René Redzepi hosts MAD evening in Tokyo
As part of our countdown to the Noma chef's opening in Japan this Friday check out our new MAD video
When you're deep into making something that's already great even better it's often easy to allow a sense of fun to evaporate and a teeth-gritted duty creep up on you. For most people that's the point where they either bail out or change things radically. René Redzepi took the latter approach when he found himself in that situation a few years back - a situation he catalogued so well in his book A Work in Progress. Among other things, it led to him founding the MAD Symposium - an organisation and exploration of food and culinary wisdom for a community of chefs with an appetite for knowlege and a desire to improve the restaurant trade. The cornerstone of MAD is an annual symposium, held every summer, that brings 600 people into a circus tent alongside Copenhagen's harbour and features two days of talks from speakers from around the world.
René hasn't let go of MAD as a creative outlet, in fact, he's grown it year by year. As part of his Noma Japan project, which begins this Friday, he'll be hosting a MAD evening on January 28. To celebrate that fact and as part of our countdown coverage to Friday's opening we thought you might like to watch this previously unseen video (below) we cut of René at a MAD Symposium in Denmark.
In it he reveals some of the background to what led him to set up MAD in the first place. "You grow up as a cook believing you are a martyr," he says. "You do years of it and suddenly you lose the fun. And we actually stopped having fun. So in order for us to have fun in the restaurant I made some huge changes. The MAD symposium was an idea that had been ruminating in me for a while - this idea of making sense. So I thought let's have a meeting place for that, to share ideas and meet new people. Lets step out of the norm."
He adds: "I believe we have to play around here like we have nothing to lose. I like that. I don't plan ahead. We fool around like it could be our last year." Certainly it's an outlook that's served him well and one which will put a smile on Tokyo tastemakers' faces this Friday. Watch the video above and buy our René Redzepi Collection consisting of Noma, A Work in Progress and Coco at a special low price for a limited time only.