tv Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN October 7, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT
american dream. love it or hate it, this is it. ♪ -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com > this is your first time to denmark? >> i've got to be honest, i usually try to avoid clean, orderly countries without massive social countries. if you're not the poster boy for the entire country, you should be. >> we go? >> yes, let's go. you were saddled with the weight of best restaurant in the world. this looks totally bogus. it's fantastic. >> you have to work 20 hours a day in order to achieve this. they're waiting now. let's go. it's so much mess about -- whoo! it's about bang.
once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a place, a very special place, a clean, orderly, and nice place. usually i hate clean, orderly, and nice. the air smells fresh and physically fit, statuesque blondes lined by old buildings and canals. i read something disturbing on my way here. apparently denmark is, like, the happiest place on earth. they actually keep stats on this. apparently denmark is far and away number one the happiest, most content place on earth. >> well, the colleges are the same for everybody. >> free? >> free. >> that's un-american. that's socialism, isn't it? >> yes. i mean, here, that's not a bad word. >> okay, they pay, like, 60% of their earnings in taxes. but then they do get things like free health care. 52 weeks maternity leave on full
pay. >> when i had my kids two rooms down, that's where the future king had his kids. >> there's no, like, beyonce suite. >> no. we're all there. we're all the same. that makes people more happy. >> that looks like a nightmare to me. >> by the way, it would be helpful to point out, this show is not about denmark. it's not about copenhagen. i'm here for one man. >> follow this way. >> and one restaurant. >> and then we can start. >> noma is the place where renee pretty much changed the whole world of gastronomy. for three years in a world, it was named the world's best restaurant by a jury of world chefs and food writers who presumably know such things. >> whoa. >>.
>> and so, the question. how does this nice, down to earth guy rise to the top of the food world all while presenting things that no one could possibly think would taste that good? >> the flowers. >> oh, man. i'm not sure, but that's what i'm here to find out. >> the moss? >> yes, chef. >> we know that noma has been said to be the world's best. >> this is a dish that is 20 man hours. >> what we've heard outside of denmark is that rene sources his ingredients exclusively from the nordic region, mostly from within 60 miles of the restaurant. think about that. denmark is not exactly the mediterranean. summers are short. what rene and crew started, what they're famous for, is their ingredients.
and color me dubious. >> did you ever eat moss before? >> no. that is incredible. there's no way that this is going to look convincingly delicious on tv. but it is really delicious. alsandro porcheli is italian living in denmark. >> i met rene in 2004. basically the restaurant was just opened. >> ten years after noma's inception, rene is arguably the most famous dane since hamlet. so it's happily ever after, right? not quite. >> all this happened actually in copenhagen. you have all these rules, these guidelines where you never brag about yourself.
>> the law which discourages attention-seeking is part and parcel of living in denmark. danes who think too big are often cut down by their peers. >> it's hard to really make an effort, and if you stand out too much, you know, get off your horse. >> okay, so let's say you start a restaurant and you announce right away, this restaurant is going to be different than anybody else's restaurant. are people mean originally? do they talk -- about you? >> i mean, how much foul language can i use on this show? we very quickly became the big band of the seal -- >> people can be so cruel. do danes like this place? no? it's got the attention of the whole world. >> yeah, exactly. >> to tell the truth, food nerds, captains of industry, celebrities, you name it have been flocking here for years.
some waiting months for a reservation in a 45-seat restaurant. >> do we have the leek? >> it's marinating. all of this green snow is made from leaves. >> that's good. you don't notice it. you notice the flavor. that's delicious. that's really intensely -- like i've never tasted a green vegetable that good. >> you see lawns, people sit down, the sun is out. the birds are singing. this is where happiness was invented. >> tubali gardens, it is said, is the second-oldest amusement park in the world. >> watch the pantomime that is hundreds of years old. i've only been here once with my kids, actually. i work all the time, unfortunately. this is usually the place where
young kids take their first date. >> how old is this thing? >> i don't know, man. this is made for kids. does it feel a bit wobbly? copenhagen is dangerous, too. >> yeah, right. whoa. >> there you go. >> this is not bad. >> there you see. it's a little tiny cart. >> it's not huge, is it? squished in the middle. >> it's like singapore. all dense together. >> no death penalty. >> only the public humiliation. >> oh, here we go. firearms, apparently, it's okay here. >> you know, i've actually never fired a firearm in my life. >> really? >> and i've never driven a car. >> you've never driven a car? >> never driven a car. >> okay. this will be empowering. this could change your whole life. >> you don't need to tell him, he's american.
is this a competition? >> call it what you like. >> all right. >> oh, this is exciting. >> we definitely have a winner. >> oh, my god. not a single one? >> that's what we call a nice grouping. >> this is like public school, shooting range. >> after this, we're going to steal a car. i'll teach you to drive. >> come on, guys. they're waiting. >> familiar with this one at all? >> no. >> it's served around christmas time. >> you've got a little fish rammed right through. i love it. >> isn't this tweet? >> there's a pickled cucumber in the middle.
