Mmm I told myself before coming to this point I wouldn’t write about it. The hype is too big. Everybody everywhere is writing on René Redzepi and Noma these days. So I would treasure it quietly, was the idea…
Mais je ne peux pas!!! I’m exploding with excitement even though words will never be able to describe this experience.
The challenge is extended and accepted!
So here I go…
I looked extremely forward to this precise moment. But on the other hand I was a little skeptical. I mean it’s so easy to become the victim of your own success, if your face is on every magazine and your dishes are dissected on every page. Surely it becomes extremely difficult to remain authentic and original. The pressure is so high even superman would cave!
But… not René Redzepi and his team! Cause that’s the difference between a real top-artist and all the rest. Cause what you have here is a truly talented artist who is totally devoted to his work. It’s something so distinctive that no matter how much success there is, they will always rise above it.
Fifth of July 2011… The day everything changes…
After tonight we will start a new era: the era after Noma, the era after experiencing a little piece of heaven as mere mortals. Our hours before Noma, before discovering what can only be described as “le nec plus ultra”, are counted!
I’m wide awake as the sun dawns upon Copenhagen. Full of anticipation I didn’t manage to get any sleep at all. The city sets the mood; she is vibrating with energy and happiness. The sun sparkles and brings out all its grace. This is a glorious day!
Some background information:
We worked hard to get to be here! Firstly the reservation; careful planning was needed to get in. Secondly with our little Swan we had to sail 600 Nautical Miles, give or take a 100, to get here from Belgium. Nine days of sailing from dusk till dawn. And why would one sail here you might ask? Cause how cool is it to moor your boat next to Noma!? How cool is it to step out of your boat and straight into wonderland!?
Back to July 5, 2011.
As I’m doing my daily chores on the boat, the air is magical. All seems quiet on the docks but that’s only on appearance. The lab and kitchen of Noma are buzzing with chefs and actvity. Each one of them like wizards working on their piece of art. And now and then you see one of them walking on the quiet docks… With their crisp white chefs’ outfits and long brown aprons… I’m telling you, it has a fairy-tale vibe.
So when the moment finally arrives… I’m so high on endorphins; I’m a little bit scared!
What happens that night is indescribable. The things we discover, the sensations we go through… Better than any drug in the world. It’s like Alice in wonderland!
The twelve course menu along with the eight small appetizers is piece by piece unique unbelievable inspirational art. They are refined without being posh, they are simple without being robust, they are complex without being overladen… they are mind-blowing!
Each time you think it can’t get better, think again; it has only just started!
And then there is the ballet of the chefs and the waiters. They waltz around the tables with Nordic elegance. The chefs bring out their creation with great pride. They describe the dishes with passion. It’s amazing.
Every single detail is there.
I’m not going to describe you what we ate. I could go on for years about all the different dishes (and I will). But I’ll just tell you one last time; it was finger-licking!!!
This is it… the era after Noma has started… never again will we be in that same time and place. That little piece of heaven, of Wonderland, was just there and then. Even if we return here recreation, or should I say reincarnation, is impossible. It’s sad but it’s also magnificent and magical. It’s what René Redzepi stands for:
Now we only have our memories to feast upon. But we can be inspired by this time and place every day, anywhere, anyhow… How powerful is that!?