Interviewing Rene Redzepi

Rene Redzepi. Photo: HdG photography
Rene Redzepi. Photo: HdG photography by LLP

He has created a revolution in the food world. Because of him Denmark, once a grey patch on the culinary map of Europe, became one of the main destinations for food lovers. He has taken off the pedestal foie gras and put on it foraging. He has taken “out of the garbage” ingredients which were normally discarded and created out of them some of the most delicious dishes. He took locality so seriously, that he avoided even lemons and used ants instead of them. He took table cloths off the tables and created an ambient in which people feel relaxed and happy. Rene did many steps into the unknown, he persisted when others called him a fool and launched himself between the world’s best chefs. He created a revolution and gained with his integrity and passion trust and admiration of many of his peers. Guests followed.

I am thankful to Rene, and to Arve who organised all the details, for the chance to interview him at Noma at the end of August this year. The entire interview was published in September in the Slovenian magazine Dolce Vita. Here instead I will cut it into chapters (it is very long) and publish it question by question.

Noma at night. Photo: HdG photography
Noma at night. Photo: HdG photography by LLP

What were my feelings after interviewing Rene?

When you sit with Rene, it is him who interviews you first. He wants to understand everything and everybody who surrounds him. People, food, countries … His openness, his desire to listen and to understand, to get to know into depth everything that surrounds him, his sensitivity and warmth are strongly defining Noma and all the team. Rene is not (only) a chef, he is a passionate visionary who is constantly observing and moving the boundaries. Everything that surrounds him is for him a constant inspiration and challenge which keeps Noma constantly on the top since many years. Visit at Noma is not unique only because of the explosion of flavours, but also because of the personal endeavour of everybody who works there. Rene and his team want you to enjoy the experience in the most primal senses. He challenges you to eat with hands and enjoy the juices which slip all over your fingers and enforce the pleasure of tasting. Forget your inhibitions, step out of your comfort zone and enjoy the wonderful and sometimes unusual dishes arriving to your table – enjoy them with all your senses! The staff of the restaurants will take care that your experience will be pleasant, Rene and his cooks instead will take care that it will be utterly delicious. They will sometimes serve you also personally to get to know you and to present their dishes in the best possible way.

As I always say – what may start as a “once in a lifetime” experience, will become an addiction. Whoever visits Noma wants to return.

Go to the 1st chapter of the interview:

By Andreja Lajh

Roasted bone marrow at Noma. Photo: HdG photography
Roasted bone marrow at Noma. Photo: HdG photography by LLP

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