Friday, February 5, 2016

noma Is Moving!

noma, the phenomenal Danish restaurant that captured the number one position on the coveted "50 Best Restaurants In The World" list not once or twice but a staggering FOUR times (previously here), has BIG plans for the coming year. Founder and head chef René Redzepi is going to be shuttering the old dockside location in central Copenhagen--the final service is New Year's Eve 2016--and will reopen noma in 2017 at a new location in the Christiania neighborhood. The plan is for a restaurant with an urban farm: a greenhouse is to go on top of the new space, and Redzepi has said that part of the farm will "float" on a nearby waterway.

But the true--and truly exciting--changes are coming with the concept of the menu itself. In the marvelously inspiring film seen below, Redzepi outlines a new approach for noma. The idea is to shift away from a static menu that features the ingredients of the region. Redzepi says he realizes that "distilling our landscape onto plates of food is a very complex task." His instinct all along has been to "sculpt cuisine," and true food imagination and creativity comes from that approach.

But with that in mind, noma is now adopting a thrilling seasonal menu. However, this is no ordinary seasonal menu. Instead of the traditional four seasons we usually identify, he and his team have identified THREE distinct Nordic seasons, which still supports the regional food idea...only more refined. Redzepi elaborates that the first season is Winter in January, February, March, and April when the ground is frozen. The kitchen will turn to the ocean to present a condensed menu of sea proteins supported by a generous winter larder and whatever hardy plants survive the frost.

Spring rolls in around May through a bit of September (with admitted micro-seasons) and the restaurant will feature a vegetarian menu, showcasing the glorious bounty of the earth. The menu will expand and although each course will be smaller, there will be much more of them.

And finally, Redzepi considers Autumn to span September through December and the source of food will be the Scandinavian forest with its riches of mushrooms, berries, nuts, and wild game. Again, the menu will condense and feature fewer but richer flavors.

What I find most exciting though, and this is the designer in me talking, is that Redzepi has said not only will the food change with each season, but the cutlery, plateware, and table settings will reflect the mood and sense of each season as well! What a gorgeous that I practice in my own life and design. Please watch the beautiful video below for sublime inspiration.

If you are in--or are going to be in--Copenhagen, try to snag a seating at noma for their last year in their original historic location. And if you can't get there in 2016, there will be a spectacular new noma in 2017! From Redzepi's description, I bet they are going to take first place once again on the 50 Best list!

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