The founder and head chef at Noma in Copenhagen, one of the world’s most innovative restaurants, Redzepi is famously obsessed with foraging for local and seasonal ingredients. In addition to the test kitchen above Noma, he established the Nordic Food Lab, not far away on a canal barge where, working side-by-side with a botanist and a biologist, he experiments with ingredients such as reindeer tongue, sea buckthorn and fish scales that are stored in his so-called Frankenstein’s warehouse. He has taken the whole Noma team with him on gastronomic world tours, once decamping to Tokyo before moving them on to Sydney to prepare a 12-course tasting menu which included crocodile. Research for that meal included two months in the wilderness of Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands getting to grips with Aboriginal bush food. Next he’s off to Mexico to sample the country’s many sauces. Growing up between Denmark and the former Yugoslavia (his father’s homeland), he spent his youth picking blackberries and roasting chestnuts, and his current diet at home now remains simple: roast chicken, rye bread and watermelon. A big heavy-metal fan, he likes to blast Metallica tunes over the restaurant sound system to energise his chefs on morning shifts.
This feature first appeared in Condé Nast Traveller January/February 2017
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