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At the Chef's Table: René Redzepi Part 3

At the Chef's Table: René Redzepi Part 3

We discuss the Noma chef's apprenticeships at elBulli and The French Laundry

Ali Rosen

At the Chef's Table with Rene Redzepi

In our series "At the Chef's Table," we take a look at the careers of some of the greatest chefs in the business. In this month’s installment we are profiling René Redzepi, of the internationally acclaimed Noma in Copenhagen. The chef, whose restaurant is currently ranked number two on San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants list, sat down with us recently at his restaurant in Denmark.

In part three of our series we discuss Redzepi's apprenticeships, including time at elBulli and The French Laundry. Redzepi recounts his first trip to elBulli and how it set him off on a totally new path. He notes, "Of course we knew something was going on, we knew something was special... It was just a reboot from thinking the whole world cooks French food."

For more from Redzepi, including how Alinea's Grant Achatz got him a job at The French Laundry, watch the video above. And look out for part four coming next Monday!

Fermentations, yes or no? René Redzepi has no doubts: it’s the food of the future


Photos from Noma&rsquos test kitchen. Almost every single dish at the restaurant in Copenhagen (2 Michelin stars and number 2 in the World's 50Best) includes one or more fermented ingredients

When speaking of fermentations, chefs have opposite reactions. For a larger portion of professionals, they&rsquore the future of food the others ignore it, considering them distant from their identity and culture. Those in the first group would ferment even their handkerchiefs those in the second, keep them at a distance because, for instance in the case of Italian chefs, «our fresh products are so good and always available that there&rsquos no need to ferment them».

These are two parties in a lively debate, which has been going on for some time, and is surely destined to stay alive in the next few years. The wisest point of view is that according to which, in general, a chef who believes in innovation should never limit himself. Prejudgement, disguised as a preservation of one&rsquos identity, never wins: before saying no, it&rsquos always best to try. Of course, it&rsquos not a compulsory exercise and everyone is free to create the transformations he prefers, but one should consider some elements that are clearer after a recent visit to Noma.

Canadian David Zilber and Danish of Albanian/Macedonian origins Rene Redzepi, authors of the Guide. (photo Christopher Ho/KCRW)

To begin with, what is the definition of &ldquofermentation&rdquo? David Zilber, master fermenter at the restaurant in Copenhagen and brand-new co-author &ndash with his boss René Redzepi &ndash of &ldquoThe Noma Guide to Fermentation&rdquo, a not to be missed guide for those vaguely interested in the topic, recently published in Italian by Giunti. «Fermentation», the Canadian chef defines the topic, «means transforming a food into another food through the action of micro-organisms». It&rsquos a controlled process: «There&rsquos always need for someone to monitor the transformation. This person is the fermentator, who decides what is included or not in a food. He has the same role of a bouncer at the entrance of a nightclub: he keeps the unwanted microbes out, and lets the ones that make the party explode in».

If this is the definition, the thesis of the sceptical Italian chef is immediately proven wrong: wine, beer, spirits, Grana Padano and Parmigiano, vinegar, yogurt, bread, pizza&hellip are all fermented products. And they are all an emblem or commonly used in our diet. So why not ferment other food too? In the book, and their words live, Redzepi&Zilber show a deeply rooted enthusiasm: «Fermentation is the most ancient cooking method, it&rsquos older than the discovery and use of fire. And they are the foundations of the diet of every civilization, with no exception». For example: «Rye bread, the most famous food in Denmark, is a fermentation, just like our herrings. And what would French cuisine be without wine, or Japanese cuisine without shoyu and miso, Korean without kimchi or soy sauce, German cuisine without sauerkraut». In other words, wherever you go, there&rsquos «cold fire» (we took this nice definition from Cooked, an important book on the topic by American author Michael Pollan).

