After a six week stage in NOMA, the world’s No.1 restaurant, Eric Bulpitt arrived back in Cape Town last week and is back in the kitchen in Jardine.
He took time out to tell me about his time in NOMA, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“Noma is nothing fancy as a restaurant. There’s lots of bare wood and brick walls - floorboards, roof beams, burnt candles.
The Chef, Rene Redzepi, is down to earth and very friendly. In the kitchen he is totally focused, a machine, very serious and very passionate. If you get something wrong you listen to him, fix it and say “Yes Chef”.
There is complete and utter respect for him from the 28 chefs in the kitchen.
He is exceptionally creative. His food is very natural and totally unaltered and there is very little interference. He takes the landscapes of Denmark and presents them on a plate.
When you see what he does and look at the food on the plate you think ‘That’s perfect’, that’s the way it should be, no other way.
Rene’s way of cooking is tapping into a bigger thing worldwide. It’s to be greener, to respect produce, and to go back to nature.
We had a lot of locals and tourists as diners in the restaurants. There were lots of international food critics and chefs from all over the world. It is an experience to eat at Noma. There was even a dish that guests got to cook themselves at the table involving eggs and hay. They loved it.
There was this amazing interaction between Rene, us and the customers. It was as if everyone was making it happen together.
My time in Noma was intense, exciting. I was always in a hurry. There was always a lot of adrenaline running through me.
It didn’t happen overnight for Rene. It’s not going to happen overnight for me. I am just tweaking here, adjusting there, moving along to the place where I need to be.
I am about being open to ideas and being creative and delighting people with my food.
Suppliers are hugely important. Getting the right produce in great condition is crucial. I’ve been having some serious chats with my suppliers this week. I want to do things differently. I don’t want my veg arriving in plastic, I want it in wooden boxes. I need to get vegetables, meat and fish and anything else I cook with in as natural a state as possible and in peak condition. I’ve always had this connection with nature, but now I want to bring it to the fore in my cooking.
My time in Denmark has made me more passionate.
I’d go back in a heartbeat.
++45 3296 3297