The Dishes of Noma

The Dishes of Noma by Rene Redzepi

For a long time, the phrase "Scandinavian cuisine" has conjured images of herring, reindeer jerky, and infinite winter potatoes. But Rene Redzepi is changing that perception. His Copenhagen restaurant, Noma, was named the Best Restaurant in the World at the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants awards last summer. And he's joined Phaidon to publish an epic cookbook/visual history called Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine, in stores now. Here are a few of the dishes from his book. "Blueberries Surrounded by Their Natural Environment" Pretend you've picked the fruit yourself, surrounded by spruce trees (spruce granita) and fragrant groundcover (thyme oil, wood sorrel, and heather). Redzepi learned that spruce shoots were edible by watching animals nibble at the trees in spring. From Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine (Phaidon Press, $49.95) by Rene Redzepi, www.phaidon.com© Ditte Isager / courtesy Phaidon Press
"Langoustines and Sea Flavors"
The "dirt" is rye bread crumbs; the creature is a sauteed langoustine; the green dots are an oyster-parsley emulsion. Redzepi also serves live shrimp and oysters steamed in seawater. From Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine (Phaidon Press, $49.95) by Rene Redzepi, www.phaidon.com© Ditte Isager / courtesy Phaidon Press
"Dessert of Flowers"
Elderflower mousse, rose hip meringue, violet syrup and skyr (Icelandic yogurt) sorbet. From Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine (Phaidon Press, $49.95) by Rene Redzepi, www.phaidon.com© Ditte Isager / courtesy Phaidon Press
"Vegetable Field"
The "soil" is made of malt flour and hazelnut flour. It's all the fun of foraging without the work. The joke is reminiscent of the "Oysters and Pearls" and "Macaroni and Cheese" cheekiness of Redzepi's former boss Thomas Keller. From Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine (Phaidon Press, $49.95) by Rene Redzepi, www.phaidon.com© Ditte Isager / courtesy Phaidon Press
"Smoked Quail Eggs"
Yes, that's really hay, and it's listed in the ingredients for the recipe. The scent of freshly burned hay is essential, imparting atmosphere to the dish and the whole dining room. From Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine (Phaidon Press, $49.95) by Rene Redzepi, www.phaidon.com© Ditte Isager / courtesy Phaidon Press
Rene Redzepi
At a New York Public Library talk with Momofuku chef David Chang and former Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl, he told the audience about a meal he made with "utterly old, shitty carrots."Ganda Suthivarakom
David Chang, Ruth Reichl, and Rene Redzepi
"Tasting Culture" took place at the New York Public Library on October 6, 2010.Jori Klein
David Chang and Rene Redzepi on sea coriander:
RR: "It looks like a beautiful chive--" DC: "It looks like grass. And I thought, There's no way I'm eating, like, lawn."
Jori Klein
Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
Buy the book at Phaidon© Ditte Isager / courtesy Phaidon Press