Copenhagen’s two-starred Michelin restaurant Noma has been awarded the title of world’s best restaurant at the San Pelligrino Top 50 Awards this week, putting Danish cuisine on the international gastronomy map and beating culinary giants such as Spain’s El Bulli and England’s The Fat Duck.
When head chef Rene Redzepi opened Noma back in 2003, critics seemed sceptical of the concept of gourmet cuisine using only Scandinavian-produced ingredients. Yet without the bravado and showmanship of other world-class cooks, Redzepi has slowly and steadily proved that Nordic food really is worthy of international attention – and that eco-friendly concepts like ‘locally produced’ really can go hand in hand with gastronomic brilliance.
Located in an old warehouse in the Christianshavn neighborhood of Copenhagen right next to the water, Noma is an abbreviation of ‘Nordisk mad’, Danish for ‘Nordic food’. Gastro-entrepeneur Claus Meyer, a partner in the restaurant, puts its success down to its ability to find exceptional local produce at its source. Noma uses only seasonal ingredients, many of which come from remote parts of Scandinavia.
Since the award ceremony in London on Monday, the restaurant has received enough reservations to jam its online booking system, and is now booked up months in advance. And if you were wondering who the face is on the t-shirts worn by the Noma team on Monday night, that would be dishwasher Alieu Sanko, who couldn’t get to the ceremony due to visa difficulties – so Redzepi and crew helped ease his disappointment with a surprise stunt.
Photos courtesy of Noma and the San Pelligrino awards.