Noma is a Nordic restaurant located in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. The name “Noma” is a combination of the Danish words “nordisk” (Northern Europe) and “mad” (food). For many years, chef Lehrer Lejpi has insisted on using only seasonal and fresh Nordic ingredients to prepare food. With new Nordic cuisine, Noma restaurant was named the world’s top restaurant in 2012 by the “Elite Traveler” magazine, and has repelled Spain four times. Competitive rivals such as Italy and the United Kingdom ranked first among the 50 best restaurants in the world by “Restaurant Magazine” in the United Kingdom.
However, the cultivation path of the world’s top restaurants has not been smooth sailing. After experiencing the poisoning incident, the restaurant was closed and renovated. In 2018, Noma reopened in a new location in Copenhagen. In addition to impeccable, simple and organic food, the new restaurant has a low-key and luxurious space. In September this year, Noma finally took off the top Michelin three-star honor, once again bringing new surprises to those who love food!
Many praises of Noma are low-key and beautiful, it is hard to get a reservation
”Do you know why there has never been a revolution in Denmark? Because the time between our meal and meal is too short!” It is such a joke in the gourmet world that has aroused the curiosity of countless foodies. In Denmark, known as the capital of Nordic cuisine, 21 star-rated restaurants have received 26 Michelin stars, and Noma restaurant is one of the best.
As the darling of the food world, the best restaurant in the world should be located on a bustling street, with colorful neon lights shining under the golden signs, live performances by first-class bands, or with elegant piano accompaniment. …But what is amazing is that in the Noma restaurant, none of these imaginary images are present.
Noma opened in 2004 and is a Michelin-starred restaurant with a total of 12 tables. It is hidden low-key near the Greenland Trade Square in Copenhagen, where it was once the most important fishing trading place and a famous sightseeing spot-the peaceful and beautiful Kristianshafen pier is full of various sailing boats, and the blue sky is endless. The seagulls in the sky flew proudly. Whenever people come here, they can be deeply attracted by the tranquil scene like heaven at a glance, and the unique atmosphere of leisurely life in Northern Europe is fascinating.
The restaurant’s predecessor was an 18th-century navy warehouse. The original style of the building was deliberately preserved during the decoration: the exposed beams are allowed to corrode over time; the mottled walls are faintly visible on the brick walls that have been weathered by the years. The interior also maintains a consistent Nordic style, the decoration is simple and fresh, with hardwoods, stone bricks and other natural materials as the mainstay, without too much decoration; light-colored wooden floors, high wooden beams, wooden pillars, and unique round windows The groove shape, as well as the blackened oak and stone…all have a rough taste, revealing a strong simplicity and elegance.
It was this Danish street restaurant that was described by the media as “the exterior wall was rotten and looks unremarkable.” It was born in 2004 and won its first Michelin star in 2007. He won the second prize; and then continued to make efforts, the “simple” Noma restaurant actually won the “World’s Best Restaurant” four times in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, becoming the “world’s best restaurant” that has won numerous praises and attention. Internet celebrity” restaurant.
Noma restaurant’s characteristic is that it is very particular about the choice of ingredients. It insists on using only fresh Nordic seasonal ingredients to prepare food. All ingredients are excavated and collected by chef Rezheppe and his assistants, or grown by neighboring organic farms, from breeding and planting. The production process is very rigorous, hygienic and environmentally friendly. Therefore, Noma’s early meal reservations were like a process of competing for tickets for a large concert. In a year, Noma will open three booking opportunities, tens of thousands of diners compete to grab 45 seats quickly, and once they get it, they need to prepay the meal in advance.
It is said that in 2009, Michelle Obama, the first lady of the United States who was in Copenhagen at the time, personally called Noma restaurant to inquire whether a dinner table could be reserved. A lady was also turned away. Therefore, some people describe Noma as the Hermes of the restaurant industry, no matter what your identity, you can’t easily own it.
The secret to the cultivation of the world’s first restaurant
The acclaimed Noma restaurant is shrouded in many auras, and it seems that the scenery is endless, but in fact, the road to the world’s first restaurant is also full of hardships. As the founder and head chef of the restaurant, Lehrer Lejpi has devoted his life to this. It can be said that all the achievements of Noma restaurant today are due to this excellent chef.
With solid cooking skills and extraordinary creativity, Lei Zhepi is known as one of the most influential chefs in the international gastronomy industry. He entered a culinary school for systematic learning at the age of 15, and then worked as an apprentice in a Michelin-starred restaurant called Pierre André in Copenhagen for four years. Before opening Noma, he also worked for many years in three-star Michelin restaurants in Montpellier, France and Rosas, Spain, and eventually served as a famous restaurant in Copenhagen, Kong Hans K? lder’s chef and Thomas Rode Andersen’s sous chef. In 2003, Regippi met Klaus Mayer, a host and entrepreneur active in the Danish catering industry. Lei Zhepi and his idea of ”Nordic new style cuisine” came together immediately, so a year later, the two co-founded Noma restaurant.