Koji, that is to say rice or spelt inoculated with Aspergillus oryzae

Koji in an advanced state of fermentation

After clarifying the historical importance in our diet, for the guys at Noma fermentation is most of all a pillar in the cuisine of the future. «It&rsquos a strong statement», Redzepi says assertively, «but so was the introduction of sea urchins in the menu at Noma 15 years ago: at the time, it was as bizarre as cooking zebra meat. And it also seemed strange to have waiters wait at the table, while this is now the rule in many restaurants. We&rsquore sure that fermentation is the future of flavour. That bacteria, yeasts and moulds can transform food from analogic into digital, infinitely increasing the range of flavours. Multinationals already know this, and they&rsquore creating fermentation kits so that people can experiment at home».

At Noma now there&rsquos coherence between theory and practice: «While at first we had absolutely no idea of how fermentations would work, today in each dish in our menus there&rsquos a fermented food. It all began casually, when we preserved some gooseberry in salt, in 2008, on the Test Kitchen boat anchored in front of the old location. Now fermentations are the real pillar of our restaurant, much more than foraging, by which people usually identify us».

If these arguments have made at least a small impression on the reader, the next step is buying the Noma Guide to Fermentation. The book is focused on 7 types of fermentations plus one: lactic acid, kombucha, vinegar, koji, miso, shoyu, garum plus blackenedfruits and vegetables &ndash which technically are not the result of the same fermentation process, but have much in common. There&rsquos no mention of alcohol, cured meat, bread or cheese, products that are very common in the West: once again Rene Redzepi focuses mostly on the customs of other worlds, especially in the East &ndash he did so already with seaweeds and ants &ndash and applies these principles to his local raw materials. He looks elsewhere to define his microbe terroir, a fascinating concept with infinite potential.

Swan garum at Noma. Garum &ndash the result of so-called secondary fermentations, a mix of koji and animal proteins &ndash was already analysed inApicius&rsquos "De re coquinaria" a book from 2 thousand years ago

The 460-page volume analyses every fermented product from a historic point of view, trying to define its scientific function and its features in terms of taste. It has advices, rather than indications, and simplifications rather than rules with obscure technical terms. It puts together dozens of preparations, from plums fermented in milk to black, waxed shallots from gammel dansk vinegar to coffee shoyu. «Fermentation improves every flavour», the Danish chef promises. «When you&rsquoll taste the result of your efforts, you won&rsquot be able to do without».

Central Virgilio Martínez

Price AUD$85.00 Price CAD$79.95 Price &euro49.95 Price £39.95 Price T59.95 Price USD$59.95

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The extraordinary cuisine of Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez, one of the most admired emerging talents in the culinary world

This exquisite monograph from acclaimed Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez follows the innovative and exciting tasting menu at his signature restaurant, Central, in Lima. Organized by altitude, each chapter highlights recipes, food, and documentary photographs, together with personal essays. His journeys and life as a chef are motivated by his insatiable curiosity and passion for the biodiversity of his land.

"At Central we cook ecosystems." &mdashVirgilio Martínez


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 288 pp
  • Illustrations: 150 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714872803

Virgilio Martínez has cooked in restaurants around the world and in 2009, in Lima, he opened Central. In 2013 he debuted on the World&rsquos 50 Best list and in 2015 he reached #4 and was named the #1 chef in Latin America. He is the founder of Mater Iniciativa, which documents indigenous foods in Peru. In London, he runs the restaurants Lima and Lima Floral. He lives in Peru.

Featured on the Netflix documentary series Chef's Table

As featured in Bon Appetit, Bloomberg Pursuits, Domino, Food & Wine, Four, La Repubblica, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Vogue, and Wine Enthusiast, and on New Worlder and Vice Munchies as heard on Heritage Radio and WBUR - On Point, Boston

"For hundreds of years, Peruvian biodiversity has been a hidden treasure of thousands of unique ingredients. Today, in the Peruvian Amazon, deserts, Andes, Altiplano, and all of their ecosystems, some ingredients, like quinoa and native cacao, are already traveling all over the world. A small group of chefs wanted to explore deeper than ever the potentials of each ingredient, each environment of Peru-listening, smelling, touching, learning-with a style of cooking that was absolutely modern, unique, and Peruvian. Leading the creativity of this young and free generation of chefs is Virgilio Martínez. If you want to discover Peru and its treasures in its most modern version, to feel our unique biodiversity, to celebrate our multicultural society, and to taste the soul of young Peruvians proud of their culture, this book is the perfect way to do it. In Central, Virgilio will take you on a journey, from the Pacific Ocean to the high Andes, discovering the magic of the ingredients of Peru."—Gastón Acurio of Astrid & Gastón (Lima, Peru)

