Watch René Redzepi feed Olafur Eliasson a live scallop

These two great Danes and Phaidon authors still enjoy each other’s company - after all these years
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Noma chef René Redzepi. Image courtesy of Olafur Eliasson's Instagram
Noma chef René Redzepi. Image courtesy of Olafur Eliasson's Instagram

René Redzepi and Olafur Eliasson are old friends. Olafur wrote the introduction to René's first cookbook, Noma, and René returned the favour by contributing to Eliasson’s book, Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen.

This food-focused friendship endures to this day. During a recent trip to Noma in Copenhagen, the artist hung out with the chef, and let him feed him a simple, raw, one-bite snack.

Currently, Noma’s menu is organised around the seasons; until Christmas the restaurant is serving its game and forest menu; yet in January it switches over to a winter and spring menu of seafood, hence René’s current interest in scallops.

 

Olafur Eliasson with his scallop snack
Olafur Eliasson with his scallop snack

In this clip (posted on Eliasson's Instagram, here) you can watch the Noma chef point out the ‘eyes’ of the scallop to Eliasson, before cutting the crustacean out of its shell, whipping off any extraneous organs, before offering the artist its fleshy body.

Eliasson doesn’t demure; you can see him pop it into his mouth with relish. It makes a change from the largely vegetarian diet set out in Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen; yet it’s still in keeping with Eliasson’s ecological principles. Scallops aren’t an endangered species, and can be farmed quite effectively, so this little bite of seafood should soon be replenished.

 

Experience

For more on Olafur Eliasson’s life, work and outlook get Experience; for more on Redzepi’s cookery, take a look at these titles.


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