1. We Went Diving in the Arctic


    from Rene Redzepi Noma / Added

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    ”Very few people can get three chefs to jump in the water. Roderick Sloan is the man who can and did. It is people like Rod who make the real magic behind what we do” -Trevor Moran, former product sous chef at noma. A day’s journey – two flights and a catamaran ride – North of Copenhagen lies the island of Nordskot. Floating high in the Norwegian Arctic, it bears witness to a truly unimaginable diversity of exotic life-forms, of which at least two our small team had an extraordinary experience with during a few, short winter days: sea urchins; and the mad Scot who catches them, Roderick Sloan. Live, Laugh, Love & DIVE Sea urchins have been around for some 600 million years. The Norwegian Green Sea Urchin, collected by hand by Sloan and his chief diver Paweł Laskowski from the Arctic Ocean, where water temperatures fall to between -2 and 2 C, is just one of about 700 species of sea urchin. Jumping into the ocean from a “bulletproof and unsinkable” ex-Norwegian Army boat (“Pirates, no stress”) during the dark and freezing winter months, they dive for 3-4 hours at a time, collecting between 100 and 150 kgs of urchins per week. When René Redzepi first contacted Sloan in 2007, he was not especially keen on more sea urchin adventures – he wanted to return to university and become an engineer. After several attempts to fob Redzepi off with every excuse in the book – from health and safety issues to bad weather and broken engines (as well as some considerable nagging from his wife, Lindis) – he eventually decided to give his passion for sea urchins another go. Since then, Sloan has rapidly become the epicentre for the rise of these Arctic delicacies. However, it’s not only urchins that he harvests by hand, but also the gently growing Mahogany Clam (there was one found in Iceland that was 507 years old), the sluggish-looking Softshell Clam and, most recently, the Sea Cucumber; supplying restaurants throughout Scandinavia and Northern Europe. After spending several days with Roderick, as our final day drew to a close, he said goodbye to us and left the house we’d been staying in on the small island of Grøtøy, off the coast of Nordskot. Suddenly, after a few minutes, he reappeared to let us know of the “fireworks” outside. As we lined up on the hill to watch the Northern Lights unfold (chef Matt Orlando squeeling with amazement) Sloan began walking down towards his boat. As I turned around to see what was going on, he stared into the darkness with the words: “I’m still gonna go home, you know”.

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    • Day 2 - Nordic Food Lab: Delineating the Edible and Inedible


      from madfeed.co / Added

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      Nordic Food Lab is a non-profit, self-governed gastronomic research institution, established in 2008 by head chef of Noma Rene Redzepi and gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer. Its purpose is to explore the building blocks of Nordic cuisine through traditional and modern gastronomies, and to share these results with chefs, academics, industry, and the public. From a houseboat in Copenhagen harbour, a group of professionals investigates old and new raw materials and techniques, developing knowledge and ideas for the Nordic region and the world. The Lab is supported by independent foundations, private companies, and government sources. Mark Emil Tholstrup Hermansen is an anthropologist graduated from Oxford University. Mark is also a member of the Nordic Food Lab. He recently presented a paper on An Anthropological Perspective on New Nordic Cuisine as an Expression of Nordic Identity. Lars Williams is Head of Research and Development Emeritus at Nordic Food Lab.

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