Why are we all celebrating the long overdue Noma’s three Michelin stars? Photos: Noma. Copenhagen. 2nd of November 2019
This post is long overdue, just like Noma‘s three Michelin stars. When I visited Noma in November 2019, I was in a period of constant travel which was then followed by pandemics and a total lockdown that stopped the world. Now, with the big reset and the amazing news that was announced yesterday, I went back to the photos of the amazing meal we had in November when I was, together with some other food writers from all over the world, invited to Noma for a day of fermentations. Our journey started with a breakfast with delicious creations by Richard Hart (Hart Bageri bakery), followed by a fermentation workshop, amazing lunch created by Rosio Sanchez and her team of Hija de Sanchez, a continuation of the workshop in the afternoon, and at the end the wonderful dinner at Noma (photos below).
The wonderful news of the three Michelin stars for Noma brought back so many memories. Why are these three stars so important and why are we all so overwhelmed that the amazing Noma team with René Redzepi on the helm finally got the so much deserved third Michelin star?
Noma has always been a restaurant that had an incredible impact worldwide from the start: from bringing Nordic food to the international food scene, to inspiring the chefs all over the world to explore the nature that surrounds them and start foraging and bringing the most uncommon ingredients to the table (as long as it’s delicious, of course! Rene is looking for deliciousness everywhere), to getting deep into fermentation and the possibilities it opens up in the sense of preserving, zero waste and of course flavour. Noma has through its 18 years reinvented itself so many times – just remember their pop-ups in Australia, Japan and Mexico that additionally boosted the creativity and opened the minds of the team even more and then Noma 2.0 where they practically restarted from zero. And this is not only about food but also about human relationships, hospitality, warmth in the front of the house by the entire team. There was never a dull moment in Noma’s life. It is one of the greatest culinary examples worldwide – an example of the constant striving for creativity and perfection. And what they do has been inspiring so many young (and not so young) chefs and other food people worldwide who worked at Noma and then went into the world to start their own projects as well as those who were watching and being inspired from afar!
So even if the Michelin awards only the cooking, are Noma’s stars welcomed by the worldwide food community like no others. Not only because of the amazing meals we had at Noma but also (and even more) because of the wonderful team we have met and all the influence and inspiration Noma transmitted to each of us involved in the wonderful world of food. So this week we all celebrate the success of our friends in Copenhagen and applaud them. Michelin is slow at giving recognition, especially to somebody so different from the Michelin classics. But Noma finally got what was long overdue. I for myself can’t wait to be back.
The wonderful dishes we had at Noma on the 2nd of November 2019:
Salad of Aroma apples. The ‘beetle’ is a fruit leather made from blackberries, black garlic, blackcurrants and Aronia berries. The salad is dressed with a combination of coriander seeds, angelica seeds and blackcurrant shoots.
A warm forest broth with a feast of reindeer. Fried ‘tempura’ sweetbreads with pine and lemon thyme, tongue (sautéed and basted in foaming smoked butter and lemon thyme), bone marrow, roasted cep mushrooms and pine oil, white currants and a candied pine cone.
A chilled broth of rabbit was served with blackened chestnuts and hazelnut oil.
A purée of roasted chestnuts topped with salted hazelnuts, whipped cream, Rossini Baerii caviar and hazelnut oil.
Caramelised chestnut filled with preserved truffle and walnuts. It was topped with a crispy beech leaf ‘duck skin’.
Dried Hokkaido pumpkin with rosehip berries and a sauce made of deer and plum.
A Mexican oregano leaf filled with lightly smoked reindeer brain, forest herbs and Morita chilli.
Different dried fruits (tomatoes, strawberries & plums) stuffed with bee pollen, served with rabbit oil and toffee.
A barbecued pine cone on the cob served in a marinade of pine shoots, green gooseberries, unripe sea buckthorn and Douglas fir pine needles.
Cured wild boar fat (lardo) on a potato crisp served with a mixture of different herbs (goosefoot, ground elder & chickweed) and gooseberry seeds.
Duck brain ‘tempura’ seasoned with Arctic thyme and coated in a marinade of cep and spruce oil. Duck heart tartare was smoked and served with a browned butter emulsion combined with egg yolks and flavoured with salted gooseberries.
Barbecued and glazed duck leg and crispy skin to be eaten off the bone.
Smoked and barbecued duck breast seasoned with Arctic thyme and juniper.
A partridge egg pickled in elderberry vinegar with cured duck breast.
Wild mushrooms (ceps, chanterelles, hen of the woods mushroom, cauliflower mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, trumpet mushrooms & morels) with truffle sauce and salted unripe blackcurrants.
A mousse was made by combining Georgian Kamechi yoghurt with whipped cream and an emulsion of white currants and cardamom. Served with a sauce made from poppy seeds.
Hot waffles with meadowsweet from the barbecue with cloudberry cream and candied cloudberries.
A fudge flavoured with Douglas fir pine and smoked butter. It was dusted with a powder of dried Douglas fir pine needles.