>> that's great. very traditional flavors. >> there's all these old school restaurants that have been here hundreds of years. the herring, smoked fish, the traditional stuff. >> there we go. thank you, my good man. welcome to the happiest place -- >> on earth. >> on earth. >> there we go. >> smoked eel. pickled herring. these tiny little shrimps, one of the few seasonal offerings that danes look forward to. our eating traditions aren't that big here. historically, we've eaten for survival. it was fuel to us. >> not exactly the most fun bunch. it was sinful to take too much pleasure in food. you're sitting at the table, like oh, my god, that's so good. it's delicious. you're already going down a slippery slope of who knows what other kinds of behaviors. >> my father is an immigrant here.
i'm not even a full dane. >> your father was -- >> the former yugoslavia. >> and left yugoslavia at what age? >> 14. people make fun of me when i say i've never driven a car. i never had a coca-cola until i was, like, 17. it just wasn't in a small little village where there's two cars. the first food i have is also from there, and it was my father. and the day before we had been into the mountain picking chestnuts. and i remember it so vividly as a little child, i saw my father roasting chestnuts. and then i start hearing all these things popping. 20 minutes later, they were in a bowl and my aunt poured milk that she had just taken from the cow and we had that for breakfast. it was so natural that we went to the mountain for the chestnuts, you grew your food yourself. these sort of experiences growing up, they really shaped the type of cook i am today. jpm 1111 ]
so now you have a generation of young cooks like myself all over town looking for the flavor of a region. what is the flavor? what are the ingredients we have, and how do we combine them in a way that tells something of where you are in the world? >> between me and nature, there's not so much love. nature is where bugs live. but i'm learning reluctantly over time how much i've been missing. rene's proclivity to scrounge around for flavorful stuff that grows wild -- >> welcome to the beach. >> pretty much kick started the restaurant world's now widely emulated practice of foraging. >> you see all this? grass. but these are succulents. >> rene's thing, since the beginning, how to put in what's
around you. >> to be a 19th century naturalist, you're going to have to do this. >> yes, a naturalist. >> chew on this. taste delightful? >> yes, it's wonderful. >> disguised as grass. here, here, here. it's everywhere. >> good to go. >> so, i know these ingredients, we were plucking them just today. >> yes. >> wow. >> this will be the future. let's go forage, guys. come on, kids. >> there you go. sea beans. salty, juicy, crunchy. >> if i were looking at this home, i would very much be thinking, come on, man. it's grass. it's green stuff. it all tastes the say. it totally doesn't.
>> it totally doesn't. >> is some of this stuff poison? >> yeah. >> have you ever eaten something that -- >> oh, yeah. on-the-spot diarrhea. >> really? >> yeah. >> the dark side of foraging. >> two fish heads. >> growing your own food, finding your own food. >> yeah. >> that was life in macedonia. >> yeah. >> but for a lot of people now, it is an affectation. >> the worst meals are people following a culinary trend. they'll say there's an edible. but it tastes like -- but it's edible and it will go on the fish no matter what. >> oher, okay. >> you just pick off every little bit. but i think even at its most ludicrous manifestation, surely it is a positive thing that people are actually starting to
look around and see, where it grows -- >> it still is good. people are being connected to the place they're in. what's edible and what's not. what is there to eat. >> this is beach mustard. in three weeks, this is gone. new things come up. >> it's sour dough bread. it's butter that has not been churned all the way. it's called virgin butter. >> oh, god. >> this is amazing, huh? >> butter like this where you can pretty much taste what the cow ate. anyone who's milked a cow, this is a flavor of childhood. there aren't a lot of people left where i came from who milked a cow. >> this has become more important to what these guys are doing. a relationship also that they had with the farmers. >> this is soren's farm, but we always say our farm. we feel like it's our place. >> soren is his primary supplier
of vegetables. >> you see all the shells? these are shellfish. >> like rene, he's not your ordinary dane and his farm is unlike the others around here. this used to be monoculture. >> yep. >> just carrots. now what are you growing? >> between 120 and 170 different things. >> true, there are tractors and rows where potatoes and carrots grow. but much of what's happening here is a mix of wild and cultivated. >> this is wild angelica. that's chives and the purple flowers, wild onions. let's grow some for next year. first time you come up here, you go into this, like oh, flower garden. you say no, no, no, this is the leek field. touching them like they're jewels.
