Cook It Raw!

The most extraordinary thing happened to me: Chef René Redzepi invited me to the Cook it Raw! event – a culinary gathering of 11 top chefs of the world to take place at restaurant noma on Sunday 24th May, 2009.

The setup was inspired by the COP15 – United Nations Climate Change Conference this coming December and it was organised by Alessandro Porcelli of Nordic Gourmet Tour, in collaboration with René Redzepi, Andrea Petrini of Omnivore, L’Express (France) and the Danish Ministry of Business and Economic Affairs.

The theme for the cooking was rawness as a culinary technique and a meditation on nature, rawness as an interpretation, a legacy of something lost that needs to be regained, resuscitated and purified. Creativity beyond technology – Cook it raw, cook it clean!

The sun was shining beautifully from an azure blue and serene sky. I arrived at 6:51 pm, a bit too early, and jumped out of the car right in front of the noma entrance. Fortunately, I was not the first to arrive. A few people were already waiting at the wharf, chatting and enjoying the noma beer, which was served as the drink.


Inside, I was warmly welcomed by René, wearing such a smitten smile. He explained that there was a bustle in the kitchen and that the dinner would begin about a half hour later. Alessandro Porcelli welcomed me as well and ticked my name on his list.

I talked a bit with Lau and some of the staff. It was more than 3 months since I last visited noma, and I simply just enjoyed to be back in the beautiful premises and to sense the mood and atmosphere there again. Nadine, René’s wife, was so kind to me and summarized for me what had taken place already for the past last two days and what tonight’s plan was.

Then more guests arrived: International and Danish press, representatives of the Danish Ministry of Business and Economic Affairs, wine merchants, chefs and friends of the house.


Snack of fresh shoots with terragon terroir

At the tables all the guests were mixed with different nationalities. I had the pleasure of having Andrea Petrini and Bob Noto next to me.

Sommelier Pontus served the first (white) wine in high, slender glasses.  I was blessed with not only a glass of wine but also with the warmest greeting, and a kiss on my cheek too.

We the guests were suggested to have a guess on the wine. It appeared to be Danish. I’ve never tried any Danish wine before, so I didn’t guess this one. It was a tiny bit sparkling, and the scent and the taste were dominated by flowery Sauvignon Blanc notes and had a slightly sweet Riesling touch. It was easy and delicious, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was better than what I had imagined a white wine from Denmark to be.

Then the show got kicked off and each of the chefs presented his dish and the ideas behind it.



2008 Arwen, Lilleø, Denmark


A bull rush


René Redzepi


What’s inside this white box?


Fjord shrimps – alive and kicking!


Raw vegetables/bull rush/Fjord shrimps natural
Salad of green strawberries and tree shoots

I have to say straight away that the level of the cooking was extremely high. We’re talking perfection. The dishes were consistently pure, virginal almost. They tasted very fresh and light but the flavours came through distinctly. Actually, I didn’t  find them particularly sushi-like or too Asian/Japanese inspired.


Ichiro Kubota, Umu


Langoustines with Kinome pepper and mousse of broad beans
Oyster with Japanese citric dressing
Turbot with 5 spices and venison sauce with Yuzu pepper

2007 Muscadet Sevre et Maine ‘Granite’, Domaine de l’Ecu (Guy Bossard), Loire

The dish of Ichiro Kubota from restaurant Umu in London took my breath away. He totally moved me with this serving. First of all, the beauty of this dish was just obvious. Secondly, he served my favourite kind of oyster: Limfjord Oyster which I love for its delicate meatiness and subtle sea flavour. Third, the tastes were just incredible, full of complexity, delectable and surprising. One flavour sort of took over where another one ended; it was like a wave of new savours with a mixture of known ones. The finish was so long. A truly seducing dish.


Daniel Patterson, Coi


Earth and sea; new harvest potatoes and coastal greens

2006 Tocai Friulano, Roncús, Fiuli Venezia Giulia


Massimo Bottura, La Francescana


Pollution – 20.30 Modena


Claude Bosi, Hibiscous


King crab, pickled cucumber, white miso and beach herbs

2007 Riesling GG ‘Frühlingsplätzchen’, Emrich-Schönleber, Nahe


Dave Chang, Momofuku


Hawthorne, valley buttermilk, apple dashi with Dragsholms herbs

2007 Riesling GG ‘IDIG’, Christmann, Pfalz


Pascal Barbot, L’Astrance



Marinated mackerels, smoked eel and wild angelica

NV (2004) Vin de Table Tourraine ‘SauVignon’, Domaines des Maisons Brulées par B. et M. Augé

Pascal Barbot surprised me by an exceptionally high quality fish and by the composition of it as a whole. The way the dish was presented was just marvelous. It was sharp and the flavours were distinct. The texture of the green soup in the cup was thick-ish and a little piece of smoked eel underlined the theme and combined the two servings. A very strong impression with a lot of character. His serving came second on my list, after Kubota’s.


