This week's big restaurant moves news was less about the usual chefs changing restaurants and more about actual whole restaurants picking up sticks and moving to new continents for a bit. Kind of like junior year abroad, but with more foraging, soils, and modernist cuisine
First, Rene Redzepi posted on the noma website over the weekend that the team was saying sayonara to Copenhagen and setting up shop in Japan for two months in the beginning of 2015. He explained that " Five years ago I was invited there by chef Murata of the acclaimed Kikunoi and I was awestruck by the richness of Japanese food culture. In some way since that first visit I’ve been secretly planning this temporary relocation.
Although our entire staff will move to Tokyo, we’ll leave our ingredients at home. Rather we’ll bring our mindset and sensibilities to the best of pristine winter produce from all over Japan.
The whole staff is exhilarated, like myself, by this opportunity and we believe that the wealth of knowledge from the journey will enrich our own restaurant and cooking when we return to Copenhagen."
Then, British modernist Heston Blumenthal announced that he is taking The Fat Duck (and all its staff) on an Antipodean adventure. After the holiday break at the end of 2014, the team will report back to work, not in Bray, England, but in Melbourne's Crown Towers Hotel in Southbank. Beginning February 2015, The Fat Duck will be in operations in Australia for six months, while the 1640 building that houses the Duck back home is refurbished. After six months, The Fat Duck will return home, and the Melbourne restaurant will transform into another location of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
Any Cooking District readers planning to take the whole restaurant on a holiday? And can we come along?