When I landed in Copenhagen amid summer, the sun did not even take a second to lie down. I was in Copenhagen to be a part of one of the more sought-after things the Scandinavian city offers: a visit to the Michelin 3-starred restaurant Noma. The founder of Noma, Rene Redzepi, and his team hosted forty guests to take part in a behind-the-scenes experience and a chance for guests to enjoy the day, afternoon, and into the night at the restaurant in The Refshaleoen neighborhood. The only thing that the 40 of us shared in common? The fact that we’re American Express cardholders, which is the reason we were able to gain access.
Although the Noma reservations are always popular, they were made more sought-after after over two decades; Redzepi announced that Noma will close as a full-service establishment by the end of 2024. “Twenty years ago, it was so hard for people to comprehend just how different the food scene was [in Copenhagen],” Redzepi told the small group of diners who gathered for breakfast. The future of Noma will become more of an experimental lab featuring pop-ups regularly instead of standard service. His vision for the next 20 years is to move beyond the restaurant. “I would like to be at a point where innovation and creativity are in high-level which means that working in restaurants shortly becomes a passion. It’s where we can have enjoyable. “Here’s how I managed to spend the whole time at Noma – And how you could do the same.
Most central banks that issue credit cards such as Amex, Chase, and Capital One — continue to promote themselves as one-stop shopping for dining, travel, and other lifestyle advantages. There are a few days during the year reservations service Resy (owned by Amex) offers remarkable access to the back of the house at Noma. Consider it the most coveted benefit for those who own the correct credit card and can obtain tickets. As I was in June during Noma’s vegetable time, Resy will offer two additional dates for credit card holders with premiums in the fall, October. 14 and November. 4. This is Noma’s and forest seasons, so that the menu will be dominated by meat.
Tickets for the Fall festival begin selling on July 17th. Reservations are only available to Resy’s Global Dining Access program; the eligible cards include The Platinum Card, Centurion Card, Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. The price of admission is costly. $1,500 for the 12-hour marathon experience and a brief two-hour break at the end of the day. The day begins with a canteen-style breakfast buffet starting at 10:30 am and a range of classes offered in the test kitchen and the fermentation lab. It all comes to an end with the big event: which is a four-hour 20-course meal with a grand glass-fronted dining area.
For a start, Redzepi delivered morning remarks that included a retelling of Noma’s history. “Noma was a time when we went through the countryside, sniffing out what’s edible, and what’s not. What can you poison yourself with? What is sure to give you pleasure? What can cause instant diarrhoea?” And with that, the culinary adventure officially began. Instead of scouring the countryside in search of dinner with potentially disastrous outcomes, we walked around Noma’s sprawling grounds, from the greenhouse-like test kitchen to the chef’s kitchen, which is situated at the edge of the water.
In the following hours, Redzepi’s passionate team presented their expertise and answered questions explaining the factors that make Noma the best. Noma. In the kitchen that tests, where the menu of each season is developed over three months, I tried a wide range of delicate and classy ingredients, the majority of which will be served in the evening. “Some of the dishes, especially the drinks, have a million components,” explained Mette Soberg, the head of the lab responsible for the culinary creativity of the dining establishment. “Of course it’s not ideal to learn about everything. It is too much information on the table. We’ll give you a couple of these items here.”
After dinner, I consumed an infused tea brewed with caterpillar poo. I also finished an ice cream sandwich that was made from a mold. There’s a certain level of doubt when eating at Noma (the assumption of thinking that it will taste delicious because somebody says they will). Even though the chefs will say that they’re not, the types of ingredients attract many customers, including myself. But, if you examine the ingredients and the recipe further, you’ll discover that the unusual recipes tell a deeper story.
“For an extended period of time there were ants crawling around the food. Crickets were fermented to make sauces, while worms were pounded to make pastes,” Redzepi mentioned Noma’s fame throughout the decades. But there’s a specific method to this chaos. In this instance, following an event lasting ten weeks in Kyoto, The Noma group returned to Copenhagen earlier in the summer with a few new concepts (and numerous suitcases filled with sake).
That spongy ice cream sandwich I tried was made of koji, a natural bacterium essential to the production of miso, soy sauce, and sake. After spending a few hours in the laboratory for fermentation to listen to Noma’s resident bacterial geniuses, the idea made more sense. Koji can be an instrument and a chameleon capable of transforming in various forms, for instance, an Ice cream sandwich. The caterpillar’s poo perfectly complements to the sakura and Benifuki green tea. The results showed that the caterpillar’s second choice featured a slightly berry-like flavor. With the three ingredients combined, it had a slightly floral aroma and taste. The beverage was created. (I decided not to ask why someone initially chose to take a sample of insect poo.)
There’s a universality to food that is shared at any degree — regardless of what you’ve heard or aren’t aware of the pine skewer olive or a woodruff plant turning to anglaise(both available on the menu at dinner). The time I spent with the Noma team reframed my ideas about ways that this World’s Best restaurant winner is a place that’s relaxed and easily accessible (well as accessible as you can get at the price). The Noma chefs and most chefs are elegant and utilize limited resources to transform nothing into something. While the food was creative, unforgettable, memorable, and artistic, The absolute delight was, as one would imagine, the exclusive access.