"Central is about Virgilio's desire to tell the story of a collective wish from a individual pulse, and of a passion that comes from history. His book features a strike of authority achieved through culture and creativity."—Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)

"Virgilio Martínez doesn't settle with what is already in everyone's imagination about Peruvian cuisine. He is a chef who looks deeply into the unknown, into the forgotten and rejected to find a different way to embrace his culture. Virgilio brings to light another side of Peruvian culinary culture, one inspired by Big Nature: the vast landscape and diverse terrain of this unique place. He is a keen observer who isn't afraid to open his kitchen to the unknown. Virgilio forges not one path to understanding Peruvian cuisine but many, and from this research and determination, he is giving back to Peru centuries of ancestral wisdom through fine dining."—Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)

"We believe that what we do in our kitchens is to create beauty as the legacy for future generations. This is what Virgilio's work in Central communicates - and we know the readers will feel this emotion."—Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn (San Francisco, United States)

"What Virgilio and his team at Central have created is an entirely new lexicon of cuisine, while maintaining the ancient traditions, the beauty, and the integrity of the cooking of his land."—Carlo Mirarchi of Blanca (New York City, United States)

"Central is a testament of passion, integrity, and knowledge - a generous gift of sharing with others. Through Virgilio's food I learned so much about the culture and people of Peru, but most of all, I learned this importance of others and the richness of endless discoveries. This is a very special book and Virgilio is an outstanding human being." —Joan, Josep & Jordi Roca of El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)

"Features food photography worthy of a modern-art gallery wall and exquisite signature recipes from the famed restaurant."&mdashPlate

René Redzepi: A Work in Progress René Redzepi

Price AUD$79.95 Price CAD$84.95 Price &euro49.95 Price £39.95 Price T64.95 Price USD$64.95

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How do you achieve greater creativity at the world’s best restaurant?

René Redzepi committed to writing a journal for an entire year to reflect on this question and the result is A Work in Progress: Notes on Food, Cooking and Creativity.

Three books in one, a journal, recipe book and flick book, A Work in Progress recounts the day-to-day life at Noma – from the trials of developing new dishes to the successes that come with winning the 50 Best Restaurant award. While the journal is the book’s heart, it is supported by the recipe book containing 100 brand new recipes and the flick book of 200 candid images which provide a stunning, and often humorous, insight into the inner workings of the restaurant and it’s talented team of chefs.

Reflective, insightful and compelling, René interweaves observations on creativity, collaboration and ambition making A Work in Progress of interest to food lovers and general readers alike. Specifications:

  • Format: Hardback & Paperback
  • Size: 270 x 220 mm (10 5/8 x 8 5/8 in)
  • Pages: 648 pp
  • Illustrations: 300 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714866918

"These three books perfectly capture Rene Redzepi's gastronomic vision: playful and fiercely imaginative, deeply rooted in season and place, and committed to pure, real ingredients."—Alice Waters

"Rene Redzepi is, without a doubt, the most influential, provocative, and important chef in the world. This book chronicles a year in the life of a chef, a creative process - and a restaurant considered by many to be the best."—Anthony Bourdain

"Redzepi has given us a book - or really, three books - that take us not only into the field. but also into the wildest place of all: his mind. A striking, thought-provoking, and imminently pleasurable read."—Daniel Barber

"F**k me, he's a good chef!"—Fergus Henderson

"This is a brilliant, honest, and ultimately exhilarating insight into one of the most important culinary minds in the world."—Daniel Patterson

"The perfect package. Gorgeous recipes, candid snapshots, and a year's worth of journal entries are what you get in Rene Redzepi's latest. But that's not our favorite thing about the Noma chef's three-volume set. The package design - three monochromatic and straight-up minimalist covers, all held together by a color-coordinated rubber band - makes this title (and all of its parts) a must for any collection."— Bon Appetit

