Noma’s René Redzepi might be considered one of the best and most innovative chefs in the world, but according to a Reddit AMA, he also screws up a lot in the kitchen—and he’s not afraid to admit it. When asked if he ever messes up when making steak or toast at home, he replied: “I fuck up things all the time, I’m a master fuck-up!”
The two Michelin starred chef also admitted that he has had “too many failures to talk about.” It’s pretty safe to assume that one of them was 60 diners becoming sick after dining at Noma in 2013. According to Redzepi, complete honesty is the only way to bounce back from that kind of scandal. “Don’t try to hide any of the details,” he wrote. “Then people will quickly see that it’s a situation that’s almost beyond any chef or restaurant’s control.”
Gordon Ramsay is another chef that doesn’t mince words, the AMA revealed. Redzepi said the infamously profane British chef dined at Noma this past week.
The Hell’s Kitchen host may not be a fan of Redzepi’s foraged Nordic cuisine, but perhaps he’d enjoy the cooking of these chefs Redzepi recommended to one Redditor:
- Matt Orlando of Amass restaurant in Copenhagen
- Tatiana Levha of Le Servan in Paris
- James Parry and Daniel Puskas of Sixpenny in Sydney
When another Redditor asked for North America’s closest approximation to Noma, Redzepi pointed him to his own former protege, Blaine Wetzel. At Willow’s Inn on Lummi Island, WA, Wetzel is “tapping into the Native American knowledge bank, which I personally think is an untapped resource,” he said.
Redzepi’s other gourmand travel tips included hitting San Sebastián in Spain (“Copenhagen is not at all on the same level culinary wise as San Sebastián”), checking out Barcelona’s La Boqueria Market, and wine-bar hopping in Paris:
Redzepi is also fan of Japan, as evidenced by the fact that he moved his entire staff to Tokyo for a five-week pop-up in January. Reflecting on that trip, he said the biggest challenge was getting working visas for his 70-person team of mixed nationalities. He also said it was “the biggest experience” of his personal and professional life. “Even when I think of it just now I get the chills,” he admitted.
Still, he hasn’t developed an appreciation of all things Japanese, like natto for instance. “Sticky, slimy, fermented soybeans… I never really got the taste for it,” he told one Redditor and natto lover. “Here’s a little picture I think you’ll enjoy :)”
Photo: via Reddit
Here are some more highlights from the René Redzepi AMA.
On his favorite post-shift meal:
After work, to tell the truth (and as weird as it may sound) is spare ribs.
On overcoming taboos (like eating insects):
Oh it’s gonna take decades for us in the west to accept insects on the same level as steak! One thing that’s happening simultaneously though is the idea of eating your trash—what I mean is that we will be finding ways to totally eradicate waste from food.
On the most underrated cuisine:
Mexican! Mexican cuisine to me is on par with the ‘classic’ greats—French, Japanese, Italian… but unfortunately it’s often viewed instead as quick, cheap eats. I find that to be wrong.
On chasing Michelin stars:
About the Michelin guide (or any rating system), that should really be a topic of its own because there’s much to say—to much for a quick answer! But basically if you go to work with accolades in mind as your primary motivation then I think you’re on the road to a burnout. Go to work and find a way to make yourself happy in what you do. If the guides tap into it and like it then that’s an added bonus.
Meeting Jiro was truly nervewracking, I was awe-struck. Interesting note is that you’re not supposed to shake his hand when meeting him because he doesn’t want them polluted before touching the rice. I got to shake his hand though and as soon as I remembered I wasn’t supposed to do that—I almost shit myself, literally on the spot diarrhea. It’s mindboggling to have two hours privately with a man that is full of wisdom the way he is.