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tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  December 25, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST

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rene: it's your first time to denmark? >> anthony: i got to be honest -- i usually try to avoid clean, orderly countries without massive social problems. i'm here for you, man. if you're not the poster boy for the entire country, you should be. >> rene: we go, no? >> anthony: yes, let's go. you are saddled with the weight of best restaurant in the world. i know this looks totally bogus. it's -- fantastic. >> alessandro: you need to work twenty hours a day in order to achieve this. >> rene: come on guys, they're waiting now. let's go. >> alessandro: it's so much less about "wooo" you know? it's about bang! and it's dun, dun, dun, elements, elements, salts,
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elements. what places have you been that you can compare to noma? >> anthony: no place. it's a whole different world. >> alessandro: beautiful! ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la la ♪ ♪
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>> anthony: once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a place, a very special place. a clean, orderly and nice place. usually i hate clean, orderly and nice. the air smells fresh, and physically fit, statuesque blonds pedal through the streets lined by old buildings and canals. i read something very disturbing on my way here. apparently, denmark is like the happiest place on earth. they actually keep stats on this. apparently, denmark is far and away number one the happiest, most content place on earth. >> rene: well the colleges are the same for everybody. >> anthony: free? >> rene: free. >> anthony: that's un-american, man. that's socialism, isn't it? >> rene: yes. i mean here, that's not a bad word. >> anthony: okay, they pay like 60% of their earnings in taxes, but then they do get things like free healthcare, 52 weeks maternity leave on full pay.
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>> rene: when i had my kids, two rooms down, that's where the future king had his kids. >> anthony: there's no like beyoncé suite? >> rene: no. we're all there. we're all the same and that makes people more happy. >> anthony: it looks like a nightmare to me. by the way, it would be helpful to point out this show is not about denmark. it's not about copenhagen. i'm here for one man -- >> rene: food this way. >> anthony: and one restaurant -- >> rene: then we can start. >> kitchen staff: yes chef! >> rene: go, go, go. >> anthony: noma is the place where rene redzepi pretty much changed the whole world of gastronomy. >> rene: let's go. >> anthony: for three years in a row, it was named the world's best restaurant by a jury of chefs and food writers who presumably know such things. >> rene: come on with those two. they're sitting waiting. come on. >> noma cook: nordic coconuts. also at the same time, this
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little bouquet of flowers. >> alessandro: a danish coconut. cheers to that. >> anthony: and so the question, how does this nice, down to earth guy rise to the top of the food world, all while presenting things that no one could possibly think would taste that good? >> alessandro: let's have a bite of flowers. >> anthony: oh, man. >> alessandro: they're delicious. >> anthony: i'm not sure, but that's what i'm here to find out. >> rene: did you add the moss? >> anthony: we know that noma has been said to be the world's best. >> noma cook: this is a dish that takes twenty man-hours of work a day. >> anthony: and what we've heard outside of denmark is that rene sources his ingredients exclusively from the nordic region. mostly from within 60 miles of the restaurant. >> rene: get a better one than this. >> noma cook: we need a better vessel. quickly, come on. >> kitchen staff: yes chef! >> anthony: think about that. denmark is not exactly the mediterranean. summers are short. >> rene: service. >> anthony: what rene and crew started, what they're famous for, is foraging for ingredients. >> rene: reindeer moss with last year's harvest of sep mushrooms.