"There's no doubting [Redzepi's] genius. A profound insight into how he conceives his dishes. The [recipe] selection here contains some of Noma’s key naturalistic techniques and will therefore be of interest to many chefs cooking at a high level. A rare glimpse into one of the world's most influential kitchens."—Restaurant

". A raw, fascinating and innovative exploration of an elite chef's obsessive life. But more than that, it is a book about creativity."—The San Francisco Chronicle

". [A Work in Progress] forms an intimate look at what Redzepi does, how he does it, and what it means to do it. What fun to delve into this landscape of Nordic ingredients and ideas. You just might find yourself dreaming about eating hay and ants for dinner and spruce parfait for dessert."—Food & Wine

"Unique and insightful, this is one collection true food lovers will delight in."—Publishers Weekly

". The best portrait yet of the intellectual and emotional challenges of delivering one of the most creative menus in the business."—The Economist

"A food nerd's dream."—Wine Enthusiast

"[A Work in Progress] gets our pick for the best cookbook of the year because it's human, intimate and inspiring."—Tasting Table

3. Francis Mallmann

If you watched Francis Mallmann’s episode of "Chef's Table," chances are, you had thoughts about it. Mallmann lives in South America, spends quite a bit of time in more remote, secluded locations, and cooks with fire. Esquire reported that Mallmann and Vanina Chimeno , the mother of his young daughter shown in the episode, got married in 2016.

In 2017, as The New York Times reported, Mallmann opened a restaurant in Aix-en-Provence, France at Château La Coste , as well as a restaurant called Fuegos de Apalta at the Montes Winery Estate in Chile , Vine Pair reported. Also, Mallmann writes a weekly article for a newspaper, but they're not all about food, and he hopes to direct films.

Chefs Step Up to The Plate

Right now, as I write this paragraph, there’s a fine dining restaurant in Bolivia helping give unemployed locals a job in the kitchen, a chef in Colombia going on missions with armed guards to war torn areas of his country to bring guerrilla fighters and ex FARC rebels together behind the stove. There’s been a whole list of Michelin starred chefs in Milan cooking waste ingredients for the homeless for the past five months, there’s the Clink restaurant inside a prison in the UK and a number of establishments taking disadvantaged or struggling youths and giving them a chance to make it in the culinary world.

Around three weeks ago we attended the Mesaredonda gastronomy critique in Mexico City, a one-day event that brought together some of the biggest names in the culinary industry to discuss everything from sustainability to creativity. In the first report from that roundtable discussion we focused in on some of the main topics highlighted during the event, but one overriding theme kept arising, in many guises and from many people, scattered throughout all the topics and somehow hidden within every question, comment or theme, there sat a constant anchor. That the chef of today has a much bigger role to play outside of the kitchen. That the motivation for social responsibility, from the chefs and customers, is now coming through stronger than ever, and that the role of a chef and how we recognise it is going to change dramatically.

Helping farmers get the best for their products, helping educate people in cooking food waste, changing the fast-food supply chain, researching entirely new ingredients and disrupting home delivery methods. Chefs are already involved in all of the above, but building programs to feed the elderly, is that really their job? Should they play a role in helping fight against, or, in some peoples’ opinions, fight for the introduction of GMO crops? Is it their job to protect the rare varieties of ingredients we’ve been loosing thanks to industrialisation? To address food deficits in their countries, to work on social health, obesity, social economics? Should they be the ones explaining to all of us exactly what the hell a transgenic plant is and exactly what it might do to our food systems in the future? And are these the questions that now keep chef’s awake at night? If so, it seems a whole lot more complicated than planning tomorrow's lunch service.

“When I first started, chefs were terrible communicators - it was a joy when this generation of smart, educated and well articulated chefs came around”, proclaimed Ruth Reichl, as the food writer spoke about a shift from the idea of chefs as recipe producing machines to people who can carry and communicate a valuable message. “The future of leadership in the kitchen has little to do with cooking”, replied Michel Bras, “the restaurant leader of the future will have social responsibility on a whole new level.” The question was asked to the French chef via a video by Rene Redzepi. In another instance, Andoni Luis Aduriz sent a question to the organiser Enrique Olvera, “how do you think we’re going to provide food for our future generations?”