Inaki Aizpitarte, Le Chateaubriand


Lobster, pigeon liver, chicken liver, wood sorrel

2006 Grüner Veltliner ‘Spiegel’, Fred Loimer, Kamptal


Davide Scabin, Combal.0



Steak Tartar B:C:

NV (2007) Rosé Vin du Table ‘Chemin de la brune’, L’Anglore, Rhône


Joachim Wissler, Vendôme


Venison and jellified pumpernickel soup

2006 Blaufränkish ‘Necken Markter’, Moric, (Roland Velich), Burgenland – wonderful wine this one.


Albert Adrià, El Bulli


40 sec bisquit and sorbet of flowers

The noma staff was incredible this evening. Throughout the night each of the guys came to my table and asked how I liked the food and how I was feeling. All of them were extremely kind and loving. That’s how I felt it anyway.

In fact, the whole atmosphere at the event was really warm and friendly. At the end of the night it felt like we were all part of one big family. The guests were giving standing ovation to the chefs; they earned it! Everybody was happy.

Cook it Raw! was a huge success. I sincerely hope we’ll se more international culinary gatherings here in my city. Kudos to Alessandro, Andrea and René!

René, I thank you dearly for inviting me and giving me an experience of a lifetime!

Links to more articles on Cook it Raw!:

39 Responses to “Cook It Raw!”

  • Ciao Alessandro, thank you. Steve P mentioned he would be interested in doing a RAW event in NY, possibly.

  • Ciao Trine,

    2nd edition of the RAW…


  • Great, Ghina! 🙂 Thanks

  • Indeed he did!!!! I was humbled by Edoardo’s comments to be honest..

  • Ahh, I see!
    Did you get hold of Ghina?

  • one secret ingredient was missing , mild spiced grilled small red peperoni from basilicata ! try to cook it olivier rollinger style

  • Good that you found Ghina without my help, dado. Thanks so much for the bonus info. It was such a wonderful dish, the tartar.
    Sounds awesome, your dish of the week. I will let you know next time I’m around Piemonte! Thank you!

  • ok i found her number thanks trine if you are ever in piemonte !
    my dish of the week fresh hand made spaghetti-nero di seppia w emulsion fried corriandre , corail d oursin islandais , merou grillé ,bisque de crevettes grizes minute , poully Valette 1994 , fleur de sel de Trapani, huile d olive cru 2007 nocellara denoyautée TERRA PURA basilicata ! enjoy

  • could you please send me the e-mail of ghina and her libanese philosofy , she is the chef that created the tartare caviar canelle , she should be credited for it ! I need to invite her to piemonte for the tartufo season ! She was a trainee chef at Combal zero where she presented her dish initialy…she wrote a comment a little higher on this page !


  • Thanks Trine, that helped 🙂

  • Dear Lotte

    Thank you so much for your kindness!
    Congrats, it’s great that you’re going to noma! It is really different what people wear, many wear jeans, which I have done many times. In fact, I would consider my companion’s taste or expectations more than the restaurant (I would wear a dress if I went with my boyfriend or husband). One thing though, I would never wear too much glitter – noma is too pure and natural for that. 😉
    Hope this helps, otherwise let me know!
    Enjoy your evening!

  • dear Trine,
    I love your blog and especially the Noma articles as I am going there for the first time on October 9th for a (as I’m sure it will be) wonderful dinner. It sais “no dresscode” on their website but I’m sure you can give me some pointers as to what the guests normally wear. Is it mostly businesspeople/formal clothes or more shabby chiq/casual? And what not to wear if anything… If you are bothered to answer in another comment i would be most grateful.
    thanks in advance 🙂

  • u.e. – Thank you, and you are completely right about Patterson’s dish.

    Torsten – I’m sure René would never be away from noma for very long. I’m so happy to hear you are going this October. good for you!

    ghina – I really loved the whole concept of that tartar. 🙂

  • I am so glad that people liked the steak tartare,in fact there is a complete philosophy behind that dish.

