He was born on 16th December 1977 in Denmark in multicultural family environment. (His father was immigrant from FYRO Macedonia and his mother is Danish). He spent his entire childhood in Macedonia and moved back to Denmark at the rise of Yugoslav wars. Now at the age of 41, René Redzepi is proud owner of the best restaurant in the world, Noma. But that’s not all if you think – his restaurant won two-Michelin stars and four times took the prestige San Pellegrino award in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014! He is acclaimed to be the one that reinvented the way the Nordic cuisine was known in the world.
Since the earliest stage of his carrier, he was fortunate to introduce his chef capabilities and potential working as a chef in world-class restaurants in Copenhagen. Even as a trainee chef in Pierre Andre restaurant in Copenhagen, René Redzepi with his inventiveness and clean food flavors helped the newly opened restaurant win a Michelin star. After his training was finished he continued working as a chef in El Bulli restaurant in Spain to 1999. Next he continued in Kong Hans Kælder in Copenhagen made a break working in US California at The French Laundry and returned back in Kong Hans Kælder.
Those chef positions mentioned above were just the beginning what would René Redzepi become. In 2004 with Claus Meyer they are opening Noma in 18th century warehouse building transformed into cultural center. Since then, René Redzepi’s co-owned Noma restaurant appear on the world’s best restaurant lists and gathers prestige awards.
But why he is the world’s best chef?
René Redzepi, with Macedonian-Danish origin (both countries have extraordinary cuisine) and experience in the most influential restaurants at that time went to explore on his own, emphasizing the seasonal ingredients in his food. His big original idea was to create a cuisine that will represent his surroundings, the places where he live and work. That’s how the New Nordic Cuisine is born.
His love for the cooking and reinventing the Nordic kitchen went even beyond in the year of 2008 when they set up the Nordic Foodlab – studying Nordic ingredients and publish them publically. We must admit this is pure dedication and striving for perfection, and yes, this goes beyond using only seasonal ingredients.
Why Noma is the best restaurant ?
In his restaurant Noma is real relaxing atmosphere where tattooed waiters are serving the food in handcrafted wooden and ceramics plates. Mentioning the fact that he is using ants and alive shrimps in some of his recipes surpass the idea of the conservative kitchen. He pushed the boundaries of the conservative cuisine while still keeping his place as the world most influential chef.
At the end of 2016, René Redzepi plans to close Noma! You might think why so successful restaurant wants to close? But he got a bigger vision this time, to relocate the restaurant in an old navy building at the border of Christiania with tentative open set and re-open in mid-2017. The idea is to own an urban farm which will supply Noma’s kitchen.
While it is natural for a chef to travel around the world and experience and learn from strong established cuisines, the Nordic climate is not something he should gamble in terms for the farm. But as you know, the biggest risk is not taking any risk at all and probably he knows what he is doing.