Copenhagen Day 19

Another long week has passed at restaurant Noma. It has been an absolute whirlwind of new flavors, smells, and experiences. Had a wonderful start to my day as my roommates presented me with a traditional Danish birthday song and a cake!
Layers upon layers of light airy thin Danish pancakes. Each cake was slathered with Nutella and a blueberry cream, then dotted with sliced bananas and coconut. Quite scrumptious indeed. 

The week started with the shucking of nearly 6 cases of fresh razor clams. These things were huge! Biggest razor clams I've ever seen. They were shucked and cleaned alive, the little muscles still squirming as we pried them from their shells. They are then flash frozen to break down the cell structure. When thawed, they are seasoned and wrapped in a thin layer of parsley gelee. Here's the dish:

The razor clam is paired with a mussel juice reduction, dill oil, and horseradish snow. This dish is pretty incredible when tasted. I must admit I wasn't convinced on this one at first. I had tried the individual components and just wasn't impressed. Each component on it's own tasted quite ordinary. The plate in total however is mind blowing. Beautiful, clear, and straight forward flavors. So bright and alive. The kick of the horseradish plays great against the sweet razor clam while the mussel stock offers a briny shellfish base. The textures are captivating and fun. Of course, the presentation is stunning. This one is a Noma classic and one of my favorites so far.

Three new dishes have made it to the menu this week, something that is very exciting for all the staff. It's very unusual to find a restaurant of this caliber that changes its menu as often as it does. For instance, The Fat Duck still has the same menu they had three years ago aside from one item.

First added is an Oyster in Pot dish. A large blue Le Creuset pot is filled with beach rocks, three different types of sea weed and sea moss, mussel and clam shells, and sea water. The entire pot is heated before it is sent so that when the lid is lifted scents of the sea waft towards your nose. A surreal sensation. It was actually pretty cool because when Rene was describing the dish to the staff he says "I want it to be hot. I want the guest to burn themselves a little on the lid. Those are the things that have been stripped from food, those physically moving moments."

A beautiful plump Danish oyster is  dipped for one second in a pot of boiling water, just to quickly seize up the proteins. It is sliced into four pieces and placed in the shell on top of the rocks. Next, a teaspoon of warmed  milk and cream is spooned over. A shaving of horseradish, elderberry capers, and tapioca pearls that have been steeped in apple cider vinegar come next. The oyster is then garnished with sorrel, water cress, and winter cress stems, parsley leaves. The flavors are natural and real. Makes a huge impact in ones culinary database that will never be forgotten.

The next dish is the Egg Tableside. A small cast iron pan is heated right on the plancha. An infrared thermometer measures when the pan is exactly at the right temperature. The pan is sent to the table with a farm fresh duck egg, sea salt, hay oil (created by toasting hay in the oven at 170c for 1 hour, it is blended for 3 minutes with rapeseed oil, steeped overnight, and strained), thyme butter, ramson sauce, fried potato curls, and various herbs (Ground elder, Onion Cress, Lemon Thyme, March Leaves, Kodriver, and Winter Cress). All of this is brought to the table on a bed of hay.

The egg is cracked onto the hot pan and a timer is set on the guest's table for two minutes. The guests are instructed to let the egg cook for two minutes, and when the timer goes off add the herbs and thyme butter. At the same time, the cooks in the kitchen set a timer of their own for four minutes. When the kitchen timer goes off, two cooks head out to the table to finish the egg, plate, and garnish the dish. Haven't tasted this one yet, but I'm sure it's something that should really be experienced in full, hopefully when I come in for dinner...

Lastly, a new mignardise has been added. Any excess bone marrow that doesn't get used for either two dishes is scraped, smoked, and melted down. It is then used to replace the butter in a chewy caramel recipe. That's right folks! Smoked Bone Marrrow Caramel. IT IS AWESOME. These caramels are cut into disks and then pushed into the bleached and polished marrow bones. The tops of the caramel are rubbed with a little oil so it really looks like bone marrow. Several bones are then wrapped in butchers paper and tied with butchers twine. The effect is striking. Unwrapping this package of butchers paper to find several marrow bones, pushing the marrow out of the bone and popping it into your mouth. Come on! Nuts...

So those are the new guys. Other than that, it's been the same hard driving focused and detailed work everyday. Rene is a very smart and creative chef and getting to listen and learn from him everyday has been an absolute joy.

One more important item of note before I sign off for the day. Tomorrow, the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards will be held in London England. This is a hugely important event for chefs and restaurants across the globe. Michelin stars practically go out the window when this list is posted every year. The list is compiled by a poll of world renown chefs, restaurant owners, critics, and general food lovers. The results will have a direct effect on the attention, reservations, and status of the restaurant. Noma is currently placed at number 3 in the world. Without jinxing anything, there have been very good rumors floating around and we've heard from several people with actual poll that Noma has nothing to worry about.

*Here's a link to the website: World's 50 Best Restaurants.
*Here's a link to the Twitter page: Twitter Page

The event starts at 7pm my time and runs from the 50th best through to the 1st. It should be around 9pm when we find out (3pm your time). Stay tuned, I'll have the results on both the blog and my facebook page. Keep your fingers crossed!!

I fødevarer, vi har tillid til


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About Cooking Curiously...

This is a place for food nerds to roam free. A place for me to document my tales and experiences concerning that wonderful substance known as FOOD. I find it incredible how many forms it can take, and the impact it can have on our lives. Hopefully, I can make some of those forms tangible here. The following posts will range from travel stories to new dishes and recipes, some restaurant reviews, maybe just an interesting food thought. Regardless, this is meant to be an open forum for both myself and any followers. Feel free to post and comment. Enjoy!

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