– I ate at Noma this summer. There I was served a plate where I asked “what’s the yellow thing?” Pollen ripped from a bee’s legs was on its way to the hive. There is no point in trying to understand.
Jimmy Oyan is Chef at Rest Restaurant in Oslo.
– Numa pioneers, not only in the Nordic countries, but also in the rest of the world. It has become so popular that if you travel to Italy you will find it there too, he says.
He closes the doors
René Redzepi is the chef and the man behind Noma. The exclusive restaurant has been named the best five times in the world and has three Michelin stars.
At the beginning of January The news came About Noma closes its doors. Winter 2024 will be the last season for the restaurant.
– He had everything to say
NRK spoke to many of Norway’s best chefs about what Noma and Rene have to say to develop Scandinavian cuisine.
– Numa was the starter and was already in the driver’s seat. Tom Victor Josdal says they put Denmark on the map, as well as the entire region.
He is one of the most famous chefs in the country, a former silver medalist at the World Cooking Championships, and is now training young chefs.
– Numa had everything to say about the food wave in the North, he says.
– How much is this Rene Redzepi?
– Rene a lot, but around him are many people who have worked there for many years, many of whom are doing the work now. The NOMA lab, where the research takes place, is likely to be a big part of the key to the whole movement becoming so big. There they simply look for food.
Gausdal believes the extreme pressure is one reason the restaurant is now going in a different direction.
There is insane pressure to run a good restaurant, but the pressure to run the best restaurant is overwhelming. That responsibility falls on Renee, he definitely wants to focus more on the lab and research.
In 2022, Jimmy Øien won the Michelin Young Chef of the Year award. He is considered one of the most exciting chefs we have in the country.
Obviously, the island itself was inspired by Numa.
– They helped survey the available raw materials. Looking back at the 2000s, Norwegian food was defined as potatoes and root vegetables. You are now using things from nature that you may not have eaten in hundreds of years.
Everything that grows in nature that we do not eat is leftover. This is also the concept that we operate according to in our restaurant.
Scandinavian nature uses
Oyan thinks you can clearly see that the public is more proud of their food traditions. Not least because Scandinavian food is becoming more specific.
It is important to focus on what grows and is found in nature.
– People skip porcini mushrooms in the forest, and then buy dried porcini mushrooms for a thousand crowns a kilo in the store afterwards.
Emil Thorsvik is a chef at the famous Palace Grill in Oslo, which has had many of Norway’s best chefs in the kitchen. Thorsvik believes that even though Noma is now closing down the actual restaurant operations, the Noma Way is here to stay.
– What Noma has done in recent years is the future of Scandinavian cuisine. They take techniques and inspiration from other countries, but use Nordic raw materials to create new flavors we haven’t used before.
The general manager and owner of Brasserie Rivoli in Oslo, Kari Innerå, also shares the enthusiasm, and believes there is respect for Noma’s development, but also the decision to close.
Innerå himself has won the Nordic Championship and the Olympics in cooking.
– They’ve had a great development. They’ve always pushed the boundaries, yet sober and real at the same time. Running a restaurant is often about a recipe. You figure out how to do it, and then stick with it. Numa has been pushing boundaries from year to year, traveling around and learning about raw materials and techniques. It’s a work of art, and it’s resource-intensive.
Respect the decision to close. This isn’t the last we see of them, it’s the beginning of something else.
You have to think again
René Redzepi is currently in Japan setting up a test kitchen. So he is not available for an interview when NRK calls.
The star chef has been open before about why the restaurant has now made the decision to close its doors.
In an interview with The New York Times Redzepi says the entire “fine dining” industry has to rethink.
– We have to think completely new about the whole industry. This is simply too difficult. He says to the American newspaper, we have to work in a different way.
Redzepi believes it is not sustainable to have nearly a hundred employees who must be paid fairly, while at the same time having to raise prices in the restaurant.
Noma has preceded egEight criticisms that novice chefs don’t get paid, they just try and learn. At the same time, the working hours are long and demanding. The same applies to other elite restaurants around the world.
But Noma will not completely disappear. The restaurant has written on their own that they are launching a new project called Noma 3.0, a laboratory focused on food innovation and the development of new flavours. The project will enter into force in 2025. The restaurant states that they will occasionally open a pop up restaurant with catering.
Chef Jimmy Oyan is happy about that.
– In the laboratory, for example, they took Asian techniques and dishes, but applied Nordic ingredients in them. like Dude And miso. Only in Norway have companies appeared that make miso from Norwegian peas and barley grains, garlic from meat and Norwegian herring. This is one hundred percent inspired by what they did in Noma.
– I think they made garlic on squirrels there once, says Owen.
“Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert.”