Ants on Yoghurt in the Noma Food Lab, Photo by Carl Reinholdtzon Belfrage
I was as shocked as you are, when I looked at this first-ever glimpse of a new dish from the world-famous kitchen of Noma, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Noma is the Michelin two-star that has zoomed to the top of many international lists as the world’s best restaurant. Chef-owner Rene Redzepi has created in Copenhagen a new Nordic cuisine, yes…but he has also been honing a style you might call “primitivist modern.”
I was in Champagne last week, where I was having a chat with a food/wine writer from Sweden, Carl Reinholdtzon Belfrage. Carl told me that on June 13, while observing a recipe development session at Noma’s “research centre” in Copenhagen, Lars Williams, the head of research and development, took Carl on a little drive to the woods–where they gathered live ants. Back at the restaurant, Carl says, Rene joined the group as the live ants were sprinkled on a bowl with yoghurt in it.
Redzepi’s intention is to put this crawly creation on the menu soon.
“Rene told us,” Carl continued, “that he likes the acidity that comes from the ant, almost citrus-like, especially in combination with fresh, natural yogurt.”
The world awaits the next major restaurant trend. Is Redzepi, who worked at El Bulli in 1999, preparing it?
P.S. You can watch a lecture given by Rene Redzepi and Lars Williams at UCLA this spring on recipe development: