René Redzepi: In His Own Words

REDZEPI: Well em, of course everything, it's always difficult to define things, I would say. And also to define our cuisine as it is so new. Perhaps in 10 years we can look back and then it's easier to come up with some definition. And yet again, even if I think about Italian cuisine, I wouldn't even know how to define it. I'm sure if you ask Italian chefs they can't even define it. But, where we are now in our, in our, in our, in the 7 years we've been open, I would say that our cuisine has, is a cuisine that is packed with nature. It's a cuisine that uses nature, not only people that grow nature but also the wildlife. We have a region that's very big. It's quite a huge landmass. We only 25 million people. Which, which means there is a lot of untouched and unspoiled nature to be found. And em, once you start searching that and reading books and finding out how people dealt with nature before when they had to do it in order to survive, then you have a whole new product range and a whole new way of cooking. And once you also start looking into nature and perhaps even harvesting yourself and taking part of nature. Then that also really shapes your cuisine because you can only allow yourself to do so much to any given product you know, that you picked yourself or perhaps you know the people growing it. How much will you manipulate it. You want the link from its natural environment to be clear onto the plate. So I would say that's the biggest discovery we've had. That there's a lot of wild fruits involved in a, in a, in a kitchen and of course, the main focus area of a kitchen is that we always have to show people, our guests, a sense of time and place, which is something we remind ourselves constantly. You know, does it show people where we are in the world and what time of the year we're in. Can they get this in New York? Can they get this in Sao Paolo? There are so many restaurants that are contemporary world restaurants and it doesn't matter where in the world they are it's the same feel, the same music, the same this, the same that. And this is like a mantra you could say. We have—time and place, we have to show time and place. We remind ourselves. Of course, then there's conceptual layers, on how you-- dishes and innovation and so on and so on and so on that builds everything together. But, the essence and the core of everything is quite banal, it's just time and place. And it sounds easy but it's quite difficult.

When did you know that you were A. really amazing at this and B. that you really did want to do this for the rest of your life? It couldn't have been at 15 when…

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