René Redzepi, head chef of the ‘world’s best restaurant’, Noma, says he’s afraid of running out of steam and could leave to do other things
Barely three months after the two-Michelin-starred Copenhagen location was voted Best Restaurant in the World in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, its chef René Redzepi says he needs ‘rebooting’.
Like his former boss Ferran Adria of El Bulli, who announced earlier this year he was closing his iconic restaurant for good next year, Redzepi clearly envisages a life beyond Noma
‘I could see myself in another place, starting from scratch. It could be another country’ he told decanter.com. ‘At some point I have to reboot myself and start again so that new things can happen. You run out of steam.’
Whatever it is – and he has no specific projects in mind – it won’t be another Noma.
‘I could have opened several restaurants round the world already but I’d never do a Noma as I couldn’t source the produce.’
Demand for one of the 12 tables at Noma is intense, with customers booking tables three months ahead.
But like Adria, the 32-year-old’s success clearly encroaches on the time he has available to go on the foraging expeditions that fuel his creativity: his ingredients are almost entirely sourced from local farmers and from the parks, woods and beaches of Copenhagen and its surrounds
‘When I’m not here I can’t go and visit my suppliers and I need to because our menu is constantly changing. We set ourselves a goal of a minimum of four new dishes a month. Every day you want to make yourself do a little better than the previous day.’
Examples of Redzepi’s dishes are ‘Shrimps and sea-urchin, cream and dill’ a seascape of pebbles with ‘sand’ made from blitzed frozen sea-urchins with raw shrimps and beach herbs and flowers apparently growing among the rocks.
Another is ‘The hen and the egg’: the customer cooks a wild duck egg himself on a hot skillet with the same plants that grow where the birds forage for food.
Redzepi says he is not bothered about the elusive Michelin third star, and says he ‘would never change anything for Michelin’ – although he admits ‘chefs are lying if they say they don’t dream of it’.
‘To be honest we don’t need it to fill the restaurant any more. A lot of our customers are the kind of people who frequent three star restaurants anyway.’
For Fiona Beckett’s rundown of the world’s top chefs, including more on Redzepi, see the next issue of Decanter, out August 4
Written by Fiona Beckett