Over the years, Noma—the two Michelin-starred restaurant in Copenhagen run by René Redzepi—has become so synonymous with praise, acclaim, and awards, that the outpouring of admiration has often bordered on absurdity. At 38, Redzepi exists in the imagination of his fans as an almost mythical hunter-gatherer, combing the foothills of Denmark in search of new and exotic foods to place on his customers’ plates.
“You should know what you are foraging for,” the chef said in a very real interview with the Economist in 2013. “Do not test it, unless you’re some sort of masochist who wants your whole system blown up for a while. There are things you can die of.”
While one might get the impression that Noma and Redzepi take themselves a tad bit seriously, the Michelin Guide’s golden boy was recently roasted in a satirical restaurant review by Clickhole, a faux-clickbait factory by the Onion.
Here are some of the most memorable lines from Clickhole’s intrepid reporter, and their deep, imaginary dive into one of the best restaurants in the world.
First, Redzepi saws an elk in half with a chainsaw.
“A lot of times you can find these lovely little rose hip flowers pickling in the stomach fluids of the larger field mammals that live around here,” Redzepi says, his arm elbow-deep in the abdominal cavity of the freshly bisected animal, its viscera still twitching and gurgling as he fishes out two small, pink, slimy flower petals from within.
Redzepi and Clickhole then stumble upon the perfect carrot.
Unfortunately, right as Redzepi manages to wrest the vinegar from his bag, the carrot’s eight-second season expires, and it explodes into a mushroom cloud of maggots and nine-volt batteries. The explosion leaves us both with severe burns over large portions of our bodies, but Redzepi does not seem fazed.
Redzepi has a strange ability to commune with the creatures in the forest.
I look over and see about a dozen sets of unblinking eyes staring at me through the leaves, sending a chill down my spine. Redzepi shoots an angry glare in their general direction and puts his finger to his lips to shush them.
“Return to your cupboards at once!” he barks through clenched teeth.
Apparently, Noma has abandoned knives in favor of more unique utensils.
Instead of traditional chef knives or santoku blades, they use taxidermied reindeer shins to whack their ingredients into pieces, producing a thunderous hammering noise that makes conversation near the cutting boards impossible.
Redzepi makes sure to reward his employees for their hard work.
A dutiful forest bear named Hungry Harald works as garçon de cuisine, patrolling up and down the kitchen line and making himself available to the chefs whenever something needs to be ripped in half or pounded into dust.
“Poppa loves you,” Redzepi says to Hungry Harald, placing a knob of goat butter on his tongue to reward him for his help. “Poppa will not let the trollkärringars steal your tail.”
Noma employs a pleasant wait-staff of hunchbacks.
“Friends!” he cries, visibly shaking with excitement. “The hour has arrived! I, your ugly servant Fossegaar, am overjoyed to announce that we shall now partake in the most glorious meal mankind has ever known! It is the meal whose flavors I will fondly recall one day when I am being tortured in hell for my sins of lust! Ladies and gentlemen, it is the greatest honor of my life to officially welcome you to Noma!”
Ultimately, Clickhole’s reporter falls into a coma, having finally experienced fine-dining Nirvana.
The ecstasy of everything is too much for me to handle, and dizzy with bliss, I fall into a coma and don’t wake up for 56 days.