Rene Redzepi Warns ‘Success Can Be Dangerous And Limiting’; Reveals How He Overcame Burnout

Even the best chefs in the world, with the best restaurants and most sparkling reputations, occasionally have to ask themselves if they can get out of bed every morning to continue excelling. In this compelling talk from Rene Redzepi, he reveals that, even after Noma was declared “The Best Restaurant In The World,” he’d hovered perilously close to burnout. “Am I okay, I kept asking myself?” he recalled. “Well, I have every fucking perfect reason to be more than fucking perfectly okay.”

Speaking to an audience at the Terroir Symposium (which can be viewed on, Redzepi vividly described the new pressures of being declared the world’s best, as well as the grumpier, angrier person he became: “We’d suddenly become a fancy restaurant. We started listening to other people’s questions, like ‘You should have real silverware now!’ or ‘Are you sure you have enough luxury ingredients on the menu?’…or ‘Should the waiters now wear suits?’ Like the food would improve with a fucking bow tie.”

Eventually, thanks to a boatload of childhood memories and a realization that he should stick to his own vision, he eventually recovered, continuing to win the World’s Best distinction for the next few years. The ultimate lesson, though? “Success is a marvelous thing, don’t get me wrong,” Redzepi concludes, “but it can be dangerous and limiting.”

[h/t Eater]


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