DENMARK: Noma to become urban farm
NEWS DENMARK: The restaurant world was recently shaken when star chef René Redzepi announced that Noma would be closing after New Year’s Eve service 2016. But it will be resurrected, as something, and somewhere, completely different: An urban farm, in the heart of Copenhagen and on the border of the notorious Christiania neighborhood.
It seems a risky gamble to close a restaurant that since it opened twelve years ago has been constantly lavished with praise, named Best Restaurant in the World (by Restaurant Magazine) no less than four times, and with bookings to match. But Mr. Redzepi has famously steered away from conventions. This new project, which has been planned for three years, is no exception: Where there is currently little more than a graffiti-covered, overgrown decrepit building next to the run-down Christiania area, diners will in less than two years' time find themselves surrounded by the very things they’re eating, grown on the roof, on the land and even floating in the water. Yes, that means that for much of the year, Noma will transform to a completely vegetarian restaurant – a bold move in itself. The grand fermentation experiments for the last two years has been a way to slowly prepare the kitchen for these green months, food coming from the “half kitchen, half mad laboratory” according to Mr. Redzepi. Splitting the year into three seasons, wild game and forest items will be on the table in fall, and fish and hardy greens during the cold months.
During 2014, a Noma pop-up appeared in Tokyo, and in 2015 the entire restaurant relocated there for two months. Another pop-up will open in Sydney in January 2016 for ten weeks. Mr. Redzepi is currently the subject of the documentary film “Noma – My Perfect Storm”, which has Danish theatrical premiere in November, following Mr. Redzepi and Noma over the course of two years. Mr. Redzepi also released a short clip on Noma's philosophy, past, present and future, narrated by him.