What The Future Holds For Copenhagen's Noma After 2024 Closure

Copenhagen's Noma is one of the best restaurants in the world, which would seem like a highly subjective statement save for the fact that the restaurant's first incarnation took home the World's 50 Best Restaurants top ranking in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014, reports The Guardian. Noma's new location topped the list in 2021, which is no easy feat since it is voted on by over 1,000 experts from across the culinary world.

Chef René Redzepi has helmed both iterations of Noma, where he celebrates the bounty of Nordic terroir filtered through the lens of history, hyper-regionalism, and experimentation, says Berlingske. Food and people's connection with it has been his North Star since the age of 15 when he left school to fully study the culinary arts. Along the way, Redzepi had stints at some of the top restaurants in the world, such as Ferran Adrià's El Bulli in Spain and Thomas Keller's French Laundry in California. Eventually, he was asked to open Noma in a refurbished warehouse by Danish chef and entrepreneur Claus Meyer.

Foraging for little-known ingredients and procuring wild-caught game and fish have been the underpinning of Noma's success, notes Vogue. Diners the world over have ventured to Copenhagen to dine on inventive dishes such as celeriac shawarma, duck leg served with duck brain and heart, and sweet crab flatbread. But for all of the success and accolades, Redzepi has decided to close the dining room, though Noma isn't quite done yet.

A quest for new flavors

In late 2024, Noma will transition from a traditional restaurant to a culinary laboratory handling research and development for e-commerce venture Noma Projects, per The New York Times. Though regularly scheduled service will cease, the dining room still may host pop-up dinners from time to time.

Redzepi was on the forefront of a revolution in cooking, says Indy100, that saw techniques like fermentation find new favor, natural wines ascend in popularity, and elements of the natural world appear as part of plating. But, the chef explained that the changing restaurant scene didn't work with Noma's business model. His own expectations gave rise to "long hours and intense work" and his ability to properly compensate his employees for that level of work left him struggling.

Announcing the new venture — which they are calling Noma 3.0 — a post on the restaurant's website read, "Our goal is to create a lasting organization dedicated to groundbreaking work in food, but also to redefine the foundation for a restaurant team, a place where you can learn, you can take risks, and you can grow!"

The post further states that innovation and "the development of new flavors" will be central to Noma 3.0. Traveling will also play a central role, as the Noma team educates themselves more fully on world cuisines and ingredients and works to find ways to share the Noma experience with a larger audience.