Noma and Rene Redzepi have had such a huge influence on world cuisine over the past few years. You’ve all seen menus extolling the fact they are using local and foraged ingredients, or seen pieces of samphire thrown onto fish dishes. Irish restaurants have also imitated the minimalistic design of their Scandinavian counterparts, moving away from fancy and expensive interiors, while also using simplistic menu descriptions like “Grilled onion” for dishes. The impact of Rene’s cooking has won him 2 Michelin Stars and Noma’s been named the best restaurant four times by the prestigious San Pellegrino awards. You may be puzzled to hear then, that Noma did not attain a 3rd Michelin star last week, but Restaurant Geranium which comes in at #51 on the San Pellegrino list, did get its 3rd Michelin star.
If you’re not familiar with the work of Rasmus Kofoed, he opened the bio-friendly Restaurant Geranium in 2007, from 2011 and on he started racking up awards, starting with the world famous Bocuse d’Or, then earning Michelin stars in 2012 and 2013. When he earned his 3rd Michelin star it was a surprise to no one. What may have been a surprise, or not, has been the fact that Noma has never got its 3rd star despite achieving two Michelin star status all the way back in 2008.
For putting Scandinavian cuisine on the world map, it’s strange to see Geranium and Maaemo in Oslo getting their three stars before Rene. Jesper Uhrup, editor of the Danish magazine “Gastro”, feel the fact that Noma has made food into a plaything, that their dishes are a little too all over the place and have injected too much banter into them, has ended up turning off the Michelin man.
One would feel for Noma and its chefs, it must be rather confusing winning the title of the best restaurant in the world in 2011, only to hear from Michelin editor Rebecca Burr that same year saying that they still have a long way to go to win its 3rd star. While Michelin director Michael Ellis said in 2014 said that while Rene is a revolutionary, their criteria is very strict and inflexible. Is there a French bias, or are Michelin upset with San Pellegrino taking their limelight and as a result are targeting their favourite son?
Whatever the real reason for the snub, if you’re lucky enough to visit Copenhagen and have a spare 240 euro’s lying around, Geranium and Noma both offer world class food, and we suspect you wouldn’t notice that extra Michelin star!