Copenhagen’s Noma was just named the Best Restaurant In The World by the prestigiousSan Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Bestawards.
Food and travel guru Anthony Bourdain is so enamoured by the restaurant that he devoted a whole episode of his CNN show, “Parts Unknown,” to it.
In addition to enjoying an incredible meal at the restaurant, Bourdain spent time with its head chef, René Redzepi, foraging for ingredients at a local beach, harvesting crops at a local farm, and sampling dishes in the restaurant’s experimentation lab.
This is the third year Noma has won the top title, and from Bourdain’s reactions, it’s easy to see why.
Diners wait for months to eat at this 45-seat restaurant. It's famous for its creativity and its emphasis on local and foraged ingredients.
Today, Noma is acclaimed as the best restaurant in the world, but not everyone was so accepting of Noma at first. Redzepi, who was born in Yugoslavia, explains that in Denmark, 'It's hard to really make an effort. If you stand out too much, get off your horse.'
Here is a marinated soro-soro leaf dipped in 'green snow.' Bourdain quipped, 'I've never tasted a green vegetable that good.'
All of the vegetable dishes, like this asparagus roasted with pine, tender spruce shoots, and green asparagus sauce, are made with local ingredients.
Redzepi will even serve insects. This dish is grilled onions, fermented pears, and salt made out of wood ants. One chef explains about eating the bugs, 'It's like zing, its like excitement in your mouth -- a party everyone's invited to.'
Later, Redzepi cooks the leeks and serves them to Bourdain, who says they're the 'meatiest, most umami-filled vegetable I've ever had.'
Redzepi then takes Bourdain to the farm where he gets most of his meat and vegetables. He explains that it's important for chefs to keep the symbiosis with those who grow the food.
It includes fresh veal tartare, wild onions, horseradish, chives, salted leeks, cheese, and a flowered vinaigrette over the asparagus.
Noma is known for its incredibly inventive dishes. Redzepi encourages the staff to come up with creative concoctions: Every Saturday night, Noma's chefs offer new recipes for the staff to sample and critique.
One of these experimental dishes that received plenty of praise was mushroom ice cream with fermented barley sauce.
One of the innovative dishes on the actual menu is quail egg cooked in hay, which Bourdain calls 'perfect.'
Redzepi puts a twist on the traditional Danish flavours of potatoes and sauces. These are potatoes cooked in fermented barley.
And Noma even has a food lab where Redzepi tests and experiments with fermented, aged, and dried food.
This experimentation and creativity results in incredible, memorable, and delicious dishes, like this dessert of pork skin covered in chocolate with freeze-dried blackberries. It's easy to see why Noma won the prestigious title of World's Best Restaurant.
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