With the recent announcement of Noma closing its doors next year, I realized it was time to revisit that poetic meal. What is Noma, you may ask? It is a culinary experience masterminded by René Redzepi, by bringing Nordic cuisine into the spotlight. Situated in Copenhagen, his chefs utilize fresh local ingredients in unique and inspiring ways. Winning #1 restaurant in the world 4 times by the World's 50 Best List, and with a tough-to-crack 3 month waiting list, you know they are doing something right!
Confirming our reservation mere weeks away from visiting Copenhagen, we secured a spot at their 'Shared Table' setting. The company was as diverse as our meals. We had the awesome privilege of dining with Canadian government officials, Scandinavian TV personalities, and an all around worldly set of intriguing couples. As various languages filled the room in high anticipation, our chef host explained how the next 4 hours of dishes would commence. But calling him our "chef host" is hardly worthy of the man who curated our 21-course meal. He was an expert in the food and drink presented and a true chef in his own right. I'd like to thank him a million times over for helping to add a whole experience level that was able to pull the tasting together.
At each dish, I would gaze at the work of culinary art, pull up my Canon, snap a few shots off and then quickly dive into the most delightful dishes. The layered flavors were nothing short of poetic. Elements upon elements. Textures and techniques married together to rival the greatest German symphony. That may sound blasphemous to compare Noma to Mozart, but I encourage you to try to think of the culinary arts as a medium as legitimate as music, painting, or writing.
Short of divulging all of the 21 courses, I've culled a few of my favorites to share with the foodie masses.
After concluding our courses, we were privileged with a tour through the kitchens to see the chefs in action preparing new dishes. All feverishly working, but still stopping to smile and thank us for coming. It felt like family. That was the touch we felt throughout. There is something special about when your family prepares your meal with thought and care. It has a unique touch of love poured right into the mix. A sixth flavor, outside of the sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umamis of the world. Delicious!
I will be marking my calendar for when Noma reopens, soon to be nestled inside its own urban farm. After this food-tastic experience, I can't wait to see what sort of culinary mindfuck awaits us.
For those curious to read the Noma announcement in the New York Times, copy the link below: