The crème de la crème of Danish chefs gathered at Customs House in Copenhagen over the weekend to celebrate the launch of the 2015 White Guide – the annual assessment of Denmark’s best gastronomic experiences.
For the second consecutive year, Noma came out top, closely followed by Copenhagen’s Geranium.
Return from Japan
For the last few months, the Noma team have been working manically at their temporary restaurant in Japan, curating dishes for hundreds of food journalists and gastronomic tourists.
But head chef and founder Rene Redzepi and his team were anxious to return to Denmark – not only for the awards ceremony but to unveil Noma’s new menu.
“I have already received several messages from the chefs who have tested the new menu at Noma,” Redzepi told those in attendance at the awards ceremony.
“It is really cool to get such a positive reaction the day before we start up in the kitchen again.”
Noma number one
Lena Ilkjær, the editor at the White Guide, told Politiken that it was another well-deserved award for Noma.
“They combine fine dining with rock ‘n’ roll,” she enthused. “Throughout the years it has only gone one way, and that way is forward. They have continually proven to have the most innovative kitchen and are constantly setting trends that others tend to follow.”
Geranium, Noma, Copenhagen Kadeau and Søllerød Kro were the nominees in the category of ‘Denmark’s best restaurant’. Noma beat Geranium by three points, with an overall score of 39 out of 40 for food and 96 out of 100 for the total experience.
“Within the top 10, the restaurants are not that far apart,” contended Ilkjær.
“It is only very minor factors that separate them. At Noma, a distinguishing characteristic is that the chefs come to the guests’ table and say hello when they sit down to have dinner. It is little things like this that set Noma apart.”
The White Guide reviewed 330 restaurants all over Denmark. The competition was judged by 15 experienced gastronomic reviewers and based on criteria assessing the handling of raw materials, the selection and handling of wines, the atmosphere and environment of the restaurants, and service.