Chef René Redzepi of Copenhagen's Noma, which was recently named the #1 best restaurant in the world, was a guest on Charlie Rose on Friday night. In the wide-ranging 25-minute interview, Redzepi talked about the first moment he knew he was destined to be a chef, explained the thinking behind individual dishes, and shared his thoughts on why Noma surpassed El Bulli in the rankings: "Times change... There's a shift now, into something more natural. You could say that it's a time of a more natural era, a natural cuisine. Perhaps it's also a timing issue: We just fit perfectly in, and then we so happened as well to cook good." He also offered his philosophy about cooking, about how it should "tell you time and place."
So many restaurants around the world. It's the same music, the same menu cards, it's the same ingredients, they came from the same farms... and there's this contemporary feel to everything. I want our guests when they eat in a restaurant in Copenhagen in the north of the world to feel that this they can only get in a restaurant in Copenhagen... in the north of the world. That's place. Then there's time. What time of the year are we. What does the season show right now? What is the best of the best? What does the ocean provide us? What does the forest give us right now? What animals live and are ready to be harvested? What do the farmers give us? This is time. And that is something that we remind ourselves when we are in doubt on how we're doing things. Constantly going back to time and place. Are we showing our guests where in the world are we, and what time of the year are we.
Part 1: About the Restaurant, Nordic Cuisine, Philosophy
Part 2: How He Got Into Cooking at Fifteen
Part 3: The Ambition of the Restaurant: A New Nordic Cuisine
Part 4: How the Restaurant Achieved International Recognition, Surpassing El Bulli
Part 5: Cooking Is Without Pretense, Straight to the Point. Time and Place.
Part 6: Describing Individual Dishes, the Fear of Stagnating