Each year we see a number of new people; they are young, fresh-faced, filled with passion and an unbridled sense of curiosity that brings them to our restaurant, eager for a new experience. Here they work alongside our kitchen’s regular staff of twenty-four as part of a three month internship – they get a glimpse into our way of life and we give them an opportunity to become an integral part of our restaurants’ daily operations; the foraging, harvesting from our farms, and the opportunity to see ingredients through to the guests.
They participate in creating dishes during our Saturday Night Projects, attend lectures by the Nordic Food Lab and hopefully a seed is planted for understanding seasonality. These dear interns, or stagiers as they are called in the industry nomenclature, are a fundamental part of our trade, and we would certainly not be where we are today without this group of eager students and young chefs volunteering their time. For us, the internship program serves as an invaluable source of help in all the daily chores. But even more importantly, it has been a great basis for new friendships and each time we hire new staff, they almost always come from this pool of talent. For instance, every one of our current sous chefs are former stagiers.
Our chef René was himself a stagiere around the world before opening noma. It is a part of sharing ideas and knowledge that is quite special in our trade. We wouldn’t want to be without stagiers and we believe that everyone that has been through noma shares in part of our success. But amidst this cycle of interns that flow in and out of the restaurant every few months, we also sometimes say goodbye to members of our staff. So we want to highlight some of them here and show our support in their endeavours. These are people that have dedicated a significant amount of time (sometimes as much as nine years) to our restaurant. It is also a tribute to a small group of people that have made a special impact here.
The noma alumni…
Denmark • Claus Henriksen: former sous chef at noma; head chef at Dragsholm Slot, 100 km west of Copenhagen • Christian Puglisi: former sous chef at noma; founder and head chef of Restaurant Relae and owner of Manfreds & Vin in Copenhagen • Kim Rossen: former assistant restaurant manager at noma; partner, co-founder and restaurant manager of Restaurant Relae and Manfreds &Vin in Copenhagen • Torsten Bachmann Vildgaard & Søren Westh: former Head of R&D in the Test Kitchen, and sous chef, respectively; co-founders of the company En-Spire • Samuel Nutter and Victor Wagman: former sous chefs at noma; opened Restaurant Bror in Copenhagen March 2013 • Matt Orlando and Julie Orlando: former head chef at noma and waiter at noma; opening restaurant Amass in Copenhagen in July 2013 • Søren Ledet: former sous chef at noma; owner and restaurant manager at Geranium in Copenhagen • Jesper Kirketerp: former sous chef at noma; partner and head chef at Radio in Copenhagen • Anders Selmer: former restaurant manager and sommelier at noma; founder and co-owner of Fiskebaren in Copenhagen
Norway • Jo Bøe Klakegg: former chef-de-partie at noma; co-owner and head chef at Restaurant Fauna in Oslo
Ireland • Yannick Van Aecken and Louise Bannon: sous chef and chef-de-partie in pastry; opening Restaurant NEDE in Dublin
Australia • Benjamin Greeno: former sous chef at noma; head chef at Momofuku Seiōbo in Sydney • Ben Devlin: former chef-de-partie at noma; head chef at Esquire in Brisbane • Cory Campbell: former sous chef at noma; head chef at Vue de Monde in Melbourne
USA • Blaine Wetzel: former chef-de-partie at noma; head chef and partner at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington • Daniel Burns: former pastry chef at noma; opened Tørst, a beer bar in Brooklyn in March 2013, which will be followed by the opening of a restaurant, Luksus in May 2013 • Mads Refslund: original co-founder of noma; consulting head chef of ACME in New York City • Milton Abel: former sous chef in pastry at noma; head pastry chef at The French Laundry in California
Poland • Robert Trzopek: former chef-de-partie; co-owner of Tamka 43 in Warsaw
Singapore • Andrés Lara: former pastry chef at noma; pastry chef at Pollen Street