Noma, widely considered the world's best restaurant, will close in 2024
It’s truly the end of an era for what is widely considered the world’s best restaurant, as Copenhagen’s Noma has announced it will close in 2024.
The fine dining establishment and three Michelin-starred restaurant is helmed by chef René Redzepi and has for a long time been one of the most highly sought-after dining experiences in the world.
In an Instagram post published earlier today, Noma shared the news that “Winter 2024 will be the last season of Noma as we know it.”
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This is one of the first and biggest casualties of the restaurant world of 2023 and will mark a major turning point for not only the restaurant but fine dining as we know it.
Several food news outlets have reported on the closure, including Eater, Grub Street, and the New York Times, noting that Redzepi has come to the conclusion that the highly labour-intensive, expensive dining model that the restaurant relies on “is no longer sustainable.”
Noma opened in 2003 and quickly established what became known as New Nordic dining – a style of preparation that relied heavily on hyper-local and seasonal produce and resulted in minimal, high-concept plating, influencing the rest of the dining world for the decades to come.
In Noma’s announcement post, the restaurant said, “To continue being noma, we must change” and “We are beginning a new chapter, noma 3.0.”
The restaurant published an extended announcement on its website, explaining that, after its final season in Winter 2024, the restaurant will be “transforming into a giant lab — a pioneering test kitchen dedicated to the work of food innovation and the development of new flavors, one that will share the fruits of our efforts more widely than ever before.”
This new iteration will see Noma popping up in different dining spaces around the globe too, and “when we’ve gathered enough new ideas and flavors, we will do a season in Copenhagen.”
“Serving guests will still be a part of who we are, but being a restaurant will no longer define us,” the note adds.
Noma has been named on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants list a staggering five times (in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2021), which means it was no longer even eligible to make the list.
Redzepi tells the New York Times that maintaining the restaurant’s incredibly high standards while paying its workers fairly has become completely “unsustainable.”
“Financially and emotionally, as an employer and as a human being, it just doesn’t work,” he tells the Times.
Noma’s closing, and its shifting to a more experimental, food-lab project, is an indication that the rest of the fine dining world is likely also at a breaking point – one that will need to change in the coming months and years as inflation and cost of living continue to skyrocket.
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