What’s the story: The original Noma was, undoubtedly, one of the most important restaurants of its generation. With his food, René Redzepi developed a new genre of cuisine. New Nordic cookery looks back to look ahead; digging deeper than seasonality to explore unsung foraged products, while seamlessly weaving in a study of fermentation. Redzepi’s visionary approach to celebrating terroir via ingredient-focused, minimalist plates earned the first incarnation of Noma the title of The World’s Best Restaurant in four years: 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014.
The new Noma: Redzepi closed the original Noma in February 2017. He moved the restaurant from Copenhagen’s Christianshavn neighbourhood to a more spacious plot on artsy Refshalevej Island, with the new restaurant’s first service taking place in February 2018. Under the Best of the Best rules, the new Noma is a separate restaurant than its original location, and therefore earns the Highest New Entry Award debuting on this year's list at No.2.
How does the menu work? When Noma relaunched, Redzepi introduced a new dining structure in which the restaurant offers three menus per year, each roughly 20-courses, based on the top ingredients available during a given season. The Seafood Season runs 9th January through 1st June; Vegetable Season runs 25th June through 21st September; and Game and Forest Season runs 15th October through 21st December. Guests are advised to make a booking in whichever period suits their palate. Throughout each menu, the ideology that made Noma’s name stays true: native ingredients explored through the lens of myriad cooking techniques that join to become far more than the sum of their constituent parts.
Book club: Last Fall, Redzepi, along with David Zilber – Noma’s Head of Fermentation – published The Noma Guide to Fermentation, a tome that chronicles the ‘foundations of flavour’ via recipes like lacto tomato leather, coffee-kombucha tiramisu, and squid garum. In just a few months, the guide became a New York Times Best Seller.
Watch Redzepi discuss the new Noma, creativity and reinvention in the video: