I’m not always the most adventurous with food. However, when Michael said that he had got two tickets for an evening event with Rene Redzepi, head chef at noma in Copenhagen I was definitely interested (thanks Scandinavian Kitchen!). noma was voted best restaurant in the world this year so I didn’t want to miss it!
The event, a demonstration talk and book launch, was to be held at the Freemasons Hall. We were very politely guided to the big hall there where we were given a bag with leaves and seeds in it!
In the room we took some time to absorb the opulent surroundings before we noticed a table in the middle of the hall. Going down there we saw that it was a table full of herbs, fungi, flowers etc. It was a bit discordant with what I was expecting, but hey, I didn’t really know anything about this event either! We were even given a raw carrot to eat before the talk started. Is this what fine-dining is all about?
Once Rene started talking the things immediately started to fall in place. noma is all about exploring the Nordic areas for whatever the ground offers, using ingredients you wouldn’t have normally thought about. It looked to me to be an interesting, if bizarre, way of putting things together. But then, I cannot claim to be any expert in fine-dining on my student budget do I?
If anything though I appreciated the fact that they use ingredients they find close by, and do not overlook produce just because it is not the norm. This has definitely got to be good for the environment (They did though fly the carrots from Denmark…not the most environmentally friendly thing to do now is it?).
The evening then ended with us being asked to open our bags of seeds and being guided through the different leaves and seeds and encouraged to try them. Was I overawed by the taste? Not particularly! But there definitely were some flavours in there that I think it is a shame we are missing out on.
My verdict on noma? Something to definitely try once (pretty please Michael?). I will reserve judgement for a next visit to that point though.