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>> anthony: and color me, dubious. >> alessandro: did you ever eat moss before? >> anthony: no. that is incredible. >> alessandro: wow. >> anthony: there's no way that this is going to look convincingly delicious on tv, but it is really delicious. alessandro porcelli is italian, living in denmark. he worked at noma before starting cook it raw, the roaming boy scout camp for the world's best chefs. >> alessandro: i met rene in 2004. basically, the restaurant was just opened. >> rene: four on six. >> kitchen staff: yes. >> anthony: ten years after noma's inception, rene is arguably the most famous dane since hamlet. and so it's happily ever after, right? not quite. >> alessandro: it's funny that all this happened actually in copenhagen. you have all these rules about -- where you have these guidelines where you never brag about yourself. it's all understated. >> anthony: the law of -- which
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discourages attention seeking is part and parcel to living in denmark. danes who think too big are often cut down by their peers. >> rene: it's hard to really make an effort. and if you stand out too much, you know, get off your horse. >> anthony: okay, so let's say you start a restaurant and you announce right away, this restaurant's going to be different than anybody else's restaurant -- you see where i'm going here. are people mean originally or they talk -- about you? do they -- >> rene: i mean how much foul language can i use on this show? we very quickly became the big band of the seal f----rs. >> anthony: the seal f----rs. >> rene: seal f----rs. >> tony: people can be so cruel. >> anthony: do danes like this place now? i mean -- >> alessandro: they accept it -- >> anthony: it's turned the attention of the whole world -- >> alessandro: yeah exactly. >> noma cook: fire three -- please. >> kitchen staff: yes chef. >> anthony: to tell the truth, food nerds, captains of industry, celebrities, you name it, have been flocking here for years. >> rene: chef -- sorrel coming out now. >> anthony: some waiting months
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for a reservation in the 45 seat restaurant. >> noma cook: so, we have the sorrel leaf marinated in a grasshopper garum. the idea is that you want to use it like a spoon and scoop all of this green snow, which is made from the -- leaves. >> anthony: damn that's good. the technique, you don't notice it, you notice the flavor. it's holy -- that's delicious. really intensely -- it's like i've never tasted a green vegetable that good. >> rene: so we're in tivoli. you see there's like lawns, people sit down, the sun is out. the birds are singing. this is where happiness was invented. >> anthony: tivoli gardens, it is said, is the second oldest amusement park in the world. >> rene: strolling here, watch the pantomime that's hundreds of years old. i've only been here once with my kids actually. i work all the time, unfortunately. this is usually the place where young kids take their first
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date. >> anthony: how old is this thing? >> rene: i don't know, man. this is made for kids. does it feel a bit wobbly? >> anthony: totally and ancient. i'm a little uncomfortable. >> rene: see copenhagen is dangerous, too. >> anthony: yeah, right. whoa. >> rene: there you go. >> anthony: damn. you know, this is not bad. >> rene: so there you see, it's just a little tiny park. >> anthony: it's not huge, is it? it's all just squished in the middle. >> rene: it's like singapore, you know. all dense together. >> anthony: yeah, but no death penalty. >> rene: no, only sort of the public humiliation if you -- up with something. >> anthony: oh, here we go. firearms apparently, it's okay here. >> rene: you know i've actually never fired a firearm in my life. >> anthony: really? >> rene: and i've never driven a car. >> anthony: you've never driven a car? >> rene: i've never driven a car. >> anthony: okay, this is good. this will be empowering. this could change your whole life. >> rene: yes. >> vendor: every time you fire, you need to reload. >> rene: you don't need to tell him. he's american. [ laughing ]
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so is this a competition? >> anthony: call it what you like. >> rene: all right. [ gunshots ] >> rene: oh this is exciting. >> vendor: i think we definitely have a winner here. >> rene: oh my god. not a single one? i have to go again. >> anthony: that's what we call a nice grouping. >> rene: this is like public school? your shooting range? >> anthony: after this, we're going to steal a car, i'll teach you to drive. >> rene: come on guys, they're waiting now. let's go. >> noma cook: are you familiar with this one at all? >> anthony: no. >> noma cook: so traditionally, it's served around christmas time. we call them -- skewers. >> anthony: you've got a little fish rammed right through. i love it. >> alessandro: isn't it sweet? >> noma cook: and there's a pickled cucumber in the middle. >> anthony: that's great. >> rene: isn't it just awesome? >> anthony: very traditional
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flavors. >> rene: there's all these old school restaurants that have been here for hundreds of years. the herring, the rye bread, the smoked fish, the traditional stuff, you know? >> rene: there we go. thank you my good man. welcome to the happiest place on earth. >> anthony: oh there we go. >> rene: all right. smoked eel. peeled shrimps. pickled herring. these tiny little shrimps, it's one of the few seasonal offerings danes look forward to. our eating traditions are not that big here. historically, we've eaten for survival. it was fuel to us. >> anthony: lutherans were not exactly the most fun bunch. what's sinful is to take too much pleasure in food. you know, if you're sitting at the table like, oh my god, that's so good, oh that's delicious -- you're already going down the slippery slope to, who knows what other kinds of behaviors. >> rene: you know my father is an immigrant. i'm not even full dane. >> tony: your father was macedonian?
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>> rene: yeah, from the former yugoslavia. >> anthony: right, and then you left yugoslavia at what age? >> rene: fourteen. people make fun of me when i say i've never driven a car but i've never -- i never had a coca cola until i was like 17. it just wasn't in a small little village where there's two cars. the first food memory i have is also from there. it was my father and the day before we'd been in the mountains picking chestnuts. and i remember so vividly as a little child, i woke up and i saw my father roasting chestnuts and then i started hearing all these things popping. twenty minutes later they were in a bowl, and my aunt, she poured milk she had just taken from the cow and we had that for breakfast. it was so natural that we went to the mountain for chestnuts. you grew your food yourself. these sort of experiences growing up they really shaped the type of cook i am today.