It’s these topics that are hitting chefs at the forefront of gastronomy, they’re not stepping away from their research or dedication to delicious but they are moving with society, all of us are becoming more and more aware of our affects on our surroundings and so are chefs and for the generation of chefs that comes after them, the ones currently training in their kitchens, those who sat in the audience at Mesaredonada and those who watched the live stream at home, for them it will be the norm, for them, Social Responsibility it will be part of what being a chef means. Because as we said before - the role of the chef is changing and for the Millenniums - Generation Y as they’re called - they already expect this stuff as part of the package.

“A chef is the CEO of the company - you should empower staff so much to the point where you become redundant - allowing the chef to go on and do more work”, a concise response given by Reichl when one audience member asked about the issue and, in many cases, negative connotation of a chef who is not always in their kitchen. The chef is naturally shifting away from the bricks and mortar of the restaurant, they have been doing it for a while, but the more transparent way in which it will be done in the future, this is what is different. This is what is needed to give chefs the true freedom to explore the other avenues of impact they can have.

Jair Téllez from the Merotoro restaurant in Mexico City stood with mic in hand and bravely stepped forward, “When does the chef come out of the closet and admit that they aren’t cooking all the dishes, that they have other restaurants, other businesses? Why can’t chefs admit that?” As with all shifts like this, in any industry, it will be a few brave ones who step further out of the kitchen to help redefine the role and some who surely won’t accept the change. "A chef should chop ingredients, create recipes, and bloody well cook", that's what they’ll say, but that seems a much sadder path to follow, after all - isn’t a chef’s purpose in many cases to help enrich us?

If this really is the future of the chef in the 21st century then there will need to be further education, new ways for chef’s to learn, to access information and to process where it is the industry is going and where they stand in shaping it. Someone who has perhaps helped to push the term of what it means to be a chef more than most is Rene Redzepi. Just last month he announced news that he will be working with the Danish government to help set the food curriculum for children, and just last week, he showed that he also sees the gap in education required for chefs to acquire the skills needed to continue impacted our future. He did this with the launch, alongside Yale University, of a Chef Institute that he says will help to: “create and curate new discussions among leading chefs as their influence continues to develop past the walls of the restaurant.”

“Partnering with Yale is an opportunity to realise the potential we believe the chefs have to influence how we eat now and in the future”, explained Redzepi. “Combining this with the university’s fantastic legacy and educational resources we think can provide a new knowledge base, one that has often been overlooked, that will reinvent the leadership role of chefs in initiating new conversations on topics like kitchen culture, sustainability, inclusiveness, and respect.”

The first participants are expected to attend the institute in 2016 and Jonathan Holloway, dean of Yale College, said they are expecting them to leave the program with a “compassionate understanding of the socio-economic, environmental, and health challenges facing food systems around the world, and be inspired to bring lasting change.”

There was mention of Gustu in Bolivia - 32 on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, a successful business and one that owner Claus Meyer - co-founder of Noma - uses in a two pronged social attack. One to promote Bolivia through its rich biodiversity, similar to how Gaston Acurio has done in Peru, and the second to use funds generated by the restaurant to train young chefs from the local area. Jamie Oliver was awarded an MBE by the Queen, largely due to the role his Fifteen restaurants have had in offering unemployed young people the chance at work in the kitchen. Then there’s the likes of Daniel Patterson who recently walked away from his executive chef position to pursue a dream of impacting the fast-food sector with a chain of restaurants he will open with Roy Choi.

It’s nothing new to note that the chefs' influence is extending way beyond the kitchen, but it is new to see so many chefs now embracing the responsibility. In the past there were just a few, usually bashing away at projects dear to their own heart, or, in many peoples’ eyes, projects that helped promote their brand. Now they’re accepting the role with vigour, they’re presenting to The UN, they’re obtaining research grants to discover new ingredients, they’re even stepping into the world of editorial publications with their own magazines, journals and websites.

