Michelin chef finds own path in Copenhagen after Noma

Tue Dec 9, 2014 12:35am EST
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By Annabella Nielsen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Finding his own culinary identity has been crucial for Michelin-starred chef Christian Puglisi after leaving one of the world's best-rated restaurants to avoid being "that chef from Noma" forever.

In the past four years, the Italian-Dane, 32, has opened three restaurants in Copenhagen's graffiti-covered multi-ethnic area Norrebro, including the organic eatery Relae that won a Michelin star in 2012.

Relae is ranked 53rd best in the world by Restaurant magazine, which has rated Noma as number 1 for four of the past five years.

Returning from promoting a book of recipes from Relae in New York, Puglisi met with Reuters at his newest restaurant Baest ("beast" in Danish).

Q: Why did you become a chef?

A: My father is Italian and when he and my mother came to Denmark, he became a waiter at an Italian restaurant like many Italians did. Instead of having a sitter, I went with my father in the evening to the restaurant from the age of 7 or 8 years. I remember being fascinated by the kitchen and the energy.

Q: What is the thinking behind your cookbook "Relae - a book of ideas"?   Continued...

Chef Christian Puglisi works in the kitchen at Restaurant Relae in Denmark, June 23, 2011.  REUTERS/Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix Denmark