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Monday, October 4, 2010

Today at Omnivore: Superchef René Redzepi Signs Copies of Noma

Posted By on Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Brooding today in Noe Valley: Danish chef René Redzepi. - NORA/SSKIZO/FLICKR
  • nora/sskizo/Flickr
  • Brooding today in Noe Valley: Danish chef René Redzepi.
Nearly a decade ago, René Redzepi began foraging the countryside of Denmark trying to find things to eat, guided by his palate and Nordic food history. What he found (sea coriander, beach mustard, bellflowers, sea buckthorn) he tried to make taste good, good enough for people to pay for. He succeeded so well that this year, his Copenhagen restaurant Noma ― which features dishes that look like they were scraped from the sides of rocks or found tumbling in the intertidal zone ― was named the best restaurant in the world, by the gourmands, chefs, and critics of the yearly San Pellegrino awards.

The best-fed minds were blown: The guy messing around with cloudberries in Copenhagen beat out the culinarly olympus El Bulli and every other restaurant in the entire world?

It's not like the Nordic region, which Noma draws its food from, is any wonderland of flavor. You pickle, cure, and air dry Nordic foods; you don't just drizzle them with olive oil and pair them with a local wine. For example, Danes traditionally used the ashes of hay as seasoning. Redzepi brought that back. He's also doing something with "vintage carrots," or carrots that have been left in the ground too long, and "satellite potatoes," or potatoes that spring up around other potatoes that have been left in the ground too long. Today, he appears at Omnivore with his book of magic, Noma: Place and Time in Nordic Cuisine. Get there as early as you can to avoid the crush of the cult.

René Redzepi Signs Noma: Place and Time in Nordic Cuisine

When: Today, 3 p.m.

Where: Omnivore Books, 3885a Cesar Chavez (at Church), 282-4712

Cost: Free

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Michael Leaverton

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