A few years ago chefs started slowly leaving the kitchen, at first just to deliver the dishes to our table - to explain their story, connect with the diner. Now they're standing in front of our world organisations, they're planning the food education and diets of our children and they're helping shape what’s on all our forks in the future. The door of the kitchen has been flung wide open and they’re flying out into the world to do their respective bit. Perhaps this needs remembering the next time we complain a chef who started a restaurant, built a great team and taught them all to fly, wasn’t actually in the kitchen when we visited. Or perhaps, as surely some will shout, they should all just stick to cooking.

Roca's Honor, Redzepi's Lecture and Scabin's Playboy Appearance

The world waits to find out which restaurants will make The World's 50 Best Restaurants List 2012 on the 30th April at London's Guildhall. The event, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Aqua Panna, will be one of the biggest nights in the culinary year and FDL will be bringing you all the action live - all you need to do is reserve your seat in the front row by visiting us on Facebook.

We'll also be keeping you up to date as the clock ticks down with our 50 Best Restaurants News.

Joan Roca - El Celler De Can Roca - Girona

Joan Roca, one of the three brothers behind the world famous El Celler De Can Roca restaurant in Spain, has received the Grand Prix de l'Art de la Cuisine (The Grand Prize Art of the Kitchen) for his 'sublime' work in the kitchen.

The award was given by the International Academy of Gastronomy claiming that the Roca brothers restaurant in Girona has become one of the biggest drivers of tourism to Catalonia and Spain and that with the award Joan "joins the elite of the best chefs in the world". The Roca brother's restaurant came 2nd on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2011.

Rene Redzepi - Noma - Denmark

Rene Redzepi, owner of The World's Best Restaurant, will be hosting a lecture at UCLA titled "The Exploration of Deliciousness" as part of the universities Science and Food series. The Danish chef will be joined by Amy Rowat and Lars Williams from the Nordic Food Lab on May the 7th to deliver the talk.

René Redzepi Shares 5 Exciting Ingredient Finds From Australia

With René Redzepi’s Noma Australia restaurant set to serve its final dinner on April 2nd we caught up with the famous chef to discuss some of the interesting ingredients he has encountered while researching, foraging and creating new dishes for what has been one of the most talked about dining experiences of the year.

“There’s so much it’s difficult to choose”, explained Redzepi, “choosing five is almost impossible. I could have picked 50 different things. When you’ve tasted so many thing that you’ve never even seen before it’s difficult to decide.”

Here’s just a handful of the ingredients the chef and his team encountered and you can see many, many more on the chef's Instagram page.

Monstera Deliciosa

"It’s the weirdest fruit ever that tastes like a mix of ripe bananas and pineapple but it looks like corn. It’s a mix of all the exotic fruits you can imagine with the same texture as custard. When it’s unripe, it’s very dangerous for you and it can blister up your whole mouth up but it’s a very exciting ingredient that I think you could genuinely have a lot of fun with. It used to be a very common house plant, more or less all Aussie homes had one in the 80s and kids would break of the fruit and use it as a way of fencing."

"Salty little pops that taste like Japanese kelp but the aged variety, to me this is the best seaweed I’ve ever tasted, lots of umami. We actually tried to cut them into individual little pearls, they’re very good in ceviche. Just think of it as something you can add to a broth, a marinade, ramen - it’s one of those things that only now we’ve started working with. I’ve never seen it before, it’s very rare to get it, even here in Australia and the taste is like ‘wow’."

Finger Limes

"Finger lime is the new Yuzu. It’s just a perfect ingredient, I’ve had them before in Denmark but nothing like the ones you can get here, so many varieties and so flavoursome. Imagine using them on a vanilla ice cream or in a chicken, ceviche would be amazing."