>> they are jewels. >> let's grab a bunch of these for lunch, no? >> the pressure to provide year in, year out what you know is going to sell and what the market demands. >> do you mind grabbing a few of these plants? they're going to grow up, so don't take the root. >> it's very, very hard for a small guy to say i'm not going to grow carrots anymore, i'm going to grow interesting things and grow them as well as i can. this is pretty much a first for me. >> this is the first time you fall to your knees for a green plant? >> yeah. >> how long for leeks? >> do you think we'll ever reach a point where guys like 01:44:16:soren will be in a very good place? >> i think if we cut the middle men, the producers, the farmer, to talk directly with a guy like rene. >> nobody ever teaches you it's with these people that grow the food. you're never taught that as a cook, which is strange. >> can we have another leek that looks more similar in size to that one, please? >> i think also, respect to you
all chefs, how should you know anything about this landscape? i've been here for 30 years and i just know small, tiny parts. >> so we just scoop it up. >> i think we picked these yesterday. >> oh yeah? >> oh, man. that is the meatiest vegetable i've ever had. >> maybe we'll cook this for lunch spiced with a tartar. chop that up with the freshly slaughtered meat, one of soren's cows. what else? >> the asparagus? >> yes, let's do that. >> i'm hungry. >> asparagus. beautiful. >> let's go. >> just one dollop, okay? do not eat that branch. >> okay. >> underneath is a small pile of
there are always going to be some people out there who hate the very idea of your existence. >> yeah. >> from the very minute they even think about you. there's a danish expression for not wanting to stand out. >> yeah. >> not wanting to talk about yourself. >> the law of yenta. >> yeast broth. >> it's beautiful. >> here we are ten years ago, we're opening, we're saying we're going to try something else. stuff like that in that time was just unheard of. it was beyond stupid. and why do you even try? why are you fiddling with stupid concepts? >> this is very complex. i know in the beginning, a lot of danes were calling him -- they were laughing at him.
>> it's a very new thing. it's not something they have in italy, france. >> here it's a different story. you have a huge part of people that are still so much in love with the old world. i mean, i've even been told that i have fascist tendencies. there's been op-eds written in danish papers linking what we do at the restaurant to some of the most horrible moments in recent history. this is the tail of the lobster, with a little bit of the head juices underneath. use your hands. >> i will. it's luxurious. so how is it changing? >> that's what's interesting. in ten years, it's really gone from, you kno -- to igniting a new confidence in this city in this part of the world that i never grew up with. >> a possible forebearer to this new challenging of the status quo can be found right in the heart of this great-laced danish capital.
>> the well established hippie squatters. but there are some interesting features. there's no government to intrude on your personal freedom. you're free to behave as eccentric fashion as you wish. >> if you want to spend your day talking to a tree, you can do that without being frowned upon. >> they are in local government, such as it is. >> he has been here for some 40 years. it was a military area that was abandoned and then occupied by squatters and hippies, despite the fact that the different governments didn't really appreciate what was going on here, nobody actually had the will or strength to put people out. >> who makes up the traction? >> we do. >> what about the essentials, electric, water. >> we buy it from providers. we pay only one bill.
>> but i like the fact that my kids get to walk around the streets without worrying about being run over by a car. >> there's no cars running in the streets. it's like a little village. it's very secure. >> are you a hippie? >> he is. >> two eggs smoking now. >> right down there, we have pusher street, probably the most famous part. >> the green section, right? weed, hash oil. i would never do that as a responsible journalist, but i'm interested in investigating it. it is a beloved institution here. you are free to try an array of cannabis products. theoretically, marijuana is, like, not legal in denmark. >> but there's a great tolerance for marijuana here and i think that's because it isn't really harmful. people who smoke too much, maybe they pass out. >> right. quail egg cooked.
wow. that's like the greatest thing ever. i want more of those. so there's nobody in charge. >> i am. i'm in charge. >> yeah. the only problem is everybody else is, too. >> it seems utopia. >> we have the same problems as anybody, but we try to solve them in a different way. >> one of the ways we try to solve the sort of challenges by embracing people as much as we can. and trying to make space as much as we can. >> do we have two peas ready for table four? can i go over that now? >> yes. >> extraordinary. i was reading something that's very un-american in its concept, which is don't be afraid to fail. >> when we did this issue, to us it was a very big moment.