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rene: so now, you have a generation of young cooks like myself and they're all over town looking for the flavor of a region. what is the flavor? what are the ingredients we have? and how do we combine them in a way that tells something of where you are in the world? >> anthony: between me and nature, there's not so much love. nature is where bugs live. but i'm learning reluctantly, over time, how much i've been missing. rene's proclivity to scrounge around for flavorful stuff that grows wild -- >> rene: welcome to the beach. what do you think of the good old danish beach? >> anthony: -- pretty much kick started the restaurants world's now widely emulated practice of foraging. >> rene: you see all this grass? actually these are succulents. >> rene: we're doing beach cabbage for them, no? >> noma staff: yes! >> alessandro: rene, since the beginning, has been thinking about how to put into a plate what's around you basically.
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>> anthony: well you need to be like a 19th-century naturalist if you're going to do this. if you're going to play this -- >> alessandro: yeah, you need to be a botanist, a naturalist. >> rene: chew on this. do you taste cilantro? >> anthony: yes, it's cilantro. >> rene: disguised as grass, here, here, it's everywhere. >> rene: good to go? service. >> noma cook: so we have some roasted --. the roe is on the top there. beach plants, beach cabbages around the outside. >> anthony: so i know these ingredients, we were plucking them yesterday. wow. >> alessandro: this would be the future, no? your mama cooks this dish. let's go and forage guys. come on kids. >> rene: there you go, look. sea beans. salty, juicy, crunchy. >> anthony: i mean, if i were looking at this at home, i would very much be thinking, come on man it's grass. it's grass. it's green stuff. it all tastes the same. it totally doesn't. >> rene: it totally doesn't. >> anthony: now is some of this
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stuff poison? >> rene:yeah. >> anthony: have you ever eaten something that -- >> rene: oh yeah. on the spot diarrhea. >> anthony: really? the dark side of foraging. >> rene: two fish heads. >> kitchen staff: yes chef. >> anthony: growing your own food, finding your own food, that was life in macedonia. but for a lot of people right now it is an affectation. >> rene: the worst moments, the worst meals are when people are just following a sort of culinary trend. and they will see, oh, there's an edible, but it tastes like --. but it's edible and it's foraged, therefore i'll put it on the menu. you know, it's going to go on the fish no matter what. >> anthony: oh wow. >> noma cook: grilled pike heads with the beach herbs you foraged yesterday. >> anthony: oh! >> alessandro: wow. >> anthony: then you just pick off every little bit. but i think even at its most ludicrous manifestation, surely it is a positive thing that people are actually starting to look around and see where --
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grows. >> rene: it still is good, because people are being connected to the place they're in. what's edible, what's not, what is there to eat. >> rene: oh here we go. jackpot. this is a mustard, a beach mustard. in three weeks, this is gone, new things come up. >> noma cook: so, this is our bread serving. it's a sourdough bread that's made with a swedish grain. and this is a cow's milk butter that has not been churned all the way. it's called virgin butter. >> anthony: oh god. >> alessandro: this is amazing, huh? >> anthony: butter like this, where you can pretty much taste what the cow ate. you know anybody who's milked a cow, this is a flavor of childhood. the fact is there aren't lot of people left who, where i come from, who've milked a cow. >> alessandro: and this is why it's becoming more important to what these guys are doing. it's the relationship also that they have with the farmers, the relationship they have with the soil. >> rene: so this is soren's farm but we always say our farm. we feel like it's our place. >> anthony: soren is rene's primary supplier of farm meat and vegetables.
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>> rene: look at the soil here. you see all the mussel shells? >> anthony: yeah. >> rene: these are shellfish, because this used to be marshland. >> anthony: like rene, he's not your ordinary dane. and his farm is unlike the others around here. >> anthony: this used to be monoculture. >> soren: yeah, 15 hectares with carrots. >> anthony: just carrots. now now, how many? what are you growing? >> soren: between 120 and 170 different things. >> anthony: true, there are tractors and rows where potatoes and carrots grow, but much of what's happening here is a mix of wild and cultivated. >> rene: this is wild angelica. that's chives. the purple flowers here. wild onions. and you can grow them here. let's grow some for next year. there you go. >> rene: the first time you come up here you go into this and it's like, oh a flower garden, and he will say, no, no, this is the leek field. >> soren: they're so nice. >> rene: you're touching them like they're jewels. soren: they are jewels. rene: let's grab a bunch of these for lunch. no? >> rene: leeks going? >> noma chefs: yes chef.
