Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
The worship of food has reached an elevated plain at Copenhagen’s Noma, repeatedly voted ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ in Restaurant magazine. Celebrity chef René Redzepi and a tight circle of acolytes continually explore new refinements to the arrangement of nature’s flavours. Filmmaker Maurice Dekkers provides vicarious access to the circle as Redzepi’s team descend upon Tokyo to prepare for a five-week pop-up restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Putting Japanese cuisine and their own established repertoire to one side, they explore fields, forests and markets to identify distinctive flavours which they will combine to create a wholly new menu for a 15-course meal. Snapping turtles, fish sperm, mushroom water and yes, live ants, may or may not make the final cut when Redzepi himself arrives to apply his hilariously cryptic vocabulary of evaluation: “This tastes good but it’s not working” vs “This is totally amazing.” The film is designed, of course, to make you want to taste and judge for yourself, while also making it perfectly clear why a spoonful of ants at Noma might cost way more than your movie ticket.