René Redzepi live in San Francisco - video exclusive

The 50 Best winner toured with a series of films on his creativity last year - you can watch them exclusively here
René Redzepi
René Redzepi




In honour of Noma topping the 50 Best Restaurants list for the fourth time, we thought it was high time to unveil a special treat we've been reserving for the right moment. On 19 November 2013 we shot the video below with Noma chef René Redzepi at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre. It was the closing night of a tour that saw him traverse Europe, Australia and the US.

In the video footage, Redzepi reads from his personal journal, published as part of the three volume set A Work In Progress, and discusses creativity,  innovation and the meaning of success. The video also includes an on-stage introduction by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich who wrote a great foreward for A Work In Progress. This fascinating footage provides a unique, and relevant look inside the mind of the world’s best chef.


Indeed, it's pretty heady stuff. The film gives real insight into the kind of creative tribulations captured in A Work In Progress. This three-book set documents the crossroads the chef had reached at that point in his career, after the elation of topping the 50 Best list, but worn out from gruelling, 90-hour working weeks.

He thought about quitting all together, but instead pushed both himself and his staff to even greater heights. In common with A Work In Progress, the film explains how René got to the better place that enabled last night's win. After you've watched the footage learn more about Redzepi's life and work by taking a look at A Work In Progress and Noma, here.


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Three books in one, a journal, recipe book and flick book, A Work in Progress recounts the day-to-day life at Noma – from the trials of developing new dishes to the successes that come with winning the 50 Best Restaurants award. While the journal is the book's heart, it is supported by the recipe book containing 100 brand new recipes and a flick book of 200 candid images which provide a very personal, often humorous, insight into the inner workings of Noma and it's talented team of chefs.
Our senior production controller Vanessa Todd, describes how she helped turn a varied, complicated project into a beautiful, three-volume set.

"This was a great project to work on - a real challenge. The pictures themselves came in a variety of formats. There were some really great atmospheric shots of Scandinavia taken by a brilliant Danish photographer, Ditte Isager, and we worked hard to make sure they were reproduced as faithfully as possible. Many of the more personal, Instagram-style photographs came from iPhones, and the quality obviously wasn't as good. Nevertheless, we ensured the resolution was high enough, and retouched the pictures where we could. Then there were the actual, film-sealed samples of leaves and herbs and so on, that René himself supplied. These were hard to reproduce, and we did a few experiments to see how they would print best. We scanned them, photographed them from behind and from in front. Eventually, we discovered that it was best to photograph them lit both from the front and the back, and scan them, then put a composite image together. All three books are held together with an X-band, and placed in a polybag, which is reseable. We produced them at an Italian printers, which means the standard of work is very high, and I am able to go over there to press pass the work. It wasn't an easy job, but it was fun, and it's certainly among the books I am most proud to have worked on."


René Redzepi: A Work in Progress
elBulli 2005–2011