Sunday, October 23, 2011

Denmark's the Spot!

I spent the last couple of weeks scrambling to write a story about Nordic cuisine in New York City and sat down with many of the city's finest purveyors of gravlax, smørrebrød, rye bread, pickled herring et al. One guy I didn't get to interview was Rene Redzepi, famed chef at Copenhagen's Noma, aka the "best restaurant in the world." But I finally caught up with him in Union Square yesterday, eating a local apple no less, where he was promoting Danish cuisine to an audience of foodies, press and the Crown Couple of Denmark.
As for American chefs who inspire him, he cited Thomas Keller ("an astonishing chef"), Wylie Dufresne and David Chang. In fact, Redzepi's head chef at Noma is yankee Matt Orlando.When I asked him if he had plans to open any restaurants in NY, he gave me a sad face and shook his head, "No," saying, "I love New York City. Who doesn't?" But he's pretty happy and busy with what's going on with his work back in Denmark, so really, nothing to be sorry about.

However, as an addendum to the part in my article about the New Nordic Manifesto, Redzepi said he was "surprised" that chefs here were looking at it for their own Scandinavian cooking. "They're not rules —they're inspirations," he says. "If you have rules, it becomes absolute. That's a horrible thing. Who's to say just because you want to incorporate olive oil that it's not Nordic cooking?"

Below, samples of bites prepared by Adam Aamanns -- who will be opening an eatery in Tribeca by December. (At very top of post, æbleskiver dusted with vinegar powder.)
Potatoes with mussel cream

Beet Root smørrebrød

A smorgasbord.

 P.S. As for my story which came out today - I highly recommend stopping by Nordic Breads, mentioned in the intro for their "dark piquant rounds of Finnish rye." (Multiple locations: New Amsterdam, Union Square and Stuyvesant Town Greenmarkets; some Dean & Deluca’s, Shaller and Weber; Whole Foods Market)

1 comment:

Margaret Juhae Lee said...

hey claudine, i'll take you to nordic house when you come visit. that's where my norwegian mother-in-law gets all her nordic treats, like pickled herring.