Danish chef Rene Redzepi, whose Copenhagen restaurant, Noma, was named the world’s best restaurant four times in the last five years, is bringing the entire restaurant to Barangaroo in Sydney for 10 weeks at the start of 2016 in a spectacular coup for Sydney as a global dining destination.
The decision, which will involve closing Noma back in Copenhagen, is a collaboration with Tourism Australia and Lendlease. Bookings will open later this year and the restaurant will be open five days a week.
“I have always been attracted to the incredible diversity you find in Australia’s landscapes and ingredients, because they are like no other place I’ve seen before,” Redzepi said. “Australia combines strong influences from its Indigenous people with new communities from around the world. When you mix it all together, the result is something truly inspiring. It really is the perfect place to come and learn.”
Redzepi, has already been on several scouting trips to Australia, including currently for three weeks, exploring the country and meeting with producers, supported by Tourism Australia.
Earlier this year Redzepi moved the entire restaurant to Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental for several weeks.
Speaking at today’s announcement, Redzepi said Australia was always top of his list of places to take Noma, saying it may be five-to-10 years before it can happen again.
“We’re all getting on and having kids,” he said.
The shift will see around 100 people moving to Sydney, including four Australians among the 70 staff, fleeing the dark Danish winter for three months of Sydney summer, but Redzepi admitted many of the details of the move still need to be sorted out.
“We have the space and the flights. But we haven’t found schools for our kids yet, or a place to stay,” he said.
Redzepi posted this announcement on his website, where there’s further detail available.
Last year I had the greatest learning experience of my life. By moving our restaurant to Tokyo we opened ourselves to a new library of taste, an awe-inspiring culinary tradition both ancient and diverse. The immersion into Japanese culture challenged us to understand a new set of ingredients, develop new mindsets, and explore new possibilities. We came back to Copenhagen more lifted than ever: with bags of energy and inspiration, and many new friends.
We want to travel like this one final time… and lately I’ve been dreaming of Australia.
Australia has always drawn me in; its great cities, its generous people, and of course its ever-present sun. But what really boggles my mind is the differences you find in its landscapes and ingredients, because honestly I have never seen anything like it.
Since my first trip to Australia several years ago I’ve been wanting to spend more time there— exploring, tasting, and understanding its ingredients. From the tropical fruit in the north, to the native pepper leaf of Tasmania; the pristine fish and shellfish of the very south, and all the new exotic wonders in between. Our research forays will take us into the bush, around every shoreline, weeding our way through Flinders and Kangaroo Island. Somewhere along that course I may even get my first surfing lesson.
When we settle down we’re bringing the entire team, from dishwasher to general manager –our work family as well as our spouses and kids— but we’re leaving behind our ingredients in Copenhagen. All we’ll take from our kitchen is an open frame of mind and a passion for learning.
Now… how will we replace the winter beet with a coconut?
René Redzepi & the noma team
NOW READ: Photos of the food at Noma
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