we burnt it by mistake. we thought okay, it's a mistake. let's see what happens. we cooked it. then we had a new spice. >> that's indescribably delicious. all cook books, particularly american cook books, are written from the point of view that if you only follow this recipe, it will turn out great. >> you're safe. this is what we try to talk about every day in the kitchen with the cooks on saturday night projects. >> apparently this is when you invite members of your crew to put up a new dish for comment. >> after each grueling workweek concludes, cooks from every level of the brigade stay late to submit their newest culinary ideas. everybody's in on this? >> everybody's in. >> this could be a very uncomfortable -- you're heading it out. >> this forum is about failure. yes. >> so let's see what you got. >> luke, go for it. >> in no point in my career would i have wanted to subject myself to this kind of mass
scrutiny. >> but watch. it's not bad. >> it can be bad. [ laughter ] >> fermented apple tea. this one i did with razor clam and some cammomile as well. >> it just ferments in water and 2% salt. this is fondue with brown butter. >> what we have here, ice cream with some barley. >> mushroom ice cream and fermented barley sauce. >> personally i'm not getting what they brought to the party. >> it's a little sweet. with this broth, it's quite sweet. so it becomes very one-dimensional. >> why can't you do that for your next project? dry salt versus brine salt.
>> he uses things i would never use. and it tastes good. i like it. >> given a choice of a traditional dessert and this, i'm very happy with this. i think it's delicious. [ applause ] >> thank you. who's next? oh! >> so here we have a dish of strawberries and cream. i just decided to go on my bike and see what i could get. all the flowers that are here, the lady let me pick them in her garden. so strawberries that are pickled in rose vinegar. the base has been infused with burnt roses and rose pollen. >> do we just clap or -- >> yes. [ applause ] >> and that might well end up on the menu? >> no. this is not about putting things on the menu. i mean, if somebody makes a masterpiece, it's their masterpiece. >> really? >> yeah, yeah. of course. >> isn't it your hysterical
imperative as the chef to take his good work and innovation and put it on the menu and take credit for it as your own? i mean, that's the way it's been done for centuries. >> this is not the point here. >> the pursuit of enlightenment and knowledge is its own reward? >> to me, yes. >> is that it? cheers, everybody.
you know, i want to be number one in the world. i was in mexico, the yucatan. they don't even know how to make a tortilla. they lose touch with what tradition is. >> that looks good. >> it's good for you to try this, the herring, the rye bread, the traditional stuff. when you grow up as a cook here, you don't see it as an inspiration for your future endeavors. the next thing we serve you is flat bread. very traditional here. we spice ours with chutes of spruce and oak tree. >> this is amazing. amazing. >> sophistication. something that is so down to earth flavor-wise. >> no doubt about it. that seems both really classic and totally new.
>> cheers. >> i'm learning, danes may be stiff, but they sure as hell know how to drink. nils is a danish renaissance man. drinker, sailor, charter tour boat operator, musician. >> i have known him from the absolute beginning. when noma -- can we start now? >> yeah, we're going. well, what did you think of him when you first met him? >> i saw an ordinary man. he fight for what he think about. >> he had a vision. >> yeah, a vision. and fight for this. >> it's very close. >> yeah. >> nicely done, chef. >> there we are. >> look at the beautiful girl there. >> cheers. >> here we go. >> what was that? what's in it?
what is that? >> i don't know exactly how you make that. but it has been drinking in denmark for many years. >> so we have gameldansk. it has about 30 different herbs or so. so we made an ice cream. >> it was delicious. >> oh, here we go. gameldansk. it is good. >> it works. >> it is good. it works. look at this. where you come from, new york? >> yeah. >> yeah. >> what? >> it works. he says. >> they are perfect. >> what would traditional danish food be for you?
>> potatoes. >> two potatoes. >> and some kind of meat and sauce. >> do you taste the sauce? yeah? >> hello, fellows. fermented barley, and we cooked the potatoes in that and served with sturgeon roll from the lakes. >> it has homemade whiskey -- i know the flavor well. >> here we go! what are we doing? i'm a little bit hungry. >> the danish national late night dish. >> john's hot dog? >> yes. >> i'll have the deluxe. organic sausage. sounds good to me. >> he made his own mustard. >> wow. whoa. >> here we go. >> that's a classic one. >> all my happiest moments seem to revolve around meat in two forms.
that's superb. it's really good. >> don't thrill me when i eat that. >> only the moments when you look good. these onions are awesome. >> i think that's the way. you have to make something new. >> but respect the classics. >> the passion to present something on a plate that is delicious, also make sense of your own environment, something that is yours. >> come to copenhagen, noma for lunch, john's for dinner.
just across from noma, located in a converted houseboat, an entity separate from the restaurant. the place where rene set up to further ideas and experimentation. >> he is one of the guys in charge here. >> nutmeg is a bit of a hallucinogenic. leave it a while and see what happens. >> hallucinogenic fish sauce potentially? >> in theory. some of the things we are doing, they are pure experimentation for experimentation sake and it's pretty damn delicious. >> i like that.
