The newest cookbook from esteemed Copenhagen-based restaurant Noma is sure to thrill haute cuisine nerds with hundreds of pages of editorial-style food photography and an introduction that features founder René Redzepi’s reflections on nearly 20 years of Noma. Typical Noma fare like Wax Broth and Chocolate-Covered Moss, (you know, casual finger foods) will take center stage in this latest publication from the Noma team. The one thing missing from this 352 page “cookbook”? Recipes.
Founded in 2003 by Claus Meyer and René Redzepi, Noma is regarded as one of the most innovative restaurants in the world. It holds three Michelin stars and has bounced around the top of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for over a decade. There’s a bit of a cult around it, with the idea that it serves not just food but “gastronomic experiences.”
The newest cookbook, released in November, is called Noma 2.0, in reference to the second incarnation of the restaurant. The three previous cookbooks from the Noma team follow a more traditional format—meaning that they have ingredient lists and detailed recipes for the home cook to follow—but Noma 2.0 features “beautiful prose” instead, according to a representative from the book’s publisher.
If “beautiful prose” was not what you had in mind when you committed to purchasing a $75 cookbook, rest assured that readers will be able to access recipes via a QR code within the book. Dishes include “Moldy Asparagus” and “Potatoes Cooked in Soil;” the former appears to be two long stalks of asparagus, white and furry with mold, while the latter comes in a flower pot. In the place of step by step instructions, Noma 2.0 features dramatic photography accompanied by austere paragraphs with descriptions of how the dishes come together. “Trimmed artichoke leaves and hearts are cooked separately in truffle juice, seasoned with a few pieces of roasted kelp salt,” reads a passage entitled “Boiled Artichoke.”
For the cookbook buyer hoping to actually cook from their cookbooks, this will sound absurd. But for fans of Noma, this is…maybe right on track? The whole point of going to Noma is that you can’t make the food at home, and even in the previous cookbooks that do feature recipes, they’re not really achievable for the home cook. See: Mutsu Apples and Reindeer Tongue or Trash Cooking with Leeks (?!).