cover image Noma 2.0: Vegetable, Ocean, Forest

Noma 2.0: Vegetable, Ocean, Forest

René Redzepi, Mette Søberg, and Junichi Takahashi, with Nate French. Artisan, $75 (352p) ISBN 978-1-648-29172-2

The team at Noma 2.0, Copenhagen’s gastronomic destination and a perennial fixture on world’s best restaurant lists, deliver an unconventional cookbook that eschews step-by-step instructions for narrative descriptions and stunning photography. Dishes are organized seasonally, but not traditionally so; there is vegetable (May through August), forest (September through December), and ocean (January through April). Noma’s acclaimed inventiveness is evident throughout. Crudité selections—including candied pine cones compressed with pine vinegar—are arranged with careful precision. A cauliflower waffle is as pretty as any bloom found in nature, while an edible cardamom-scented candle with a walnut wick is a fantastic trompe l’oeil. Black pear purée is shaped into stag beetles, and pastry dough transforms into butterflies. Elevated desserts include chocolate-covered cod skin. Whether home chefs would be brave enough to attempt seaweed pie or reindeer brain jelly served in a cleaned reindeer skull is debatable, however, and most will question where or how to obtain some of the more esoteric ingredients, as the authors don’t provide guidance. No traditional recipes appear, though for those willing to give it a go, each dish is accompanied by a QR code that links to detailed instructions. This is the essence of culinary creativity, and chefs looking to venture out of their comfort zones will find inspiration to do so here. (Nov.)