>> it's another food item on your chef. me as a cook, that's what i want. these are two years old cherries with the cherry pits. five years old wild roses. >> this is amazing. they're talking about will it taste good in two years if you ferment it or age it or dry it. >> we like to ferment it. we add bacteria to it, so in three years time, it becomes delicious. the diversity, you're looking at fermentations and different bacteria, looking at different molds, yeast, all sorts. >> there is stuff rotting in jars, these experiments of fermentation and flavor. doing some sinister -- down there. >> this is the ferment from wild spinach which grows around here. this is from a weed that grows everywhere.
you can do it with gooseberries. like to ferment gooseberries. you get golden drops of perfection. we have two berries. the next thing we serve you is the dried juices from last year's harvest of black currant, and then we wrap it in wild roses that we've had in vinegar for two years. >> so creamy. it's like superpower. >> you need to ask about this. well, this is pretty interesting. this is born out of a desire to study mummification. everyone used to eat mummies, apparently. so this has been cured with resins, alcohol, spices, with honey. all kinds of things that would have been used in a mummification process. >> so it's quite moldy.
i mean, it's like an experiment. it's a 6-month-old piece here. i guess it's somewhat inevitable. >> it's not unpleasant. >> interesting. >> tastes like egyptian. >> we just have one project. deliciousness is an argument for eating insects. >> wow. >> here we have grilled onions and salt made out of wood ants. >> that's delicious. >> some of the ants we've been experimenting with. it's like zing, excitement in your mouth. the other ones, they need a lot of work. here we've got wax lava worm mousse. >> this tastes like insects. >> next fermented fish, herrings molded with stuffed greens.
these have been here since january. so it's been filtered and put with juniper and a little squirt of aged apple vinegar. >> wow. that's delicious. that's lethally good. i can think of ten different ways i'd like to eat that. >> definitely. >> standing up, sitting down, with beer. >> being being fed. it takes awhile to stumble across these things. surely they come out of the woodwork. calories 7 grams of protein the fiber one caramel nut protein bar.
let's have some fish. >> delicious. >> cheers, guys. >> cheers, guys. >> cheers. >> mid-summer's day. longest day of the year. >> the day to mark the mid-summer's eve gather and partake in traditions. >> then sun comes out, we salute you. >> building picnics and bonfires. >> there's going to be a fire. >> and burning witches. >> we made those fires back in the days to keep the witches
away. because they thought all the witches was meeting on this solstice. >> where's the pork? >> this is the roast pork. >> very traditional. without this they could not live. >> so we have pork skin and dried chocolate. >> that's wild. >> roasted poork with cabbage. >> that is a serious sandwich. >> that's just amazing. >> oh, a rainbow. this is almost too pretty. and there you go. >> super cool, huh? >> why don't we have the strawberries? with triple cream, huh? >> it's delicious.
>> we have wild blueberry desserts. the sandwich, one for each of you. and the first of the wild strawberries. >> look at this. like a picnic in the park, yeah? >> mm. wow. >> so the mid-summer day in denmark. >> wow. look at the witch. burn, witch, burn. [ singing ] >> you done? >> terrific, thank you. >> unbelievable. >> look, i've eaten at a lot of great restaurants around the world, and there was still a little part of me that was saying this the going to be bull [ mute ]. the guy's out in the field yanking weeds out of the ground. i didn't expect it to be as good
as it was. it was delicious. amazingly delicious. >> amazing. >> yes, i thought it was amazing. >> it's not just about coming up with the concept. it's assembling what is out there in a new, beautiful, authentic and delicious way. >> he has single handedly transformed everybody's understanding of nordic cuisines. >> they all tell a bit of a story. of the land, the tradition. >> but always delicious. always, always, always delicious first. you may be an ordinary guy, grounded, comes from a poor family. but he has big dreams. he wants to change the world. >> and we can change it. never forget that. we can do that. [ singing ] [ applause ]
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