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spanielking

Rene Redzepi/Noma @ Claridges

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Anyone fancy this. I did. £195pp, yes cheaper than a trip there, poss a tad easier to score a table. I'm sure it would be quite a treat at such a venue. But got stuff on so cant go. Slightly better value than the French Laundry jobby at Harrods.

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Yes, I have registered and had the email and if I am lucky will most certainly go.

It may not have the "authentic feel" of Noma but I (hopefully) will taste his food without the hassle of waiting for a table at Noma, plus flights, travel, parking, taxis, etc.

It is over the top re value but I can't take it with me and its hardly Kelleresque price wise.

And yes he will do Saturday Kitchen. :wink:

Bring it on.

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My reaction to this went as follows:

1) :laugh: Oooh Rene Redzepi popup in London!

2) :hmmm: Oh only 5 courses

3) :wacko: HOW MUCH????

I'm convinced it will be more than five courses.

If it's not, I will stamp my little feet :wink:

It will be with the snacks and stuff, but honestly, why pay more for a watered down Noma experience when you can do the real thing for not much more, make a weekend of it, and visit other restaurants over there instead?

I'd consider something like this if it was a more reasonable price, or if the chefs were from some far away location that isn't on my radar in the future - but I'll pass on this.

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Yes, I noticed this and then noticed it again and again as the press release was uncritically rehashed by every food churnalist in earshot. This sort of uncritical approach to food reporting ("This is happening its great. Its great because its happening. And because the PR company told me too and I'm too lazy to do anything apart from rewrite press releases") really narks me.

Actually when I read the press release and the write-up on Hot Dinners a number of alarm bells went off.

The first thing that struck me was the number of covers (170 each service according to HD). I thought "Oh that sounded funny - I knew GR@Claridges was big but not that big. Then a closer look confirmed it isn't in the restaurant at all but in the Claridges Ballroom. So why was I worried? Well to put it bluntly if you're doing that many covers you're into the world of corporate catering, not fine dining (you know... a gazillion cold entrees plated in advance, no a la minute cooking and no more than three movements to plate each dish please...).

No matter how good you are you are going to struggle to maintain top-level consistency with that many covers flying out of the kitchen (believe me if you could Alain Ducasse or Daniel Boulud would have done it by now!). There's a reason why top tier venues generally run at about 40-60 covers and 1:1 (or higher) staff:diner ratio. It's an interesting compare and contrast to the French Laundry pop-up - far fewer covers and far more obviously trying to duplicate the experience of the mothership. The logical deduction is that Noma @Claridges will not be replicating the top-tier experience, despite charging a top-tier price.

Now to be fair Noma is closed at that time so I assume most of the brigade will be coming across (then again they may be using the downtime for stages or a holiday... who knows?) but they are still going to be doing what 4x the covers the restaurant normally does. I think it's pretty clear who's actually going to be doing most of the cooking - staff of the Claridges hotel kitchen.

The second thing was the menu. Five courses? The real Noma experience is a minimum of twenty. Even with doodads and inter-courses its clear this is a dramatically cut down experience (dare I say it... like a corporate banqueting menu?). An additional point - if the Noma ethos is about locally foraged ingredients you can forget that if you're doing 340 covers a day. I can't see how they can source ingredients in that quantity consistently without going through standard catering suppliers.

The third telling thing was the wording of the release "...where René Redzepi will be in attendance every day, together with his team of chefs from Noma". It may be nothing but it struck me as a rather strange sort of corporate doublespeak. For a start why do they need to go out of the way to confirm Rene will be there (is there a suspicion he won't?). Also why do they say "in attendance" rather than "in the kitchen" or simply "cooking". And does "every day" mean "every service"? As I said maybe its my paranoia but that was another part of the press release which sounded slightly off-key.

So to summarise at Noma (the mothership) you're paying about a hundred and sixty quid for a gazillion courses prepared by the crew. At Noma @Claridges you're paying 25% more for five courses prepared by the crew + the minions from the Claridges kitchen. Along with 169 punters sharing the event venue - sorry dining room - with you. TBH I bet if you looked hard enough on sleazyjet you could score a ticket for Copenhagen for close to the difference.

