René Redzepi is one of the most famous chefs in Europe and admittedly on the planet. His restaurant, Noma, in Copenhagen, has been on top of all charts, reviews, guides, and food websites since 2012, when he reinvented the notion of local cuisine.
A 2016 movie is even paying homage to his wild creativity and relentless pursuit of exploring new things. Ant on a Shrimp follows the chef and his brigade as they close their restaurant while they relocate to Tokyo for 6 months, reinventing an entirely new menu from scratch.
This is not the first time the chef decided to shake things up and challenge the complacency of this business. And just a few days ago, René Redzepi announced he would more or less close his restaurant. For real.
To continue being noma, we must change.
Winter 2024 will be the last season of noma as we know it. We are beginning a new chapter; noma 3.0.
In 2025, our restaurant is transforming into a giant lab—a pioneering test kitchen dedicated to the work of food innovation and the development of new flavors, one that will share the fruits of our efforts more widely than ever before.
In this next phase, we will continue to travel and search for new ways to share our work. Is there somewhere we must go in the world to learn? Then we will do a noma pop-up. And when we’ve gathered enough new ideas and flavors, we will do a season in Copenhagen. Serving guests will still be a part of who we are, but being a restaurant will no longer define us. Instead, much of our time will be spent on exploring new projects and developing many more ideas and products.
Our goal is to create a lasting organization dedicated to groundbreaking work in food, but also to redefine the foundation for a restaurant team, a place where you can learn, you can take risks, and you can grow!
We’ve spent the last two years planning, and we’re ready for the next many years of realizing our goal.
We hope you’ll join us on this new journey.
René & the noma team
The plan, as we know it, is to keep the building as a lab and a food research center focusing on innovation and product development. The team will manage pop-up events worldwide, serving happy-few guests and offering new menus along the way.
Every industry has to deal with its own form of the innovator's dilemma, understanding that your amazing financial cash cow will kill you given time. For Noma, it's also a discussion about the long hours, the pressure for excellence, and the stress of creativity. What is sustainable or even just endurable when you are already at the peak of your trade?
Whether you are a small business like a Fortune 500 company or us, like many of our customers, these questions should be faced. We're not Redzepi, but he certainly was a source of inspiration for Stéphanie and me. In our own way, we try to walk the talk of innovation. We switched our trainings online, we're opening a work studio soon, and we're formulating new offers for a few decision-makers in various industries. Let's see where this goes...
But most importantly, what about you?
😎 You might also want to read this article (I was already very interested with what Noma was doing as a luxury brand):