Feeling stuck in his work and home life, New York Times contributor and Food & Drinks Editor for Esquire, Jeff Gordinier had a fateful meeting with Danish chef René Redzepi of Noma. A restless perfectionist, Redzepi was at the top of his game but was looking to tear it all down, to shutter his two-Michelin-star restaurant and set out for new places, flavors, and recipes.
Over the span of four years Gordinier joins Redzepi as his culinary Sancho Panza. In the jungle of the Yucatán peninsula, Redzepi and his comrades go off-road in search of the perfect taco. In Sydney, they forage for sea rocket and sandpaper figs in suburban parks and on surf-lashed beaches. On a boat in the Arctic Circle, a lone fisherman guides them to what may or may not be his secret cache of the world’s finest sea urchins. And back in Copenhagen, the quiet canal-lined city where Redzepi started it all, he plans the resurrection of his restaurant on the unlikely site of a garbage-filled lot. Along the way, readers meet Redzepi’s merry band of friends and collaborators, including acclaimed chefs such as Danny Bowien, Kylie Kwong, Rosio Sánchez, David Chang, and Enrique Olvera.
Hungry is a memoir, a travelogue, a portrait of a chef, and a chronicle of the moment when daredevil cooking became the most exciting and groundbreaking form of artistry.
This lecture is in conversation with chef Sonja Finn and Post-Gazette food & features writer Dan Gigler.