From the restaurant’s name, location, decoration design to the creation of dishes, Lei Zhepi personally checks every step. At first, Noma was like a low-key and plain Nordic, just an unknown one-star Michelin restaurant. Due to the small number of diners, the continued losses after the opening made Regippi feel difficult. He decisively found the American banker Mark to invest. After overcoming the financial difficulties, he embarked on the road of self-marketing: writing books, speaking, filming, organizing forums… He also established the “MAD Crazy Chef Association” in Copenhagen. , Cultivating ingredients in a laboratory by the sea.
Regardless of how busy he is, Regippi will not shake his own standard of food, and is determined to use Noma to take a different path from French and Western food. This is destined to be unique in his choice of ingredients and practices: whether it is meat or vegetables, he always researches and develops the parts that other restaurants give up because the taste is not good enough, or even the parts that are not considered ingredients. It is said that for each dish, he researched and developed with the enthusiasm of pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs, bringing the whimsical kitchen philosophy into his restaurant.
His dishes can be described as wild, with sour ants on the African grasslands, plump wild mushrooms in the mountains, wild roses on the beach, moss pulled from coastal rocks, bees’ house-beeswax, and fresh herbs, Spices and wild plants… The use of innovative methods to play with traditional Nordic dishes can be described as a complete transformation of the Nordic kitchen.
After all the bitterness and joy, the seasonal dishes carefully crafted by Lei Zhepi were loved by local residents, and Noma won two Michelin stars. Gradually, this small restaurant began to be called “the recognized originator of New Nordic cooking in the industry”, attracting more and more attention from the world. In 2010, the authoritative British food magazine “Restaurant” praised Noma as the “new defender” of global cuisine, and the review editor William Drew praised Noma for “redefining Nordic cuisine.” After winning the title of the 50 best restaurants in the world selected by the British “Restaurant” magazine three times in a row, the chef, Reggiepi, was also named by the “Time” magazine as the world’s 100 most influential people in 2012. With the name of the so-called “world’s No. 1” restaurant and the reputation of the chef, Noma began to take the world by storm, and the reservations were queued for a few months away, and it came back to life smoothly.
Unfortunately, the famous Noma restaurant suffered a major accident involving 63 diners collectively infected with notavirus in 2013. As a result, its reputation plummeted and it was unable to qualify for the Michelin three-star restaurant. In the same year, it also missed the top of the world’s 50 best restaurants for three consecutive times. The throne is second. Although after six months of closure for rectification, Noma restaurant reopened in 2014 and once again won the world’s first place, but it must be said that the road to the top was full of ups and downs.
Crazy flash, new dishes are coming, the king returns, continuing the culinary legend
After experiencing the turmoil of the poisoning incident, Regippi no longer adheres to the development of Noma restaurant in Denmark, but leads the team to open pop-up stores overseas and draws nourishment from the catering culture of various places.
It was Regippi’s dream to open Noma in Japan, so the first stop of his pop-up tour was in Tokyo. At the beginning of 2015, this temporary restaurant with a family spending of more than 4,000 RMB caused a huge commotion in the Asian diners circle with its unique dishes. Rezhupi presented Japanese diners with his carefully developed dishes: “Hokkaido Shrimp” and “Nagano Ants” “. He pursued the concept of raw materials “from the field to the table”, and passionately introduced to the gluttons at the table that this is a fresh delicacy from Japan. He also described the taste of ants as sour and refreshing like black honey and wild strawberries, despite the support of fans. It is praised that this is the taste from the forest, but the slightly weird “dark cuisine” combination has been strongly criticized by many diners.
Regarding the negative reviews on the Internet, Regippi had no time to worry. He went all the way south and opened a pop-up store in Sydney, Australia in 2016. He continued to maintain his style and launched dishes made with local crocodile fat; in 2017, he opened a pop-up store in Sydney, Australia. Regippi closed the Noma restaurant in Denmark and went to Mexico in North America for a few weeks. Finally, Lei Zhepi, who has collected styles from all over the world, chose a new location in 2018 to reopen Noma.
Noma, the Return of the King, is located in a historic district near Copenhagen’s Christianshavn, in the middle of two lakes, and is still transformed from an old warehouse. The new restaurant is operated by the world-renowned architectural firm BIG. The glass ceiling introduces natural light and connects 7 rooms: roof greenhouse, meat storage room, fish storage room, fermentation room, preparation kitchen, barbecue room and staff room. The main hall of the restaurant can accommodate 40 people. In order to make reservations easier, customers are successfully encouraged to put together tables. There is also a single room that can accommodate 8-16 guests.
The top Nordic designer David Turstrup carried out the interior design for him. The space emphasized the interesting use of oak, brick, steel, concrete and copper-zinc alloy, which broke down the various functions of the restaurant. Simply put, each space here is tailor-made according to specific needs and using the most suitable materials. They are closely gathered around the “heart” of the restaurant. This allows the chef in the central position to browse every corner of the restaurant perfectly, while also allowing every guest to understand the behind-the-scenes story that happened in the kitchen. Regippi satisfactorily regards New Noma as a culinary garden village where one can experience nature intimately, and calls it a “dining village”.
Keep improving and constantly surpass. Through years of unremitting efforts, Noma will finally become a Michelin three-star restaurant on September 14, 2021, fulfilling Regippi’s wish. In the future, I believe that Noma will continue its culinary legend.