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>> anthony: the pressure in farming is to have a monoculture and to provide year-end, year out what you know is going to sell and what the market demands. >> rene: would you mind grabbing a few of these plants? they're going to grow up so don't take the root. >> anthony: it's very, very hard for a small guy to say, you know what? i'm not going to grow carrots anymore, i'm going to grow a whole bunch of interesting things and i'm going to grow them as well as i possibly can. >> anthony: yeah this is pretty much a first for me. >> rene: this is the first time you fall to your knees for a green plant? >> anthony: yeah. >> rene: how long for leeks? >> anthony: you think we'll ever reach the point where guys like soren will be in a very good place? >> alessandro: i think if we cut the middle man, get the producers, the farmers, to talk directly with a guy like rene. >> rene: nobody ever teaches you that the symbiosis you need to have intact is with these people that grow the food, you're never taught that as a cook, which is strange. >> rene: no, get a better one than this. >> noma chef: yeah, can we get another leek that looks more similar in size? >> rene: okay lets go. >> soren: and i think also respect to your chefs, how they, should you know anything about
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this landscape -- i've been here for 30 years and i've just know small tiny parts. >> waiter: with leeks. >> alessandro: so we just scoop it up. >> anthony: i think we picked these yesterday. >> alessandro: ah yeah? >> anthony: oh man. that is the meatiest, most umami filled vegetable i've ever had. >> alessandro: umami vegetable, yeah, yeah. >> rene: maybe we'll cook this for lunch spiced with the tartar. chop that up with the freshly slaughtered meat from one of soren's cows. >> rene: what else? >> soren: the asparagus? >> rene: yes, let's do that. i'm hungry man. >> noma chefs: the asparagus come out? >> rene: asparagus, beautiful. >> noma chefs: let's go! >> rene: we have sauce up, please? >> noma chefs: yes. >> rene: and then just one dollop right there in the middle, okay? >> noma chefs: yes. >> noma waiter: we roast the asparagus with this pine, that's why we have the branch. you do not eat that branch however. >> alessandro: oh okay. >> noma waiter: underneath is a small pile of tender spruce
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shoots. grilled with asparagus sauce and a little bit of fresh green spinach. >> anthony: that is incredible. >> alessandro: wow. the flavor of this, huh? >> rene: so, this is actually beer made from asparagus. >> anthony: it's tasty. >> rene: yeah. >> rene: what's the meat, veal? what was the name of the cow. >> soren: uh, 76300330. >> rene: chef, do you want to do the tartar? >> anthony: what are you thinking, just hack up the meat? >> rene: hack up the meat. oh, it already looks good. i'm going to go on the asparagus, on the leeks. clean them up, grill them. put a little sun lotion on these guys. soren, do you want to do a potato salad? >> soren: yeah. >> rene: what should we put on the tartar? wild onions -- bit of this horseradish. that's the chives. chive flowers. >> anthony: okay a little salt on the leek and a little cheese? >> rene: yes.
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>> rene: that's the angelica. take all these flowers and we mix that in. some vinegar. elderflower vinaigrette for the grilled asparagus. >> soren: a few eggs from my mother's free birds. >> anthony: done. >> rene: it didn't take us 10 minutes, but we have four courses. this is like three michelin stars, chef. >> anthony: oh yeah. >> rene: ooh. oh man. >> anthony: perfect. look at that. >> rene: wow. wow, wow, wow. >> anthony: that egg. what an egg. you eat like this all the time? >> rene: i bring my kids up here. all the staff comes here, often. this becomes your reference stream for how fresh an asparagus should be. just harvest, just cooked, just eaten. >> anthony: i think a place like this, in addition to being the best restaurant in the world or whatever else, offers a real possibility. there is food around, that with a little effort, or a lot of effort, you could, you could make it into something really delicious.
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>> alessandro: there is the hard thing, yeah. to change the way people think about food. not just the 35 people that can afford to come eat here at noma. >> soren: thank you for joining. >> rene: thank you chef. >> anthony: it's magnificent.
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>> anthony: look, there are always going to be some people out there who hate the very idea of your existence. from the very minute they even think about you.
