René Redzepi prepares to open the new Noma

 Noma cookbooks

René Redzepi was living the dream: two Michelin stars plus many other accolades for a destination restaurant where you couldn't get a reservation for months. After sitting at or near the top of every worldwide restaurant ranking for several years, the chef closed the doors of Noma early last year and announced that he was moving the restaurant to a new location and completely revamping the menu. Why take such a risk? "Routine can be comforting, but it's also a killer for your creativity," Redzepi says. "It was time to change, not just the physical address but shedding off the old routine, moving into something new, building a small urban farm."

The new Noma will feature three menus, starting with seafood, rotating to vegetarian and then game. The restaurant will retain its focus on local, often foraged, ingredients and a Nordic sensibility. The new version of Noma is scheduled to open February 15. The first batch of reservations sold out in hours last November. Another around of reservations (for tables in May) opens at 4 p.m. local time on January 18.  Even though Redzepi has built the new space from the ground up, the restaurant only seats 40, plus about a dozen more in the private room. 

Although he is currently focused on opening the new Noma, Redzepi hasn't ruled out doing more popup restaurants. He has had incredibly well-received popups in Australia, Japan, and Mexico, but if you are waiting for one to come to the U.S. you'll have to be patient. The chef has no plans to come to the U.S. although he is eyeing other spots in Asia. 

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