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First look at Noma's food lab

We take a look inside René Redzepi's research lab for the world's best restaurant
Noma food lab
Copyright Adam Mõrk


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Widely regarded as the world’s best restaurant - it was ranked as such in The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards of 2010 and 2011 - the two-Michelin-starred Noma in Copenhagen has revealed the completed designs for its new ‘food lab’. Working with Denmark-based 3XN architects, Noma has cultivated an ideal environment for its famous experiments that merge cutting-edge technology with traditional Nordic cuisine, crafted from seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. The new Noma lab is connected to the original restaurant site – an eighteenth-century warehouse building. 

"The result is great and has contributed to not only the space, but also organisational life and inspiration," says Noma founder and chef René Redzepi.

Redzepi’s fascination with giving his diners a real taste of their food’s environment extends to serving dishes on pebbles found in the same fields as his produce. And in keeping with Noma’s strictly fresh and unsullied ingredients, the design brief was equally puritanical - no glue or nails could be put into the building and nothing could be affixed to the walls. 3XN's interior created seamlessly connected, yet separate, spaces using customised freestanding modular units that divide the 200M2 room into smaller areas accommodating the Food Lab, a herb garden, staff areas and office.

"We move in parallel worlds," Head of GXN Kasper Guldager Jørgensen told Phaidon. "Noma’s dedicated and creative engagement in gastronomy is similar in many ways to GXN’s experimental take on new materials and ingredients in the architectural world." 

If the pictures in our gallery above have whetted your appetite, Noma’s book offers an unprecedented insight into the food philosophy and creativity of Noma restaurant, and includes over 90 of Redzepi’s recipes. The higher-priced version you see in the top right of the page is one of a very limited number signed by René the last time he visited us, so if you're thinking about making the leap, our advice is to get on with it! The limited stock is set to sell out, especially when The World's 50 Best Restaurants are announced next month. Meanwhile, have you eaten at Noma? If so, let us know the part of the experience you enjoyed most in the comment box below. If you haven't, hopefully our other Noma stories will give you some idea of the experience.



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