The Trials of René Redzepi, Chef at the Best Restaurant in the World.

On Thursday, July 20, we will present Noma, My Perfect Storm, the second film in our summer screening series. Directed by Pierre Deschamps, it follows chef René Redzepi and his Copenhagen restaurant Noma, which was ranked best restaurant in the world by the British magazine Restaurant from 2010–2012. Deschamps was granted candid access to Redzepi during 2013, a turbulent year during which Noma was briefly unseated from its reign at the top of the chart, before regaining the title in 2014. "Do I believe that there is a 'best restaurant in the world'?" Redzepi asks during the film. "No, of course not. It's fucking ridiculous. But it changed this restaurant forever."

The film is a kind of sequel to Deschamps's 2009 documentary Looking North For A Gastronomic Revolution, which documented a storied invitational, in which Redzepi invited acclaimed chefs from across the globe to work with Nordic ingredients. The lunch and dinner they prepared for international food writers and select privileged diners became a legend that framed the future of Noma. Redzepi's increasing attention to foraging and his use of often little-known local ingredients developed into the central philosophy of the restaurant, where he became known for his schematic development of flavors (like a mad scientist, transforming raw materials through precisely detailed programs of aging, smoking, and other flavor-enhancing methods).

Redzepi characterizes this approach as the production of the building blocks for his new cuisine: "As a cook, you're creating a language. We need an alphabet to create sentences, and the more letters we have, the more beautiful the prose."

Deschamps, who is also a classically-trained chef, has a particular fascination with the visual language Redzepi creates in his cooking, and the exacting level of precision with which he approaches all aspects of service at Noma, where he observes there’s "a machine-like system of operation comparable to that of a Formula 1 team."

The film focuses on a period of extremely rapid gastronomical invention, an increasingly complex and interconnected world of global cuisine, and the restaurant that was, particularly in the latter half of its 13-year-existence at Strandgade 93, one of the brightest stars in fine dining. Subsequent pop-up versions of Noma have sprung up in Tulum, Mexico, and elsewhere; and Redzepi plans for a new version to open at a new location in Copenhagen later this year.

The film was awarded the Best Documentary at the San Sebastian Film Festival 2015. Redzepi himself said: "Over the last four years, Pierre was a witness to some of my happiest and most difficult professional moments. I am happy that Noma, My Perfect Storm shows these in a way that is both honest and profound."

Noma, My Perfect Storm will screen at 7pm on July 20. A reception will follow the screening. RSVP.