and reopening as the centerpiece of an urban farm, chef René Redzepi is opening up about his decision process. In an essay for Lucky Peach and an accompanying video, he says: “For many years I was wrestling with the very definition of the word local. I mean, where do we even draw the borders of the Nordic region? … How far back in history does one go to be ‘authentic?’ It’s clear that in the world of cooking we haven’t fully understood many of the labels that define us.”
“Many people know that the big fermentation facility that we built two years ago behind Noma was set up largely to develop a meal based completely on vegetables,” he continues. “How do you make a plateful of steamed spinach as satisfying as a steak?” The micro-seasonal flow of the menu will allow Noma to be “a true reflection of the landscape at that moment, the unique flavor of that point in time.”
A Very Short Film About the Past, Present and Future of Noma from Rene Redzepi on Vimeo.