Needless to say given its the Oympics the event will undoubtedly packed by the potentates of the IOC, corporate sponsors and ambulance-chasing food bloggers who just want to say they've "done Noma" (or Noma-lite). I regret to say that I haven't "done" Noma, and I very much doubt that will change between 28th July and the 6th of August.

J

PS Oh one final thing. When the news popped out I noticed this telling tweet from Spoon (a food PR agency). "@ClaridgesHotel congratulations on the Noma signing ... that's a prize that I know many were chasing."

You see that's what this sort of gig is to people. It's not about the food or about the experience. It's just a prize to chase. Count me out.


Edited by Jon Tseng (log)

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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Jon a very well argued post. I agree.

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Looks like you have done a lot of research there Jon, and yes just below the surface it is not all that it seems.

I had not considered all of those covers and the banqueting hall effect.

Reluctantly I also agree on the plating up. I bet very little last minute cooking will be attempted.

And little or no foraged items! Heaven forbid. I will suffer withdrawal symptoms. They have become such a big part of our daily diet. :laugh:

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Needless to say given its the Oympics the event will undoubtedly packed by the potentates of the IOC, corporate sponsors and ambulance-chasing food bloggers who just want to say they've "done Noma" (or Noma-lite). I regret to say that I haven't "done" Noma, and I very much doubt that will change between 28th July and the 6th of August.

J

PS Oh one final thing. When the news popped out I noticed this telling tweet from Spoon (a food PR agency). "@ClaridgesHotel congratulations on the Noma signing ... that's a prize that I know many were chasing."

You see that's what this sort of gig is to people. It's not about the food or about the experience. It's just a prize to chase. Count me out.

Me too.


Martin

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I would like to take some small issue with Jon's 'churnalism' comment. We did not put the release on site ourselves but this was down to the fact that everyone else was already tweeting and blogging it and we had no more information than they did.

It is, it seems to me, perfectly legitimate to put PR releases out. One simply removes the superlatives and obvious hyping and reduces it to the facts. In this day and age no one working online has the luxury of a few hours, let alone a few days, to come up with 'think pieces' every time. In this case the facts were the facts and most online writers simply passed them on to the audience for them to make of what they would.

Personally, unless invited, I shan't go. £195 is a big chunk out of our budget and in fact it will be 2x that of course. We can do more with that kind of money than eat it, pay an intern for example.

I would rather eat Noma's food at Noma for most of the reasons others have put forward, but I can see that they will have no trouble selling seats at Claridges and will make a fair bit of money. No one suggests that Redzepi should turn down goodmoney do they, after all he went for enough years making very little and he is running a business

Is he selling out? That's a question that can only be answered after the food has been served and not before. Who knows, it might turn out to be worth every penny.

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Had a change of heart on this one. I owe you one Jon. You saved me £6/700. :wink:

Thing is, I was not busting a gut to get to Noma proper, so this diluted experience is for me now a no go. I can't really see them replicating the "real Noma". Don't the chefs themselves present the food to their customers? The more I think about the five courses (plus a glass of champers) the more I realise it simply cannot convey the real Noma experience.

I hope those who are going enjoy themselves though.

http://www2.seetickets.com/tasteofnoma/calendar.asp?e|artist=A+TASTE+OF+NOMA+AT+CLARIDGE%27S&filler1=id1tasteofnoma&filler2=multiid1tasteofnoma&filler3=

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Obviously despite the recession there are still plenty of idiots out there with money to throw away. You made a wise decision David. Good luck to René Redzepi and co though, if there are mugs out there with money to throw away milk them for all you can get.


Sid the Pig

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For anybody that did get a table its worth noting that travel will be a nightmare - this is slap bang in the middle of the Olympics.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Get a life David ,Campbell is history nobody will work with the man he is so arrogant,he says he is going to open two top class restaurants this year but do not hold your breath.


Sid the Pig

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Get a life David ,Campbell is history nobody will work with the man he is so arrogant,he says he is going to open two top class restaurants this year but do not hold your breath.

Aw Sid, you disappoint me. I have a life. A very good one indeed :raz:

We have not heard the last of John Campbell i can assure you of that :wink:

Back on topic. Its got mixed reviews just as i thought it would.

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