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Noma one of the Best Restaurants in the World, is Closing

Noma one of the Best Restaurants in the World, is Closing


Chef René Redzepi says that hours, salaries and the level of demand are the main reasons for the decision

The world-famous Danish restaurant Noma, which has three Michelin stars and was considered the best in the world in the years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2021 by Restaurant magazine , will close at the end of 2024. This has been explained by its chef, René Redzepi , in The New York Times , where he described the situation as "unsustainable". Redzepi points to the grueling hours and the intensity of working in a top-level restaurant as the main reasons for this decision. Other elite restaurants are also at this crossroads. We need to completely rethink the sector," says Redzepi.

Noma will now be a full-time laboratory, devising new dishes and products to sell online through Noma Projects. They will also open the dining room from time to time for ephemeral experiences. The renowned René Redzepi will be more of a creative director than a chef. The conclusion reached by Noma is very similar to the one reached years earlier by Ferran Adrià, when he closed El Bulli to focus on creating knowledge through the Bulli Lab and the Bulli Foundation. Some of the fruits of this have been the Bullipédia and its method of creation beyond the kitchen.

Fine cuisine, like diamonds, ballet and other elite activities, often have built-in abuse. All luxury is built on someone's back; someone has to pay for it," he also reflects on The New York Times Finnish chef Kim Mikkola, who worked at Noma for four years. Copenhagen restaurant workers have confirmed that 16-hour working days were common, even for unpaid workers. Many of them claim, however, that the exhaustion and stress has been worth it because having gone through Noma has guaranteed them a very competitive CV.

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An option that many chefs in Redzepi's category have chosen is to open satellite restaurants in other countries to increase income. In this sense, Redzepi has declared that he has been "offered countless blank checks to Qatar", but that this possibility does not "attract" him. In any case, the idea behind Noma Projects won't go live for two years, and it wants to employ around 70 people. "I hope we can show the world that you can grow old, be creative and have fun in this industry instead of doing hard, grueling, poorly paid work under poor management conditions that wear people out," says the chef.

The confinement due to the pandemic allowed René Redzepi to question whether he could break his business model. As far back as 2015, he admitted that he had put pressure on his staff verbally and physically, and has often acknowledged that his efforts to be a calmer, gentler leader have not been successful. Considered a visionary, he is the greatest exponent of a style of cuisine known as New Nordic, in which he dispenses with imported ingredients and opts for local products, such as spruce tips and duck brains.

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