While ant paste, milk curd and berry preserves makeup, the blueberries and ant dish at Denmark’s restaurant Noma, bacteria and yeast will soon be next for diners at the eatery which has been crowned world’s best restaurant for three years.
Located on the ground floor of a renovated listed 18th Century warehouse in the old Christianshavn canal district of Copenhagen, Noma is run by 34-year-old chef Rene Redzepi. “It changes the chemical composition of food,” says Redzepi about his experiments with bacteria and yeast in the test kitchen. “After many months you get a magic process,” he adds.
Redzepi is setting up a team of chefs and academics to run the project and is currently working to perfect a dish of grilled leek which has been marinated for 24 hours in fermented yellow split peas, a dark, thick aromatic paste resembling intense soy or bean sauce.
The experiment follows the introduction of three types of ants on the menu about four months ago, which after a rocky start, has been well accepted by diners. Guests flock to the Copenhagen restaurant from all over the world to get a seat at one of the 11 tables in the restaurant which is furnished to embrace the Nordic spirit and atmosphere with smoked oak, stone, leather, water, glass and light.