When you are on top of the game, whether it is in sport, art or in any other field, it is easy to rest on your laurels and bask in the glory of success. René Redzepi’s restaurant Noma has been voted as the World’s best restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
When he lost the top position in the year the restaurant was hit with an outbreak of norovirus, he worked harder and focused to get back to the top position.
He is considered by many to be one of the most influential chefs if not the most influential chef that came after the Spanish star Ferran Adria who reinvented modern cuisine in the 1990s.
It is therefore no coincidence that a documentary film would be released about this talented chef who has put Copenhagen on the worldwide gastronomic map and has been hitting the headlines with incredible ease for his ground-breaking dishes and concepts in his restaurant.
And that documentary becomes all the more topical as we learned just some months ago that Noma would close its doors at the end of next year as Redzepi invents something new which is centred around an urban farm and will be built around 3 main seasons.
Noma: My Perfect Storm is being released this week and is set to make a hit among foodies and gastronomes worldwide. It is the story of a chef who was followed behind the scenes by Director Pierre Deschamps for more than three years to show the world what goes on behind the slick Noma’s operation.
Beautifully filmed and with some insightful interviews with people who know Redzepi, it reveals the story of a chef, how he finds inspiration, the difficulties that come with success and how not all that glitters is gold. It depicts a story of struggle as Redzepi reinvents Danish cuisine and pioneers an approach of ‘foraging’, i.e. sourcing nearly ingredients from the various environments of Scandinavia.
Few people get the chance to eat at his restaurant because the waiting list is huge and because there is a limit to how many people can be seated at a restaurant table. The documentary takes you on a journey to the restaurant and depicts many of the dishes that have made this chef famous. It is inspired by two books written by Redzepi – Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine and Redzepi: A Work in Progress.
Director Deschamps looks at the inner details of Redzepi focusing on a study of this chef and entrepreneur who is (maybe without realising) making groundbreaking innovations in the culinary world.
Redzepi says (and rightly so) that there can be no such thing as the best restaurant in the world even though his restaurant has been at the highest spot four times in the past six years even though he says that recognition is helpful to give you a voice and push you forward. But as an immigrant, he also had to bear the brunt of nasty comments telling him to go back from where he came despite the fact that he has almost single-handedly put Denmark on the world culinary map.
This chef is a ground-breaking entrepreneur who might not yet have realised what he is in fact building. The director says Redzepi does not seem to understand why he wanted to make a film about him, a chef who ignores celebrity and neither considers cooking an art nor chefs artists.
He is not only a chef but also an activist raising awareness on issues like sustainability, the future of eating and issue of food waste.
In 2008, he founded the Nordic Food Lab, an independent, open-source research organization that studies deliciousness. And in 2011, he founded the MAD Symposium, an annual gathering of chefs and food lovers
with an appetite for knowledge.
Deschamps said he “liked the idea that Redzepi represents the antithesis of a feudal culinary system, in his embodiment of the possibility that a young man who comes from nothing can break with tradition and the age-old stereotypes passed down through the generations by such old gastronomic titans as France and Italy.”
This documentary comes at a perfect time for Noma. Set to open its pop-up restaurant in Australia and a second restaurant in Copenhagen called 108 next year, it is as Deschamps says a ray of hope for those who have been shackled by old stereotypes and systems.
We are living in difficult times. But there is a message in this documentary and one which anyone can learn from whether they are interested in gastronomy or not. To make your mark in today’s world, you need to break stereotypes, you need to fight age-old systems, you need to push your ideas bravely, sometimes against all odds. It is a story of talent but also one of vision, courage and hard work. But if you are humble enough to work hard to pursue your dreams and not stumble on the little bumps that accompany the journey you can achieve great things. Don’t miss it.
About the director
Pierre Deschamps is the co-founder of Documentree Films Ltd. based in Brighton, United
Kingdom. A native of France, Deschamps has a background within the French television industry
during early 90’s with more than 1500 TV entertainment shows to his credit as assistant
A passionate filmmaker, Deschamps has a desire to tell stories of human interest that
unify people and communities locally and globally, with the aims to focus on human
similarities rather than differences, and on ordinary characters in extraordinary
NOMA: MY PEREFCT STORM is Deschamps’ first feature film.