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“Nadine plates artichokes a little differently from me,” says chef René Redzepi with a laugh. He and his wife lay two platters of the vegetables on a table set for friends under an apple tree in the courtyard of their Hans Christian Andersen–style home in Copenhagen. On one plate, artichoke leaves are neatly fanned out, while the other has a looser arrangement—neither appears more or less appetizing. But that doesn’t stop the assembled lunch guests, all from the city’s creative and culinary scenes, from ribbing the chef. “Pass me Nadine’s, they look effing delicious,” says the British baker Richard Hart, who is about to open Hart Bageri this fall. At the table are stylists, chefs, and servers, many from René Redzepi’s world, a world that has now extended beyond the sleek Bjarke Ingels–conceived building that is Noma 2.0 to a network of restaurants and cafés around the city. In this community it is known that there are two culinary talents in the family—one is the game-changing chef René, and the other is Nadine, the casual yet consummate hostess.
Last year Nadine (who goes by the full name Nadine Levy Redzepi) published her first cookbook, Downtime: Deliciousness at Home (Pam Krauss/ Avery), inspired by the simple meals she created for René and their three daughters as well as for gatherings exactly like this. Although Nadine is well ensconced in the Noma family—she worked as the restaurant’s chief reservationist before she began dating René, and has had various other roles since then—her own cooking style is very different from Noma’s military-like precision.
Guests, including the jewelry designer Patricia Tind and Noma’s head chef Mia Christensen, drift in slowly, as there is no particular start time. Only when they are assembled does Nadine begin to pull together the lunch: she boils the artichokes, steams the mussels, and whips up a salad. A spectacular seeded loaf of bread arrives courtesy of Hart, as well as a curious selection of natural wines.
A decision is made to take advantage of this particularly sunny summer afternoon and move the lunch to the courtyard that the Redzepis share with their neighbors. Katherine Bont, Noma’s head server, commandeers some off-duty chefs and Danish architect and interior designer David Thulstrup (he did Noma 2.0) to haul the long table outside. Chris- tine Rudolph, a food and set stylist, decorates the table with muted linens and ceramics sourced from regional artisans. Rudolph has been responsible for not only the look and feel of the cookbooks for Nadine and Noma but also for sourcing the restaurant’s much-coveted tableware. She also worked with Thulstrup to create the exquisite sculptures of sea and land detritus that decorate the walls of the restaurant.
“Everything is cross-disciplinary in Copenhagen right now,” says Rudolph, finishing up her casual tablescape as Nadine sets down a steaming pot of mussels. “Once the design community might have been slightly separated from the food scene,” says Rudolph. “But now there seems to be a total collaboration.”
Nadine Redzepi’s Black Book
ÆSTETIK: Designer Patricia Tind makes all her jewelry in her workshop and store. Gammel Kongevej 86c.
BIRGER CHRISTENSEN: Open since 1869, this shop stocks international and local fashion labels like Saks Pott and Pernille Lauridsen.
H. SKJALM P.: Selling a wide range of ceramics since 1953.
TABLEAU: This is a floral shop as art installation designed by architect David Thulstrup, the genius behind some of the city’s coolest spots, like Noma 2.0 and the Vipp hotel. St. Kongensgade 50.