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there's a danish expression for not wanting to stand out, not wanting to talk about yourself too much. >> rene: yeah, that's called -- the law of -- wow. >> anthony: so it's yeast? >> noma waiter: yeast broth. >> anthony: it looks beautiful. >> rene: here we are, 10 years ago, we're opening. we're saying we're going to try something else. >> rene: two lobster on hold. >> noma chef: lobster broth gone out? >> noma chefs: yes. >> rene: stuff like that, in that time, was just unheard of. it was beyond stupid and why do you even try? why are you fiddling with stupid concepts? >> noma waiter: we have a broth of wild lobster claws and nasturtium petals. alessandro: wow. look at this. >> anthony: this is very complex. i know in the beginning a lot of danes were calling him the seal --. and they were laughing at him. >> alessandro: it's a very new thing, you know, food here in denmark. it's not something that they have like we have in italy, or they have in france. >> rene : no, here it's a different story. you have a huge part of people that are still so much in love with the old world. >> noma kitchen chef: boiled lobster caught up? >> staff: yes! >> rene: i mean, i've even been told that i have a fascist tendencies in me. there have been op-eds written in danish papers.
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>> noma chef: vinegar please. >> rene: linking what we do at the restaurant to some of the most horrible moments in recent history. >> noma waiter: so this is the tail of the lobster with a little bit of the head juices underneath. the leaves. use your hands. >> anthony: i will. that's luxurious. so how's it changing? >> rene: that's what's interesting. in 10 years, it's really gone from, you know the seal -- to igniting a new confidence in this city, in this part of the world that i never grew up with. >> anthony: a possible forbearer to this new challenging of the status quo can be found right in the heart of the straight laced danish capital. >> joker: i think christiana is one of the most awesome places in the world, which is not very danish to say. >> anthony: the well-established enclave of hippy anarchist squatters sounds about as attractive as being sentenced to life at a phish concert. but there are some interesting features of christiania.
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there's no government to intrude on your personal freedom. you're free to behave in an as eccentric or normal fashion as you wish. >> risenga: here i mean, you can be the freak that you are, and if you want to spend your day talking to a tree, you can do that without being frowned upon. >> anthony: risenga and his friend joker are in the local government. such as it is. >> joker: christiania has been here for some 40 years. it was a military area that was abandoned and it was then occupied by squatters and hippies, despite the fact that the different governments didn't really appreciate what was going on here. nobody actually had the will or the strength to put people out. >> anthony: who picks up the trash? >> risenga: we do. >> anthony: what about the essentials, you know, electric, water? >> joker: we buy it from providers, but we do it as a commune, as a collective. we pay only one bill. >> risenga: but what i like about living here is the fact that my kids get to walk around the streets without worrying about being run over by a car. >> joker: there's no hot rods and no cars running in the streets. it's like a little village! it's very secure. >> anthony: are you a hippie?
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>> risenga: he is. >> noma chef: you have two eggs smoking now? >> chefs: yes, chef. >> risenga: so right down there we have pusher street, which is probably the most famous part of christiania. >> anthony: the green section, right? where you can buy weed and hash oil, hashish. >> joker: yeah. >> anthony: i would never do that as a responsible journalist but i'm interested in investigating that. pusher street, it's a beloved institution here, you are free to use an array of cannabis products. theoretically by the way, marijuana is like, not legal in denmark. >> risenga: but there's great tolerance for marijuana here and i think that's because it isn't really harmful. people who smoke too much, maybe they pass out. >> anthony: right. oh! quail egg cooked in hay. wow, that's like the greatest thing ever. that's a perfect dish. >> allesandro: perfect. perfect dish. >> anthony: i want more of those. >> risenga: so here you go. >> anthony: thank you. so there's nobody in charge? >> risenga: i am.
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i am. i'm in charge. the only problem is that everybody else is, too. >> anthony: it seems utopian. >> joker: we have the same problems as anybody, but we try to solve them in a different way. and one of the ways we try to solve the sort of challenges is by embracing people as much as we can. and trying to make space as much as we can. >> rene: do we have two peas ready for table four? can i go with that now? >> noma chefs: yes. >> anthony: extraordinary. i was reading something you wrote that's very un-american in its concept, which is don't be afraid to fail. >> rene: yeah. when we did this dish, to us it was a very big moment. because we burnt it by mistake. and then we thought, okay, it's a mistake, let's see what happens and we cooked it and then we had a new paste. an new, sort of, spice for us. >> anthony: that's indescribably delicious. >> anthony: all cookbooks, particularly american cookbooks, are written from the point of view that if you only follow this recipe, it will turn out great.
