It is one of the best restaurants in the world, known for its 18-course tasting menus costing more than £ 300 per person and for generating a culinary movement based on the search for ingredients.
Now, Copenhagen’s two-Michelin-star Noma restaurant, run by renowned chef René Redzepi, is preparing to open the doors of a new company: a burger and fries joint.
The move stems from the devastation caused by Covid-19 as it has swept through the global hotel industry, leaving closures and ruined lives in its wake. Among the victims was Restaurant 108, Noma’s sister company, which closed in September, prompting industry observers to conclude that no business was safe.
The new incarnation of Noma will be simpler, more humble and cheaper, but with the same organic ingredients, creative techniques, and attention to detail that have fascinated foodies for the past 17 years. “It’s a pretty big change and a great moment for me,” Redzepi told the Observer.
The burger joint, POPL, from the Latin word “populus” which means people, will open on December 3 after a temporary pop-up during the summer drew long lines for its meat and vegetable burgers.
Rather than requiring prepaid reservations months in advance, POPL will be open for walk-ins and takeout. Instead of an ambitious tasting menu, featuring mahogany clams garnished with seaweed leaves and salted green currants, it will offer meat, veggie and vegan burgers, French fries, and a few sides.
And instead of costing over £ 300 per meal, the burgers are priced at just over £ 17, plus £ 6 for fries. Take away meals are cheaper.
But, Redzepi said, “we’ve put the same amount of energy, dedication and care into a hamburger.” The meat comes from free-range cattle raised on organic farms on the shores of the Wadden Sea National Park. Vegetarian and vegan burgers are made from fermented quinoa. A salad with buttermilk and rose dressing is served.
Redzepi, who opened Noma in 2013, has been a chef for nearly three decades. “All that time I have been cooking in the best restaurants, the best of the best. With that came tight and organized kitchens, reservation lists, small dinner services of up to 60 people, and hype.
“This summer, when we were able to go out on the streets again, we thought it was okay, we will do something that is a common denominator for everyone. What is the number one food that everyone likes? A hamburger.”
On the first day of the pop-up, Noma’s team had prepared 300 meals. “We thought it would be the busiest day. We had no idea of local support. It was crazy. We serve an average of 2,400 hamburgers a day. We had roughly the same number of guests during that five-week pop-up window, we only opened four days a week, as we did in six years of Noma’s operation, ”said Redzepi.
“I didn’t know that it was important to me that everyone had access to our food. I loved seeing people I had met at school waiting in line, I saw all my neighbors, family members, distant cousins, they all came, they all want a hamburger. This was one of the funniest things I’ve ever done. “
In the last decade, Noma has been named the world’s best restaurant four times by restaurant magazine; last year entered number two.
There are three Noma books, two feature films, and a Noma documentary series. A academic article it has been written about the new Nordic cuisine spearheaded by Redzepi. A dedicated fanbase of “Nomaheads” Follow the chef around the world to eat dishes like an edible butterfly created in part from a paste of gooseberries, gooseberries and crushed ants.
The new burger joint “is a significant change for us,” Redzepi said. “And we have no idea how it is going to work in the long term.”
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