Weep, ye rabid food tourists around the world, for if you were planning a trip to Noma this July, you’re SOL. Rene Redzepi posted on the restaurant’s blog this morning that Noma would shut down for the entire month of July (and will reopen August 1st) in order to revamp its kitchen.
But while one’s first reaction might be to think “Oh, they’re doing it to prevent people from getting sick after that norovirus incident that hospitalized dozens of diners” (because that’s the reaction everyone has nowadays whenever Noma is slightly less than perfect), Redzepi says that it’s because they’re remodeling and upgrading the kitchen — which, unlike the rest of the restaurant, hasn’t been upgraded since Noma’s opening in 2003.
“What has become a jigsaw puzzle of kitchen equipment and workspaces,” he wrote, “will be demolished entirely and rebuilt from scratch with a goal of not only increasing flow and utility in the kitchen thereby improving service, but with an aesthetic and design aimed at providing a more comfortable and communal environment for our chefs.”
Last year, the upstairs area of the Copenhagen restaurant was remodeled into a lounge and test kitchen for Noma’s staff of fifty, and looked like the Platonic ideal of Scandinavian design principles (a.k.a. IKEA’s hotter sister). The kitchen, on the other hand, looks like the stern technophile futurist brother whose style’s never really evolved beyond The Matrix. Here, some renderings and blueprints from Noma’s blog prove our metaphor: