Chef Thorsten Schmidt and Snøhetta remodel the house where Noma lived.
Strandgade 93, Copenhagen is perhaps the most illustrious address in contemporary gastronomy. In the 18th-century warehouse with a façade of whitewashed brick, and views of the city’s inner harbour, lies the HQ of Noma, a family of restaurants that has pioneered the New Nordic movement, and incubated more international culinary talents than anybody except the now-defunct El Bulli. The first floor currently houses Noma’s office and test kitchen, led by co-founder and head chef René Redzepi, while the ground floor was for 14 years home to its eponymous flagship restaurant. Until February, that is, when the restaurant closed its doors and affirmed its plans to reopen near the rough-and-tumble neighbourhood of Christiania by the end of the year (a seven-week pop-up ran in Tulum, Mexico in the interim).
While fans have trained their eyes on this audacious act of reinvention, another new member of the Noma family has been quietly in the works, set to occupy the hallowed grounds of the original restaurant. So far little has been revealed, barring a sign on the front door with the message, ‘Something new is cooking here…’. This is something of an understatement given the formidable talents behind the new project – executive chef Thorsten Schmidt, Norwegian architects Snøhetta and serial entrepreneur Thomas Møller Jensen, who has been brought on board as managing director. Come early July, they will be reopening the ground-floor space as a new restaurant, called Barr.
An old friend of Redzepi’s, Schmidt is one of the top names in Nordic cuisine. He and his wife, Rikke Malling, ran an acclaimed restaurant, Malling & Schmidt, in Aarhus between 2005 and 2012. Since then, he has consulted, travelled, judged the Wallpaper* Best Urban Hotels awards (see W*174), and even developed a Danish dinner for the International Space Station’s astronauts.
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