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Peek Inside Noma's Test Kitchen

by James Davidson

All photos by Adam Mörk

James Davidson of We Heart, one of our 24 Best Travel Blogs, gives us a peak inside Noma's Nordic Food Lab.

COPENHAGEN – René Redzepi's calmly elegant, picture-perfect reinterpretation of Nordic cuisine has made him widely regarded as international gastronomy's leading creative force. His restaurant, Noma, has been named the world's best for the last three years. It's an oasis of calm, refinement, and beauty. This is not the theater of The Fat Duck, or the sheer experimentalism of El Bulli. Noma's thing is ingredients, purity, and creating dishes suitable for art gallery pedestals. Its kitchen too, is a place of calm; Redzepi is no Ramsay.

So, when GXN – the innovation unit of Copenhagen architects 3XN – were invited to design an experimental food lab for the Danish restaurant, you could imagine the lack of bells and whistles.

Relentless foragers, the Noma team scour their local landscape to create dishes like poached deer served with foraged ramsons, pickled juniper berries, beet leaves, snails, chanterelles, fiddlehead ferns, and woodruff sauce. Having an intuitive, organized, and serene space in which to try these taste combinations is essential. The designers delivered — emphatically.

Situated in the same beautiful warehouse as the restaurant, the test kitchen was constructed without placing even a single nail into the walls or floors. Instead, GXN designed four central multifunctional storage units, each comprised of over 500 individually formed wooden cubes.

Soft lighting, delicate hues, and an emphasis on space, it's the antithesis of all that soul-mouthed Hell's Kitchen malarkey, and exactly the sort of place you'd imagine Noma's exquisitely ethereal dishes being created.


Strandgade 93
1401 Copehagen, Denmark


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This story was reposted with permission from We Heart.

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James is the editor in chief of We Heart, an award-winning online lifestyle and design magazine. He travels for the things the travel books are too scared to print.


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