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>> rene: you're safe. this is what we try to talk about everyday in the kitchen, with the cooks on saturday night projects. >> anthony: apparently, this is when you invite members of your crew to put up a new dish. >> rene: yeah. >> anthony: for comment. after each grueling work week concludes, cooks from every level of the brigade stay late to submit their newest culinary ideas. everybody's in on this? >> rene: everybody is in on it. >> anthony: this could be a very uncomfortable -- you're hanging it out. >> rene: this forum is about failure. so yes. >> anthony: all right let's see what you got. >> rene: luke, go for it. >> anthony: at no point in my career would i have wanted to subject myself to this kind of mass scrutiny. >> rene: yeah but watch, it's not bad. >> chef: it can be bad. >> rene:i mean -- what do you have for us chef? >> chef one: a fermented apple, uh tea. this one i did it with razor clam and some chamomile as well. >> chef two: this is lamb's
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tongue cooked for 10 hours at 70 degrees, kohlrabi, which is fermented in water and salt. and this is seafoam with brown butter. >> chef three: so what we have here, sep ice cream with some barley. >> rene: mushroom ice cream and fermented barley sauce. >> anthony: i think the lamb's tongue is a great ingredient. personally i'm not getting what the kohlrabi brought to the party. >> chef six: the razor clams are a bit sweet and with this broth it's quite sweet, so it becomes very one-dimensional. >> rene: why can't you do that for your next project? dry salt versus brine salt. >> chef: she uses elements i would never use in a dessert and they taste good, i like it. >> given a choice between a traditional dessert and this i would be very, very, very happy with this, i thought it was delicious. really delicious. >> rene: thank you. who's next? oh! >> chef seven: and so here i have a dish of, um, strawberries and cream.
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i decided to go out on my bike and see what i could get so all the flowers that are here, the lady let me pick them in her garden. so i have strawberries that are pickled in rose vinegar and a crème fraiche at the base that's been infused with burnt roses and rose pollen. >> rene: can we just clap or? >> anthony: and then that might well end up on the menu? >> rene: no. this is not about putting things on the menu, no. i mean if somebody makes a masterpiece, it's their masterpiece. >> anthony: really? >> rene: yeah, yeah. of course. >> anthony: isn't it your historical imperative as the chef to take his good work and innovation and put it on the menu and take credit for it as your own? i mean that's the way it's been done for centuries. >> rene: this is not the point here. >> anthony: the pursuit of enlightenment and knowledge is its own reward? >> rene: to me, yes.
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is that it? cheers everybody.
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>> rene: table four, it's being cleared. let's start dressing. >> chefs: yes! >> rene: they're waiting. >> chefs: yes chef! >> alessandro: i mean, now i travel a lot and i meet chefs
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that say, you know, "i want to be number one in the world." i was in mexico, in the yucatan. they don't even know how to make a tortilla, they don't even know what a tortilla is made of, they kind of lose touch with what tradition is -- >> rene: that looks good man. merci, chef. >> rene: it's good for you to try this, the herring, the rye bread, the smoked fish the -- >> anthony: oh yeah. >> rene: the traditional stuff, you know. because when you grow up as a cook here, and you think of this as old fashioned, you don't see it as an inspiration for your future endeavors as a cook. all right, fellas. the next thing we serve you is flatbread. very traditional here and we spice ours with shoots of spruce and oak tree. >> alessandro: mm. this is amazing. amazing. >> anthony: damn, that's good. >> alessandro: sophistication but it's something that is so down to earth flavor-wise. >> anthony: no doubt about it. that's like both really classic and totally new. how are you doing? how are you? >> niels: hello, it's niels. cheers. >> anthony: cheers.
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i'm learning. danes may be stiff, but they sure as hell know how to drink. niels is a danish renaissance man. drinker, sailor, charter tour boat operator, musician. so you were a neighbor of uh, rene and noma. >> niels: i've known him from the absolute beginning. and when noma -- can we start now? >> anthony: yeah, we're going. well what did you think of him when you first met him? >> niels: i saw an ordinary man, he fight for what he think about. >> anthony: he had a vision. >> niels: yeah. a vision. he have a vision and fight for this. >> rene: all right, very close to, uh, bitters. >> chefs: yeah! >> rene: nicely done, chef. >> niels: look at the beautiful girl, there. here we go. >> anthony: what was that? >> niels: gammel dansk. >> anthony: what's in it? >> niels: it's gammel dansk! >> anthony: i know, but what is that? >> niels: i don't know exactly how you make that.
