The Real Reason René Redzepi Closed The Original Noma

After dominating the world of fine dining for most of the 2010's, renowned chef René Redzepi decided to close his ground-breaking restaurant Noma in 2016. The Copenhagen restaurant had won World's Best Restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014, and it seemed that it was time for a change (via Culture Trip).

Noma had redefined much of the fine dining world and shifted the attention away from classic epicenters of culinary delight like France and Italy to neo-nordic Danish cuisine. Redzepi's groundbreaking approach at that time was to explore cuisine through time and place. That approach earned him some of the top accolades in the dining world. After closing the doors of the original Noma he decided to take his restaurant on the road and explore the time and place of other cities around the globe (via Culture Trip). Noma popped up in Australia, Mexico, Japan, and even New York City for brief periods.

After years of wandering the globe, Redzepi returned to Denmark to relaunch as Noma 2.0 in 2018. But why was the restaurant closed down in the first place?

René Redzepi didn't want to fall into a routine

Redzepi finally gave an explanation for Noma's closure during an interview with The World's 50 Best Restaurants just before the restaurant's reopening in 2018.

"In hindsight now, I can see no matter what, success pushes you into some sort of formal way of thinking. Even in your own creative space. You become more square," said Redzepi.

He shared that after becoming such a massive success, he felt the need to shake up his work and decided to take the restaurant on the road rather than fall into a routine. "I think that's one of the most dangerous things for creativity, is routine," Redzepi explained, adding, "it does kill your creativity in my point of view." Redzepi went on to reveal that by launching his pop-up restaurants around the globe, it gave him and his team permission to fail again, and further push boundaries.

Noma 2.0 is now open again in Copenhagen, Denmark in a new facility. The menu rotates three times a year, and changes with the seasonal offerings of the year from meat and forage, seafood, and fruits and vegetables. Noma went on to recently take home the title of World's Best Restaurant yet again in 2021 (via World's 50 Best).