Gourmet Traveller

FROM NOMA TO NIPPON

When ex-Noma chef Thomas Frebel bites into an ingredient pulled straight from the earth – perhaps it’s the wild mountain vegetable amadokoro, with its asparagus-like stems, or the Japanese wild kiwi, which he says tastes like a mix of cultivated kiwi, lychee, mangosteen and even the fruit of the monstera plant – he’s hit by two sensations almost simultaneously. “First you’re enjoying the flavour and that moment of discovery,” he says. “And then you come to the quick realisation that our guests will never experience this, unless we bring them here.”

It’s an inescapable fact that the moment you take an ingredient from its natural environment, you are holding it at its fragile peak.

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