Yesterday in London, Rene Redzepi handed the first place in Pellegrinos Worlds 50 Best Restaurant Awards on to the three Spanish brothers from El Celler de Can Roca. Still holding the second place in the awards, after three consecutive years in the first spot, Noma is still changing food thinking around the world.
The massive impact and success of Noma and its young charismatic founder Rene Redzepi is due to the fact, that Noma is much more than a restaurant. Noma is the epicenter of a global movement among chefs turning their attention back to nature. Every year, the most creative food minds of the planet converge in a circus tent on the Copenhagen docks to debate and share creative visions on how to build a better food culture, and how to use the attention of chefs to promote sustainability and social responsibility at the MAD symposiums – a world food event started by Rene Redzepi and Noma. This year the theme will be “guts”, when chefs meet on the 25th and 26th of august, to focus on how to take cooking one step further.
”Noma is more than a restaurant; it’s a global message of understanding the wild and a love of nature. And it’s a revolution in Denmark and the entire region” French-Danish top chef Francis Cardeneau explains, pointing out the fact, that in a middle of a recession, the restaurants in the small nation of Denmark created almost 5000 new jobs last year, and that the entire restaurant sector have had a 18 % increase in turnover since 2008 - the first year of the global economic collapse. Because of the dinning experiences of the city, Copenhagen is among the fastest growing tourism-cities in the world.
Francis Cardeneau, being one of the fathers of the Nordic gastronomic revolution and the first to receive two Michelin stars in the Nordic region, is a mentor to many in the young and übertalented groups of outstanding chefs in Denmark. He believes there is no way of understating the importance of Noma, both as an international inspiration, and as a cultural phenomenon. “The fact that Noma is keeping a top level, and have done so for so long, has made the restaurant so much more than an award winning restaurant: They shape everyones idea of food and nature. I can see the impact they have on a whole international generation rethinking the relationship between food and nature”.
The restaurant is also changing it’s home city of Copenhagen: “Now Copenhagen is mentioned, for example by top chefs like Anthony Bourdain, as one of the top places to eat in the world, along with New York or Paris, that would never have happened without Rene Redzepi and Noma. They have raised the bar, the level of ambition and the overall quality of almost every kitchen in town. You have to have to perform at a very high level to be competitive in Copenhagen,” Francis says, pointing to a new, second wave of Copenhagen restaurants, that has a world class level:
“There are a lot of people coming out of the Noma kitchen, that are very talented, and who chooses Copenhagen as a place to work with food, because there is an educated audience.” Francis explains, pointing among to former souschef at Noma, Matt Orlando who is leaving Noma, to start his Amass restaurant, two other former sous chefs Christian Puglisi and Claus Henriksen, is working wonders with restaurants at Relæ and Dragsholm Castle, and places like Kadeau, Geranium are all performing on an absolutely world class level. ”There is a whole wave of restaurants coming out of the movement started bye René Redzepi,” Francis says, stating also that we have only begun to see the impact of the Nordic revolution. “You can see the impact of the Nordic breakthrough in gastronomy in every supermarket now. Noma will keep changing everything.”