René Redzepi: In His Own Words

REDZEPI: Well we only take bookings 3 months in advance and they are booked out of 3 months in advance to the date. But uh, we have 2 types of guest at a restaurant. That's at least how I see it. You have guests that believe that their opinion is the absolute truth you know? And then there's guests that don't believe that. I think that when you understand that and when you try—and when you know that the people that believe their opinion is the absolute truth, no matter how much these 28 guys you have in the kitchen, work and struggle to deliver food for them, then if you accept that and realize that there's nothing to do and focus on the others, then pressure is a relative thing, you know. Em, and I mean, as long as you tell yourself today I did everything I could, everything. I didn't—you know we were fully concentrated within our frame of work, we couldn't do anything better and if people are not happy then there's nothing to do. Just as long as you know that you've given yourself to the fullest and that's how we deal with it.

How do you not get burnt out? You do this every day for a bajillion hours a day….

REDZEPI: That's a big. That's an issue and um, I think, personally I think that—I think it happens to most restaurants that you know they need to change chefs, because every restaurant has their period where its, where they're searching and where it's just going forward and forward. And suddenly the search is over and you start repeating yourself becoming a cliché. You will probably still be very good and there will be a lot of guests but—and that's perhaps, when the burnt out is, has started. And then it's time to move on and reboot yourself. Perhaps at a new place, perhaps you take a year off, perhaps you become a plumber. I don't know but it is an issue that I don't know how to deal with it. I think that, of course there's also always the issue with chefs that they're expected to be in the kitchen every day, always. So even though if you wanted, you're thinking ah, I could take two months off now that would be good for me, that would be good for the restaurant in the long run, and it would be good for the staff. I think that it's so deep in most chefs that you can't just leave your kitchen, you just don't do it. People won't accept it. A chef is supposed to be in his kitchen morning and night, always. If the chef is not there then the food is not good. Even though, when the chef is there, there is still the same people cooking the food, you just have the chef organizing it. So, how to deal with this I don't know, but things are changing in the gastronomical world. Chefs are not only hidden away in their steel cages, they're also coming out and becoming part of television and so on and so on and so on.

Do you like that change?

REDZEPI: I like the change.

You do. Why?

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