Tasmanian Pepper Berry

"The wood itself is spicy, if you chew on the stick you taste a little spiciness - a bit like sichuan pepper. If you nibble on the leaves it gets a little spicier, then you have to taste the fresh berry. The leaves have so much use and then you have this berry that turns into a dry peppercorn eventually. The spice of the berry just comes and it just stays there. It’s such an exciting ingredient and I think this could be on the shelves everywhere, it could be an integral part of the cuisine here. We cook the berries in a celery broth and it’s amazing. The flowers of the plant are also amazing, less spicy, more floral."

"In the mangroves near the water when it’s low tied, between the edge of the mangrove forrest and the water it becomes very muddy. When you go in it your feet just fall down 30 centimetre into this stinky mud and there’s all sorts of animals crawling around. We were walking there with a spear to catch mud crabs and at one point one of the aboriginals stepped on something, started digging and pulls this clam out of the 40 degree stinking mud and I was thinking to myself, no way, there’s no way I’m eating that thing - all my alarm bells were going off. He eventually puts it on this fire and says ‘when it whistles it’s ready’ - I love stuff like that. It starts to steam a bit, the shell opens a little and the steam makes this whistling sound. He opened it up and this big bulging clam was staring at me and I was really not happy to go for it but I had to, I didn’t want to be that fancy chef. I dunked it down and it was the sweetest shell fish that I’ve ever tried in my life. The mud clam was something very, very exciting."

Those who want to have a taste of the ingredients Redzepi speaks about still have a chance to get a table at Noma Australia thanks to a charity auction being held to raise funds for Oz Harvest. The dinners will take place on April 2nd and are being auctioned on Ebay.


In our new podcast, Melissa Clark makes a simple and slightly sinful Lemon Vanilla Rice Pudding for her mom – in the Instant Pot.

654: The Oyster King and the Seagull Test

Let’s dive into oysters: we’ll talk about how they’re grown, the history of a surprising oyster king, shucking with a pro, and grief in a half shell.

10: Grown-Up Chicken Tenders

For all of you parents who have snuck a bite off your toddler’s chicken finger, Melissa is looking out for you with her recipe for Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Kumquats and Cranberries. Plus, mise en place in real life, why you should always spice in layers, why the order you dip is essential, an amazing frying technique, and yet another reason for a trip to IKEA.

9: Dueling Sheet Pans

If one sheet pan is good, then two is better, as proved by this week’s recipe for Roasted Sausage and Cauliflower with Cumin and Turkish Pepper. Melissa explains the method behind the potential madness of the double sheet-pan approach, why you should think about how big your bite is, the diversity of doneness, and the times when Greek yogurt just won’t cut it.

670: René Redzepi – Fermentation, Inspiration and the Balance of Life

Chef René Redzepi on how fermentation is the future of great cooking, Noma's global influence, and his work/life balance.

8: Shake Your Way to a Better Salad

Melissa is joined in the kitchen by her pal, celebrity photographer Melanie Dunea, for a lesson in making the perfect Simplest Green Salad. Melanie asks the real questions: do you wash the prewashed greens? What’s the best way to mince garlic? What’s the best tool for tossing? Together she and Melissa mix up a “shaky-shake” salad dressing that will last a week in the fridge. This episode makes it easy to get a salad on your table every single night of the week.

Diana Henry on Oven Cooking

Cookbook author Diana Henry shares inspiration, techniques and recipes for quick weeknight meals cooked in the oven.

A logical next step

Now that the symposia have helped bring restaurateurs, chefs, farmers, manufacturers, and scientists together around one big table, MAD is hoping to expand its sphere of influence even more. Granted, many of MAD’s talks have been posted online, and they’ve also started MAD Mondays, a smaller, locally organized talk format held more frequently in cities like Copenhagen, New York, London, San Francisco, and Sydney… but Redzepi wouldn’t be Redzepi if he were content to rest on those laurels. MAD’s has started its biggest endeavour yet: 2019 MAD laid the foundation for the MAD Academy, a school that aims to support the hospitality and food industry with tools and knowledge for making positive change. This year, MAD invites anyone and everyone who actively works in hospitality to apply for a spot in one of two different five-day programs taking place in Copenhagen.

Watch the video: Noma: Reinventing the Best Restaurant in the World (January 2022).