The colorful houses along the canal flow by, while our taxi travels along the road that separates us from the city center and Noma. Copenhagen is beautiful, in its hushed atmosphere, typical of Nordic cities, the air is pungent and perhaps that is why, in an attempt to warm up, people walk fast. The 4 of us, 2 journalists and 2 photographers, crammed inside the vehicle, are planning our shooting day which, like every time, will be duly disrupted by events. I reflect, trying to picture and finding a way to tell, through images, what the author of the piece would like to emphasize, and in the meantime I look out the window, fascinated and curious, the houses make room for nature, whose autumn colors are more intense than ever.

We arrive at our destination, the pale sun welcomes us in an unexpected backlight behind the first greenhouse, the one destined to welcome customers with a nice tea before dinner, the fire is lit in the fireplace and like any self-respecting greenhouse, the plants prevail. René Redzepi, the chef par excellence, one of the most famous chefs in the world, welcomes us while biting an apple, dressed like one of the boys of the brigade: he greets us quickly, entrusts us to Arve, the communication manager, and leaves. It is 9:30 in the morning and thus begins our day in the restaurant that has won, for the fifth time, the “Word 50 Best”.I am excited, I confess!  We enter from the side door, the one that gives access to the reinforced concrete structure which was once used by the Danish Navy to store mines.We walk along the long corridor (110 m) that passes through it, and which overlooks a kitchen for preparations, the laboratory for fermentation, and staff areas, there is fervor, everyone has a specific task and the soft shouting of the boys of the brigade catches our attention. There are so many of them: 79 from 27 different countries that work in unison like the perfect cog of a watch. At the end of the corridor, the kitchen opens, at the center of everything, the chefs from here dominate the space and supervise the rooms, and from the rooms the guests experience their skilful work in real time. It’s difficult to choose a shot, to decide what to prioritise through the lens.

Here everything is extraordinarily beautiful, harmonious and warm. From the large windows of the new structure of the restaurant made of glass and wood, the gaze gets lost in the garden which, with its apparently wild look, shows off shapes and colors of pure poetry.  Renè Redzepy, class of ’77, son of an Albanian immigrant who, as he reminisces,  worked hard all his life, and of a Danish mother. He has come a long way since attending catering school and since opening Noma in 2003, the first Scandinavian chef to cook native ingredients. He has come a long way and still has a long way ahead, and many new projects. It’s evening, the guests are about to arrive, the boys run to set up the last things, outside, at dusk, the candles are lit, illuminating the path and it is immediately magic.

Stefania Giorgi

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