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but this has been drinking in denmark for many years. >> waitress: so, we have gammel dansk. >> alessandro: it's a liquor. >> waitress: so, it's a danish bitter that has 30 different herbs or so. so, we've made an ice cream with dehydrated milk and soy. >> anthony: that was delicious. >> alessandro: oh. exceptional. >> niels: oh! here we go! gammel dansk! it is good! >> anthony: it works. >> niels: it is good. >> anthony: yeah. >> niels: it works! it works! look at this -- where you come from -- new york? >> anthony: yeah. >> nils: yeah? yeah, yeah, yeah. >> anthony: how did you know? what, what? >> niels: it works! he said! >> rene: so i'm asking, can you come help with the rest here? yeah, don't let them touch each other okay? yeah, just there, perfect. >> anthony: what would traditional danish food be for you? >> niels: potatoes -- >> rene: two potatoes. >> niels: and some kind of meat and sauce. >> rene: do you taste the sauce? yeah? >> chef: i did taste the sauce. >> rene : hello, fellas. we fermented barley, and we cooked the potatoes in that, and
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served with sturgeon roe from the lakes of finland. >> alessandro: wow, man. >> anthony: it has that grappa, homemade whiskey after taste. i know this flavor well. >> niels: one more time! here we go! what are we doing -- what are we doing -- going -- i'm a little bit hungry. >> anthony: the famous -- the danish national late-night dish! john's hotg. >> niels: yes. >> anthony: i'll have the deluxe. >> hotdog man: this one's an organic sausage. >> anthony: organic sausage? >> hotdog man: made with wild garlic and bacon. >> anthony: sounds good to me. >> niels: he make his own mustard. >> anthony: wow. >> hotdog man: onions are pickled in beer. >> anthony: whoa. >> niels: here we go. that's a classic one. >> anthony: all my happiest moments seem to revolve around meat in tube form. mmm!
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that's superb! that's really good. >> niels: don't do -- don't film me when i eat that. >> anthony: yeah, only the moments where you look good. >> niels: yeah. >> anthony: these onions are awesome. >> hotdog man: i think that's the way, you have to make something new. >> anthony: but respect the classics. >> alessandro: this what we should transmit to the young guys, you know? the passion to present something on a plate that is delicious also makes sense of your own environment, but is not tainted, it's yours. if you don't have a clear understanding about what tradition is, how can you innovate? >> anthony: come to copenhagen, noma for lunch, john's for dinner. >> niels: and gammel dansk -- gammel dansk and beer! >> anthony: right.
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rene: welcome to the nordic food lab. >> anthony: just across from noma, located in a converted houseboat, an entity separate from the restaurant. a place rene set up to further ideas and experimentation. >> rene: ben is one of the guys in charge here. >> ben: nutmeg's a bit hallucinogenic. so, i decided to make something ammonia rich with lots of nutmeg, leave it for a while, and then we'll see what happens. >> anthony: so, it's hallucinogenic fish sauce potentially? >> ben: in theory. some of the things we're doing, really, i mean, they are just pure experimentation for experimentation's sake. >> rene: and it's pretty damn delicious. >> anthony: i like that. >> rene: it's another food item on your shelf.
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and me, as a cook, that's what i want. >> rene: these are two year old cherries with the cherry pits and wild roses -- five years old wild roses now, very deep, intense. >> alessandro: this is amazing. amazing. >> anthony: they're not just thinking about what tastes good now, they're talking about, "will this taste good in 2 years if we ferment it, or age it, or dry it?" >> rene: we like to ferment it. we add bacteria to it. so that it needs 3 years of time, and then it becomes utter delicious. >> ben: the diversity available to us through looking at fermentations, and looking at different bacteria, and looking at different molds, yeast, all sorts, is absolutely enormous. >> anthony: there's stuff rotting in jars and vases that these experiments of fermentation and flavor. you're all doing some sinister -- down there, i know. >> ben: so, this is the ferment of a conopodium -- a wild type of spinach, which grows around here, and no one uses them. maybe even reminiscent of foie gras. >> anthony: serious foie. >> rene: and, this is from a weed that grows everywhere. if you do it with gooseberries, lacto ferment gooseberries, you get golden drops of perfection.
