René Redzepi, 2011

Lars Ulrich on the world's best chef René Redzepi

Here's an excerpt from the Metallica drummer's introduction to our book that René referred to in his 50 Best speech

It's great to see René on the podium again, at last night's 50 Best Restaurants Awards. When he took the microphone, to accept the award for the best restaurant in the world on behalf of Noma, he talked about A Work In Progress, "the new book that I published that all of you have," and the introduction by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. It's great piece of writing; very long and very, very good. So sadly we're going to have to leave you wanting more. Still, here's a brief excerpt: 


I love that word. I’ve had that word in the back of my mind for years. Waiting for the right time to use it. Waiting for the right project to attach it to.

I never imagined it would be used in a book about food. Now it has been. Then again, this is not a book just about food.

And I’ll use it again. Unafraid. There, I just used it for a second time. Wow, that looks good. Sounds good too. Such a powerful word.

In the past when I have been asked to contribute forewords or other thoughts in the written form as a way to fill up a page or two before the main event, it’s always been about a person or a body of work closely associated with a particular person. When René reached out to me to write this intro, he asked me to write about creativity. Not about food, not about Noma, not about René himself or any amalgam of the above. René wanted my ‘ruminations’ on the following question: what is creativity?

Like I said, I’ve been invited to partake in many creative shenanigans over the years, but never to write an essay about a single word. Being unafraid is a good start...


Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich

Creativity is as much about exploring what you don’t know as embracing what you do know. Having the courage to wander into your own ignorance, armed only with base knowledge, can be a powerful way to true creativity. When you truly go out there and create something, it’s as much a product of what you don’t know as a product of what you do.

I’ve been circling these sound bites for some time now. They all sound rather slogan-like. Actually, some, or most of those would make pretty cool bumper stickers.

Let’s dig deeper."

And that's where we have to leave it readers but Lars does finish up his introduction in the book by saying that he believes "René belongs to a very small group of unique creators. People who have turned their particular niches completely upside-down. Reinvented and redefined them.

The Unafraid.

Whether it be Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Charlie Parker, Beethoven, the Beatles, Cecil B. DeMille, Francis Ford Coppola, Quentin Tarantino, Jack Kerouac, James Joyce, Hunter S. Thompson, Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawking, Marlon Brando, the list goes on depending who’s composing it... but no matter who’s on that list, or how long it is, René Redzepi BELONGS on that list, in that company, among the true pioneers, because of what he has done in the last decade within the world of food. René is Unafraid. And we are all the grateful beneficiaries of the results that his fearlessness continues to create."


Noma, Copenhagen
Noma, Copenhagen

You can learn more about Work in Progress here and buy the book from the people who made it here. Meanwhile, if you're interested in learning more about Lars and Metallica their official website is here. For a greater understanding of the restaurant behind all this, pick up a copy of our Noma book.