  • Hello Trine ,fantastic , amazing,wonderful pictures.
    i plan my next trip to noma in october,but i heard rene is cooking in austria /restaurant ikarus in this time?But not for a mounth or???
    Thanks Torsten

  • Also, I had Daniel Patterson’s dish at coi the day before he left for Copenhagen. It looks so pretty, no?

  • Trine, excellent report and wonderful pictures, as always.

  • Hey Tøger Torkel

    Thanks 🙂 a lot for stopping by and for dropping a note!

  • Sounds amazing! I wonder why I wasn’t invited- will have to have talk with Rene…

    Great site by the way!

    Tøger Torkel

  • Buonasera e buonissimo, Alessandro! Grazie!

    Ps. Lunch today was really lovely 😀

  • Aaron – thanks for stopping by! And yes, the tartar was beef. A wonderful dish!

    JC – 🙂

    Alessandro – Grazie – added to the list… A pity that Søren Frank’s MS article isn’t online.

  • I’m gonna go kill myself now. I’m so jealous!

  • Wow, Trine! What a cool opportunity. Thanks for sharing all of the photos with us.
    I was going to ask you whether Scabin’s tartar was beef or veal, but I think I’ve answered my own question by looking at that Decanter article — beef shoulder!

  • Felix, yeah a truly amazing experience, I’m so greateful I got invited.

    Alex, yes and they matched very nicely with the pure flavours with the food.

    Yin, you are flattering me and too kind (as usual;). Looking so much forward to experiencing a lovely meal with you again soon!

    Josh, I know, and somehow I can’t believe that I’ve really experienced this.

    Alessandro, grazie a te per farlo possibile! I’ve decided to add up all the link at the bottom of this post. Of course, I’m interested. Sorry your comment wasn’t posted right away. My spam filter is holding back comments containing more than one link.

    Henrik, I’m so delighted to hear this. Comments like yours make me continue blogging on days when I feel uninspired.

    Chuck, yes we missed David Kinch. Really hope I’ll get to experience his cusine one day. See you soon!

    TonyM, thank a lot for your comment!

  • What a fantastic event and the food looks just AMAZING!! I am very jealous.

  • That looks like a dream meal to me. Throw in a David Kinch (Manresa) dish and maybe a piece of sushi or two and I could go out like that.

  • Amazing job Trine!

    I can honestly say that reading your blog makes my day every time! Being a poor student on a budget that is as un-noma-like as possible it is such a pleasure to read your reviews and articles about the workings of the culinary world. The pictures speak for themselves but combined with your words it is just amazing fun to read!

    I hope i will get to experience noma in the near future, just the thought of being in the presence of a great chef such as René Redzepi makes me tingle with excitement, keep up the good work!

  • the name of the journalist who translated Scabin dish, is Carla Capalbo…check her article on and if you’re interested please also read James Brennan article on The National in Dubai cheers!

  • thank you so much for the beautiful words you’ve used to describe the event, grazie Trine!

  • Wow what a wonderful event to have had the chance to experience! Your very lucky!!

  • Hi Trine – this sounded like fabulous fun – and is further confirmation of your überblogger status! 😀

    and congrats to all involved.

  • Wow incredible! Plus you had some very nice Rieslings.. (btw, it’s Joachim Wissler, he’s not a Spaniard or Portuguese as far as I know ;))
    Greets, Alex

  • F**ck me, this must have been quite something. All of these guys in one evening, can’t believe it. It really must have been an experience!

  • That dish – the tartar was top three for me. The temperature of the meat was perfect and not fridge cold or too warm . The flavour was deep, full and pure meat without being too ripe. The caviare added salt and functioned like a spice and pulled out more taste. The tiny green leaf gave a bit of freshness. Of course it made me think of René’s ox tartar. We licked the meat of the leaf.
    Mr. Scabin was such a story teller and hearing him presenting it with the fab. interpreter/jounalist (I’m not sure of her name) it was like a show. So enjoyable for the body and the mind.

    It was 60 hours. 6 chefs working for 10 hours each 😉 He made a very good point.

  • One word – WAUW. That is like going to Graceland and have a dance, a meal and a game of chess with the King himself.

    That must have been unbelievable, and I’m so glad you got to go – very early Christmas present 🙂

    It really seems like the world is exploring the opportunities the Nordic Cousine offer, which is great news for all of us.

    I read that the Steak Tartare B.C. took like a million manhours to make, and the result sure looks crazy, but how about the taste?

    Looking forward to football, just started running yesterday to get in shape, which means I walk like an old old man today. Sure hope those chefs are slow…. 🙂

  • Alessandro Porcelli has posted some comments about the Cook it Raw event here. Check them out!

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