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>> rene: can we have two berries on four? >> chefs: yeah! >> rene: all right, fellas, the next thing we serve you is the dried in juices of last year's harvest of black currant, and then we wrap it in wild roses that we've had in vinegar for two years now. >> alessandro: mmm! acidity, creamy. >> anthony: it's like super powered. i need to ask about this. >> ben: you need to ask about this! well, this is pretty interesting. this is a born out of a desire to study mummification. everyone used to eat mummies, apparently. they were considered a panacea. this has been cured with resins, with alcohols, with spices, with honey, with propolis, all kinds of things that would have been used in a mummification embalming process. >> rene: let's taste it. >> ben: let's taste it! here we go. so, it's quite moldy! >> rene: you mean that in a positive way? >> ben: i don't know! i mean, it's an experiment, like eh -- i mean, it's a six month-old piece of raw deer, so i suppose it's somewhat inevitable.
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>> anthony: that's not unpleasant. >> ben: that's interesting. >> anthony: tastes like -- egyptian. >> chefs: yes! >> rene: we just have one project funded: "deliciousness as an argument for entomophagy." so, deliciousness as an argument for eating insects. >> anthony: wow. >> waiter: here, we have grilled onions, fermented pears, and salt made out of wood ants. >> anthony: wood ants. >> alessandro: wood ants, yeah. >> anthony: cool. well, that's delicious. >> alessandro: it's amazing. >> ben: you know, some of the ants we've been experimenting with, that's like, you eat it, it's like "zing!" it's like excitement in your mouth, a party everyone's invited. a lot of the other ones, they need a lot of work. here, we've got wax moth larvae moulsley, which is with hazelnuts, and then you've got a morel sauce. this is bee larvae. they're like little lumps of fat. >> anthony: it tastes like insect. >> ben: next taste! fermented fish, herrings. we stuff them with molded greens. and, these have been here since
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january. so, it's been filleted and then put with juniper and lingonberries, a little squirt of aged apple vinegar. >> anthony: mmm! that's delicious. that's lethally good. i can think of 10 different ways i'd like to eat that. >> ben: definitely. >> anthony: standing up, sitting down, on bread, with beer. >> ben: being fed. um, so it sometimes takes a while to stumble across these things, but slowly but surely they come out of the woodwork. - honey, remember to slaughter the tomatoes
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rene: let's have some crayfish. >> anthony: delicious. >> rene: cheers, guys! >> anthony: cheers! >> rene: mid-summer! mid-summer's day. longest day of the year. >> anthony: the danes, to mark the mid-summer's eve, gather and partake in traditions. >> rene: and the sun comes out --we salute you! >> anthony: like enjoying picnics, building bonfires. >> rene: there's a fire. >> anthony: oh, yeah! >> rene: there's going to be a fire. >> anthony: and burning witches. >> man: we made those fires back in the day to keep the witches away. because they thought all the witches were meeting on this solstice and ba, ba, ba. >> alessandro: okay, where's the pork? >> rene: this is roast pork. >> alessandro: very, very traditional.
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without this, danes could not live. >> waitress: so, we have pork skin and chocolate, with freeze-dried blackberries for you guys to share. >> anthony: thank you. wow, that's wild! >> alessandro: that's wild. >> rene: it's the flavor of denmark, right? roast pork and crackling, red cabbage and pickles. >> anthony: yeah, that is a serious sandwich. oh, that's just amazing. >> rene: oh, a rainbow! this is almost too pretty. and there you go. >> alessandro: super cool, huh? >> rene: why don't we have the strawberries? >> alessandro: the triple crème, huh? it's delicious, man. >> waitress: so, we have a wild blueberry dessert.
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so, it's a sandwich. one for each of you. and, the first of the wild strawberries. >> anthony: beautiful. >> alessandro: look at this. like a picnic in the park, heh? >> anthony: mmm! wow! >> rene: so, the mid-summer day in denmark. >> anthony: wow. look at the witch. burn, witch, burn! ♪ ♪ >> waitress: how was it, you guys? you done? >> anthony: terrific, thank you. >> alessandro: unbelievable. >> anthony: look, i've eaten in a lot of great restaurants around the world and there's still a little part of me that will say, you know this is going to be bull -- the guy is out in the field yanking weeds out of the ground. i really didn't expect it to be as good as it was. it was delicious, it was
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amazingly delicious for me. >> niels: amazing. >> anthony: yes, i thought it was amazing. >> alessandro: it's not just about coming up with the greatest concept, it's just assembling what is out there, in a new and beautiful, authentic and delicious way. >> anthony: he has single-handedly transformed everybody's understanding of nordic cuisine. >> alessandro: where all the dishes, they tell a little bit of a story. you know, of the land, the traditions. >> anthony: but always delicious. always, always, always delicious first. he may be an ordinary guy, grounded, comes from a poor family, but he has big dreams and he wants to change the world. >> niels: yeah. and we can change it. never forget that, we can do that. ♪ ♪
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