René Redzepi: In His Own Words

REDZEPI: I didn't know. I didn't know, I might as well have ended up as a gardener or…I didn't know. Mowing lawns somewhere. (Laughs)

So do you consider yourself a pioneer, because everyone sees you as somebody whose leading the way?

REDZEPI: I think that in our part of the world, Scandinavia, we are one of the pioneers of showing that gastronomy can be something—high gastronomy can be something very, very present and doesn't have to involve, you know, what is perceived as the normal luxury items that belong in a high gastronomy restaurant. You can actually, I mean a carrot has the same value as caviar if you know how to cook it and if you know how to deal with it properly. So, I would say we're one of the pioneers, yea, for sure, in our part of the world. And I think that that you know, (Clears throat) ---people sometimes ask me is there a message that you wanna pull through. Then I thought about it—is there a message I—do we have a message, why do we need a message? And I'm not sure we need a message. I don't want to preach anything but you can say that by doing it in Denmark, you know this cold spot in the way north where people think nothing can grow, we're also saying that it can be done anywhere. Perhaps the next big cuisine will be from Poland or wherever, you know and most people there laugh a little bit when you say Poland, but 10 years ago, they laughed when, if somebody said Denmark.

Were your parents supportive of you when you were all about being a chef?

REDZEPI: Yea, they were, they really were. I've never had anything but the freedom to do what I wanted just as long as it made me happy. So I've never had any pressure to go to college or stuff like that.

You have a child.

REDZEPI: I have a two year old.

What if your child said hey dad I want to do this too?

REDZEPI: If that's what she wants that's what she wants. When people are grownups they're grown ups. They make their own decisions you know. That's it.

Do you have a very traditional family, every night do you sit around the table and eat? What do you do now that mocks your childhood?

REDZEPI: I still cook at home. A lot of chefs I think don't cook at home. But I still do, I love cooking at home, I love having friends. Actually that is… when I cook at home—I'm not off that much, I must say, I really work a lot. But when I cook at home, that is a very strong reminder of why I do what I do you know because there, there you really have a sense of giving something to people you love, or your friends, that you care for, and somehow that's also an inspiration to go back into the kitchen and cook and give to other people. So I really really enjoy cooking in my home.

And your child will eat anything? Carrot?

REDZEPI: Anything. So far, but you know that can change. Then there's one week where she eats ugh, then the next week she eats everything. But she's grown up on eating anything.

You intend to have another restaurant?

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