What's on the menu at top world restaurant Noma?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:41pm EDT
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By John Acher

COPENHAGEN (Reuters Life!) - Denmark's Noma won one of the restaurant world's highest accolades this week with a menu that champions innovative Nordic cuisine.

Noma's 32-year-old chef Rene Redzepi, whose restaurant topped the S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list released late on Monday, has also been named ambassador for the New Nordic Food program by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The restaurant, located in a converted dockside shipping warehouse in Copenhagen, has created a menu that includes musk ox and smoked marrow, pike perch and unripe elderberries, and dried scallops and watercress.

The Noma approach to cooking is initially concentrated on obtaining the best raw materials from the Nordic region whether it's foraging for horse mussels, deep-sea crabs and langoustines from the Faroe islands or cod, seaweed and curds from Iceland.

"In much the same fashion, we are constantly scanning for new sources of inspiration in Denmark, especially, as well as the other Nordic regions, for purposes of securing reliable sources of top-quality raw produce," Noma said on its website.

The two-star Michelin restaurant also takes care to source its more commonplace ingredients -- including those grown only in the wild -- and has an eye for its culinary legacy in the cooking of cereals, hulled grains and legumes as well as its exploration of the potential for milk and cream in modern food.

"We are also interested in working with raw ingredients which have no part in any systems of formalized cultivation and which therefore cannot be obtained through the ordinary channels of distribution," Noma said.

The restaurant smokes, salts, pickles, dries, grills, and bakes on slabs of basalt stone, prepares its own vinegars and concocts its own distilled spirits.   Continued...

<p>Chef Rene Redzepi is seen through a window as he poses in the kitchen of his restaurant Noma in Copenhagen in this December 12, 2009 file photograph. REUTERS/Christian Charisius</p>