Danish Chef leads Australians by example

Great article recently about wild food Chef Rene Redzepi from Denmark in the SMH. Here’s a young chef who has embraced his regions wild foods and incorporated them using skill, flare and commitment to win the accolades of being the best of the top 50 restaurants in the world. He recently toppled Spain’s El Bulli and their molecular gastronomy approach with his impactful flavours and presentation of foraged foods.

I’m naturally hoping some of the better chefs in town will grab the opportunity as a means to make a name for themselves and we also finally get to shake off the stigma of ‘bush food’ or ‘bush tucker’. These labels have often been used by ignorant magazine editors thinking they can sell magazines. However, they actually deride and denigrate the efforts of many visionaries who see an authentic Australian cuisine being a lot more than seafood and a heap of weed species growing on our Country rather than indigenous to it (olives, garlic, chilli, ginger – the mainstays of MasterChef cooks and most so-called Australian chefs).

My favorite line in the article is that olive oil shall never darken Chef Rene’s restaurant door. I am all for this as olive oil doesn’t even come close to macadamia nut oil in my book for both health and practical reasons.

Then there’s this from Joanna Savill, about Chef Rene:

‘There are lots of things special about him apart from being chef at the world’s No 1 restaurant,’‘ said Savill. 

‘‘‘It’s the individuality of what he does and the vision of using what’s around him and what’s unique in Copenhagen and Scandinavia in terms of produce, and to push the boundaries in his own way.

‘It should be an inspiration to Australian chefs, too, in using ingredients that are around them more and not being influenced so much by techniques and ingredients that are not uniquely Australian.’‘

Will Aussie Chefs be up to the challenge? There’s lots to learn; from new ways to use the ingredients for their best impact to combining brand new flavours with conventional ones to complement or enhance, contrast and highlight



Vic Cherikoff