…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
René Redzepi is a five-star cook in Denmark. One would be tempted to write that he even made it to the pages of TIME magazine, but that is no accolade any more, given the TIME’s time-tested toxic touch.
In 2003 frustrated Redzepi invented or rather created his own, Danish style, “For so long we Danes didn’t have a cuisine. We are Protestants, so food was just about sustenance, never pleasure. You eat your meat and potatoes in silence and go back to work.”
Lucky Danes, an Ukrainian may say. They had meat and potatoes and did not have to sing the Internationale.
The Danish Minister of Culture, Uffe Elbaek, said, “..René has helped elevate food to the same level as fashion, and it’s affected our whole identity. He’s telling a new story about what it means to be Danish.” The good minister apparently believes that Danish identity is represented by dishes of fermented bear meat, sea weeds, birch sap, sea buckthorn and ants, prepared by a fellow whose father was a Macedonian.
Last year Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant Noma made it to the top of the list of the world’s best fifty eateries published by Restaurant magazine. You, me and all the other people who eat to live, not to write about it, would say so what? Some time ago I made a resolution not to refer to cooks as chefs, unless I tasted the product of their efforts. Once bitten… There is lot of dishonesty and outright corruption in the food industry, not to mention incompetence. I recall a test done a long time ago by, I believe, The Gourmet magazine where the Europe most regarded wine experts were given a proper, blind, taste and smell only test. The ten well-paid, distinguished oenologists were blindfolded. From memory, three out of them could not distinguish between red and white wine. So – a person is a cook, and will remain a cook until I eat and possibly change my mind, all the world’s “experts” notwithstanding.
But I am not writing about food, but fascists. There is something rotten in the state of Denmark. Mr René Redzepi’s insistence on local sources, foraging and experimenting, upsets people who see the glorious future in the world government, and in the meantime in EU government. From that world-view it follows that national, Nordic cuisine, as opposed to international or EU bureaucrat approved food, is subversive. So José Carlos Capel, so called ‘chief restaurant critic’ asked in El Pais, “Is Redzepi leading the extreme right of European cuisine, something akin to a gastronomic Tea Party?” This is the world we live in.
Poor René was charged with a culinary fascism by Ms Ulla Holm in a Danish newspaper Politiken, “ there are disturbing similarities between fascist ideology and the new Nordic cuisine. There is an emphasis on elements that have remained uncontaminated by outsiders. There’s obsession with purity.”
Ms Holm ought to have no problems with the Chinese produce then. [Fog of Chaos – Melamine, anyone? Fog of Chaos – Chromium, anyone? and Fog of Chaos – Coke in chlorine] One, albeit a very naïve one, would think that proponents of ‘sustainability’ , ‘free range’ and ‘organic’ foods and the opponents of genetically modified crops and chemical food additives, would make René their hero. Unfortunately, since those causes, originally perhaps laudable, have nothing to do with healthy eating, René is left out of the Left power loop.
And the final, irrefutable proof of his right-wing philosophy from reliable Ms Holm, “It is hardly coincidental that when last I visited Noma, the waiters were dressed in brown shirts.” I hope she never visits Australia, where black T-shirts , oh so Mussolini, are practically de riguer for waiters and kitchen staff.
Mr Redzepi is understandably upset by the slurs, but does not know how to fight back except by cooking more politically incorrect food, “..we’re trying to develop a cuisine where one didn’t exist. If I lived in Italy and were working only with local products, no one would think anything of it.” That sort of statement can only enrage the international socialists and encourage them to destroy Italian cuisine.
If René, only 34 years old, really desires a quiet life I have a few suggestions for him. A large donation to Greenpeace or a face of Che Guevara printed on those brown shirts.