Disappointing DR

This is a different post from what I usually write, but I just feel I have to say this.

It has taken me a few days to really digest Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s (DR) noma documentary.

I knew DR was filming at noma and that there would be a broadcast this autumn. During my lunch and dinners at the restaurant I’ve been filmed several times while eating the food at my table, sharing a meal with blogger friends, having drinks at the bar or talking to Rene Redzepi, chatting with Heston Blumenthal, playing football at Mr. Burns’ football cup. After hours and hours of filming I imagined a series of 3-4 episodes showing noma behind the sceene – both in the kitchen and in the front.

What did we get? One single hour and with the uniform focus on Rene’s, at times, rough tone in the kitchen.

I’m really sad. This could have been such an exciting documentary that would have broadened our minds. But now DR has probably shut out any further opportunity for the press’ future access to behind the scenes of gourmet restaurants. If so, I understand, and I am really puzzled by why the portrait was angled like that.

I would much rather have seen the documentary drawing a picture of noma as a whole and with all aspects of the restaurant.

Why didn’t we for example see how they plan a day at noma, how they assign customers to tables, how they train the waiters, how they hire staff and what they say during an interview, how they start the working day in the morning? There are so many immensely interesting views to this fantastic and really unique working place. Of course the quick temper is a part of the story – but it’s not the whole story.

I fully understand if everyone at noma feels hoodwink.

I’m disappointed. DR could have made a beguiling noma documentary but they failed by turning it into yet another story of an angry chef.

6 Responses to “Disappointing DR”

  • Hi Trine

    I totally agree with you. Infact you describe a lot of isues that they could have shown instead, which would have been much more interesting!!

    You are right about, no media is ever going to film in a top gourmet restaurant anymore, unless they point out what it´s about.

    This year I have been blessed be having the possibility to have dinner 3 times at NOMA and i must say the quality and service have been extraordniary good and improving over the 3 visits. Last time was 5 days after the DR Channel showed the programme, and it was the best visit ever! I feel that DR shown one side af NOMA, and as you say there are many more… It was a badly produced programe.

    I hope some could show the positiviy of the danish gourmet scene! because it´s very inspireing.

    best regards


  • Line, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a long comment and argue for your opnion in a sober way!

  • Unfortunately, Trine, as with most of the Danish media (especially online newspapers, if you ask me) it’s not about conveying a true or fair story any longer – it’s about making a story that ideally stirs feelings, create headlines and last, but not least, create a lot of indignation too. To reach these three goals, the media use any tricks they can – any means necessary.

    This often results in what I regard as “bad journalism” where the reaction you stir in the viewer/reader/listener/what-not is prioritized above the true or fair story. So, I’m really not surprised by how the Noma documentary turned out. It’s TV after all. I’m just dissapointed, once again.

    Unfortunately, I’ve come to expect this bad journalism, because I so rarely see good journalism anymore. It does take a couple of days off of my life every time it happens (on a daily basis, if I read the online newspapers, so I stopped doing that), because of the bloodpressure it rises with me every time, but I’m getting better and better at just skipping checking the media altogether. I never watch the news anymore.

    I was looking very much forward to the Noma documentary, after reading about it on your site, and saw it online the day after broadcasting (I live in Denmark, but don’t watch TV anymore). All in all I share your frustrations about the production, although I must say, I liked the “look” they’d made for the program, with the nordic colors. I found it very sincere towards the clean style of Noma. I found that the interviews, especially with his girlfriend, came out very sincere and nicely.

    I was actually one of the few, it seems, who wasn’t shocked at all by his way of dealing with his employees. It could be much worse! and in fact, I thought he was very fair. He even gave reasons for his behaviour to his staff – how many kitchen chefs do that?

    When you are in the World’s top 10, you have to expect that your staff is up to the job every hour and every minute of the workday. Yes, it’s tough, but also necessary. If you’re not up for it, you don’t work at this level. I totally understand, why René can’t accept slow learners, or people who don’t “get” the food or the servings.

    Not every workplace can be a diplomatic sit-in-a-circle-and-let’s-discuss-everything kind of place, even though the union academics apparently think that. On another note, the employees actually seemed very happy about working there. They thought René was hard, but fair. All employees can have a sh*it day, where everything goes wrong, and the boss is after you. Who of us haven’t tried that? 🙂 Just a shame that the production team made “emotion-porn” out of it, to make it look like René ruined these people’s lifes, instead of conveying a fair story. But again, bad journalism – hardly surprising.

  • Just wondering if the documentary is up on the internet anywhere? I didnt realise Redzepi had a reputation for having a temper and am curios to see how he reacts in the kitchen. I managed to make it to noma back august and it was stunning so much so I intend to return later this summer!

Comments are currently closed.