Noma’s Kitchen is Evolving
By Annika de Las Heras - May 3, 2013
When we first opened in November 2003 – nearly ten years ago now – our kitchen and overall operations were quite different from what they are today. We had a small staff of about nine or ten people in total: three waiters and one apprentice to run the front of house; and, in the kitchen, three chefs and two apprentices. A ‘busy’ lunch for us meant about 10 guests in the restaurant – and, to serve them, we did what we could with four gas burners and little else in the way of proper kitchen equipment.
Over the years, as our staff grew and our dining room saw more and more guests, we were able to sporadically expand the kitchen; one month buying a paco jet, the next a blast freezer or a dehydrator, making room for them where we could as we went along.
Almost ten years later, we have a kitchen staff nearing fifty people and close to twenty in the front of house. In that time, we have luckily been able to renovate certain areas of the restaurant to better suit our growing family and to ultimately find ways to provide a better experience for our guests. In the summer of 2011, we underwent a rather extensive renovation to our first floor that has had a considerable and positive impact on our daily lives. Our goal in renovating our upstairs space, previously a banquet room, was to create a collaborative and comfortable space: one that has room for all of our staff to come together every day to eat staff meal; and to bring our various operations, including the office and our test kitchen, altogether. Having this space for ourselves has given us an area to relax, reflect and unwind together, creating benefits that extend into the dining room.
Now, as we approach our 10th anniversary, it is time to bring that atmosphere and functionality into our kitchen. What has become a jigsaw puzzle of kitchen equipment and workspaces, will be demolished entirely and rebuilt from scratch with a goal of not only increasing flow and utility in the kitchen thereby improving service, but with an aesthetic and design aimed at providing a more comfortable and communal environment for our chefs.
Demolition will begin 01July and final renovations will be completed by 20 July, just in time for our reopening, after the summer break, on 01 August.
Below lies a sneak peak …