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Cover: 'Hungry'

Staff Review: "Hungry" by Jeff Gordinier


Step inside the restless, forward-thinking mind of one of the best chefs in the world with author Jeff Gordiner's account of years spent on-and-off with Rene Redzepi.

Redzepi is the owner and head chef of Noma, the Copenhagen, Denmark restaurant consistently ranked one of the best (sometimes the best) restaurants in the world. It's difficult to succinctly describe Noma, but it's safe to say the restaurant takes the locavore movement to the extreme - think seaweed and other vegetation foraged from a local beach, fruit grown on-site and picked at the peak of ripeness hours before serving, or ingredients pickled or fermented in Noma's own fermentation lab. The staff use these ingredients and many others to create one-of-a-kind dishes that may never be recreated. And people come from all over the world to pay hundreds of dollars (per meal) for the experience.

Gordinier paints a detailed portrait of Redzepi, who is never content to cruise but constantly challenges himself and his staff to create new combinations of food which, in turn, challenges the palettes of his diners. (Two examples: sea urchin and hazelnuts, deliciously described by Gordinier; and ice cream with a crust of ants. Yes, ants.) We travel with Redzepi and his team as they create pop-up Noma restaurants in Australia and Mexico and learn what it takes to create a world-class restaurant basically from scratch. We also follow along as Redzepi works to tear down the original Noma to create a second version unlike any other restaurant in the world.

Part biography, part memoir - Gordinier shares just enough about himself and why he took part in these adventures - and part travelogue, Hungry is an interesting look at the world of high-end restaurants, and a unique and visionary chef, that foodies and non-foodies alike would enjoy.

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography, memoir

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