I’ve been waiting for this book to come out for quite some time. I first heard of Chef Rene Redzepi in the book COCO (click). He’s one of the 10 master chefs that picked other chefs around the world to be in the book (I currently work for one of the chefs that was chosen…Kevin Davis!).
Chef Redzepi has worked for Ferran Adria and Thomas Keller and at the age of 25 took the reigns of Noma in 2003 and in a short period of time he has taken the restaurant to being rated #1 in the world (click).
His specialty is truly living off the land. The restaurant is located in Copenhagen K, Denmark. In the mornings before the restaurant opens he normally forages through the land and picks up ingredients to feature at the restaurant that evening. This book shows a lot of that and while there are some ingredients that I can’t find here to replicate the recipes I am left to be inspired by them and to search for my own local ingredients from the land.
The layout of the book is different from other cookbooks as well. There are chapters that highlight the name of each dish then go onto show a picture of the dish mixed in with other pictures of the area, restaurant, and finally of Chef Redzepi. The recipes aren’t located next to the pictures, they’re in the back of the book. I think that’s a great idea. It left me guessing as to what I was looking at….it immediately inspired me in my own plating and presentations….fireworks going off in my head…..you could try this…..do this…..oh look at that….wow…..wow….wow!!!!
I’ve looked through the book since I have picked it up and I have stared at the pictures for hours. This is amazing and I can see why a number 1 rating came to Chef Redzepi. He has taken his community, food, restaurant, life, and put it on a plate for all to share…..amazing.
Normally, that would be the end of one of my cookbook write-ups but this one turned out to be a little more exciting. Chef Redzepi came to Seattle and I met him!
Kim Ricketts Book Events held an event at MistralKitchen here in Seattle where the book would be debuted. MistralKitchen was going to do some cocktails and appetizers then Chef Redzepi would make his rounds and talk to people and sign books. I looked at the price of the event and I had to think about it for a few days…………after thinking about it I said, “You missed when Thomas Keller and David Chang were in town because you were working….how often does Chef Redzepi come to Seattle?!!?!?!?!? Oh, and you’ll get to meet him and ask him for a job!….Oh, and you’ll get a copy of the book!!!!”. Done. The voices in my head are good salesmen.
I went to the event and MistralKitchen did a number of dishes inspired by Chef Redzepi. Here are a few pictures.
While I was there I ran into another cooking legend but I’m saving that for another post coming soon…….
Ok, back to Chef Redzepi and the book. He was so nice walking around the crowd of eager people waiting to shake his hand and get an autograph but I was there for different reasons……Ok, I was there to get a handshake and an autograph too but every person there wanted to talk about eating at his restaurant….I want to cook at his restaurant…..I don’t even care if I just empty the trash there, I just want to see what goes on at the restaurant…..I’m sure it’s incredible. I think the book only scratches the surface but it gives its readers an idea of the genius that is being doled out on a dish on a daily basis at Noma.
My moment finally arrived. I said, “hello chef!”. He immediately asked if I was a cook. I said, “yes, I work right up the street at Blueacre, I go to culinary school, and I’m a huge fan of your work, I can’t believe I’m actually meeting you, the book is stunning. Congratulations on being the #1 restaurant in the world”. He said, “thank you and asked me how much longer I had in school.” I said about a year and then I asked him how I could get into the kitchen at NOMA for a stage. As I was asking this he was writing down an email address and said, “when you’re ready e-mail us, tell them you were at this event, and we’ll get you in”.
I was beside myself. “Hey self freaking out…calm down….you’re embarrassing us.”
I said, “That’s awesome chef, thanks for your time, and congratulations again” then I left…..what else do you do after something like that?!?!?!
I got home and told Mindy what was going on while she was talking to her mom on the phone. Mindy handed me the phone and said tell my mom, she would love to hear it.
Graduate……..keep working…….go to NOMA……we’ll see what happens.