Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

René Redzepi – A Work in Progress

It was late February of this year when I first followed Strandgade to make my way to the hallowed halls of Noma. On the small, artificial island of Christianshavn, you are not only surrounded by water all around, but you also have a wonderful view of the old town of Copenhagen, which is only a stone’s throw away, directly on the other side of the water.


It was also on this sunny February day that I first saw René Redzepi live and in action. About 150 culinary and food crazies had gathered on the second floor of Noma, actually more of a test kitchen and team area, to listen to the presentations of the first Mad Monday. The start of a monthly series of events in which current topics around culinary, creativity and of course food are discussed.


This broad spectrum is also evident in René Redzepi’s new book A Work in Progress, just published by Phaidon. At the heart of Noma is not only the constant search for the perfect dish at the perfect time, but also an eye for the basics. When is the ideal time for a product, what the perfect form of preparation, what combination suits this time of year.


The work presents itself in three parts, a 200-page diary of René, a hardcover cookbook with over 100 recipes, and a small book of snapshots and Instagram pictures. And it is precisely this combination that gives rise to a hitherto unknown closeness, a completely different relationship to the dishes than I have so far experienced in any other culinary work.


Thus, the typical reading posture of this work review follows the reading of the diary, to then look up from there the referenced dishes whose creation one was reading. Whereby not every dish succeeds immediately. On the contrary. Ideas are constantly being discarded, restarted, put on hold, tested with other products. The reader takes part in the many small and large setbacks of this process. Redzepi writes openly and honestly and does not spare insights into difficult phases of his life, tells about burnout, self-doubt and the permanent readjustment of the company Noma to create the so important space for creativity again and again and to bring his team back into a positive attitude, which is so important to create new things together.


In short: a fanatical project, not a cookbook with recipes to follow, but rather a showcase of work and an intimate insight into one of the best restaurants in the world and the driving force behind it. Unreserved recommendation. For chefs, foodies, gourmets, but also for all people who work in the creative environment, because many of the images and processes can also be transferred to completely different industries and topics.

A Work in Progress
René Redzepi
Photographed by Ditte Isager
636 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Phaidon
Published 11 November 2013
Price: €49.95

Fine salts from the salt garden

Fine salts from the salt garden

Allspice, Hamburg

Allspice, Hamburg

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