Two of the world’s best restaurants are changing continents -- temporarily
Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant that seats just 45 at lunch and dinner and was ranked best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine three years running (2010, 2011 and 2012), is moving to Tokyo for two months at the beginning of 2015.
In a note posted on the restaurant’s website, charismatic chef Rene Redzepi, father of the extreme foraging movement and a reinvented Nordic cuisine, writes, “A long lasting dream of mine has come to fruition. . . Five years ago I was invited there by chef Murata of the acclaimed Kikunoi and I was awestruck by the richness of Japanese food culture. In some way since that first visit I’ve been secretly planning this temporary relocation.”
He’s taking his entire staff, but leaving the ingredients gleaned from Denmark’s very specific landscape behind. “Rather we’ll bring our mindset and sensibilities to the best of pristine winter produce from all over Japan.”
More details to come in June. Meanwhile, he writes, “the whole staff is exhilarated, like myself, by this opportunity and we believe that the wealth of knowledge from the journey will enrich our own restaurant and cooking when we return to Copenhagen.”
Coincidentally, in Great Britain, self-taught chef Heston Blumenthal has just announced he will be closing his famed three Michelin-starred restaurant in the village of Bray west of London for six months. Six months!
In February, the Fat Duck, which was ranked the best restaurant in the world in 2005 and has come in second several times since, will be migrating south to the Crown Towers in Melbourne, Australia. He’ll be bringing the entire experience of his innovative molecular gastronomy to the Australian city. Then, after a six-month residency, like a traveling theater troupe closing for the season, he and his team will move back to Bray.
But he’ll still have a presence in Melbourne. Presto chango: The restaurant space will become the second outpost of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, a more casual restaurant based on historical recipes that he opened in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, in 2011.
In a release, Blumenthal explains the move will allow him to give the Fat Duck’s building, which dates from 1640, some much-needed attention and a bit of modernization. That date, incidentally, is no typo. The building in the charming village of Bray really does date from the 17th century.
The kitchen there has historically been small and cramped and deliveries could only be made through the front door, outside hours of service. The remodel will add some new work areas as well as freshen the interior, which seats 42. For Blumenthal, the temporary move solves the logistics of remodeling the historic restaurant.
He’s taking his entire team with him to Melbourne and, according to the Guardian newspaper, says he’d love to “try and come up with dishes that have a historic Anglo-Australian angle.”
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