Noma in Copenhagen is closing down... Why?

If it’s a choice between working at Noma for free, or not working there at all.

9 out of 10 chefs would take the former option.

And the other 1 would probably end up on HO complaining about how Noma is abusing the “free labor market” ecosystem.

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Assuming they are EU citizens, then they won’t be illegal as they’ll have taken the benefit of “free movement”. So presumably, no longer any Britons there.

This remark is funny, from Daniel Humm…

“I didn’t pay enough attention to the fact that, by paying low wages, I was unintentionally excluding so many from my kitchen,” the text reads. “Today, I realize that countless people, especially many women and people of color, were never able to become chefs because they couldn’t work such long hours for so little money.”

Didn’t know EMP becomes a meatless restaurant, though.

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:thinking: :exploding_head: :thinking: :exploding_head:

He didn’t realize not many folks can survive without money?


It’s known that you made more money in fastfood and chains, in fact, the business sells more to afford so many staff, just it’s not something you’re proud to put on a CV if you are a serious chef.

The dilemma, if the more knowledge and qualified you are with upscale fine dining restaurants, you’re earning less than fast food, no way you will be able to find people to work.

I’ve read report that it’s the start of robots in only professional kitchens like pizzerias, with maybe 1 person to supervise. So even for lower end dining, I guess jobs will be disappearing. As for higher end, the price will rise only for the few affordable.

He thought many people just want to live in a dream or ideals.

I work in design field, the same, lower paid in most famous studios than smaller lesser known ones, I bet in many fields, the same problem.

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But that is often food you can reasonably easy create also at home. For us, and many friends, eating out is a lot about dishes way out of regular traditional food and tasting menus are a great, perhaps best, way to do it.

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Yeah. Now, I find it more fun eating and sharing with friends than a sterile environment with some zombie waiters waiting around in fine dining places. In French fine dining places, I see wait staff wear ties and heels but not the clients! Although many of the newer fine dining places, the younger staff makes some difference and makes it more causal.

When I thought of good improved traditional food, A small place, offering maybe 1 or 2 dishes, since all energy is put in improving that dish, and with many years of expertise, it’s hard to beat them. A good example is street food, I know some people frown at the idea, but you can find jewels.

I can make certain dishes at home, but it tastes so much better when somebody else does the shopping\prep\cleanup so that friends and I can just relax and enjoy each other’s company. Not to mention I have several friends and family members who prefer foods already familiar to them.

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I can’t remember the last time we had overly formal service during a tasting menu (or upscale restaurants in general). Even three star restaurants are quite informal today and you can actually have good discussions with many of the waiters, whereas in much more casual places service is often forgettable with little knowledge what is actually in the dish etc.
We seems to have very different motivations why we to restaurants, e.g. a small place which focuses on 1 or 2 dishes is for me something I wouldn’t be interested (restaurants with a very stagnant menu tend to be at the very bottom of our restaurant list). This diversity of opinions/reasons is good but that let’s me doubt your claim that “I think people might want to go back to à la carte,…” - There will continue to be much interest in creative, unusual cooking which is often expressed in tasting menus (and I don’t think that the way how (upscale) restaurants will change dramatically and there will still be unpaid “volunteers” etc. (if you look at research in academia, much of it is done with miserably paid grad students and post docs and the system is criticized and questioned for many, many years and nothing has changed dramatically over the last 30 years)

At the end of the day, many of unpaid interns are the more ambitious ones want to get to the top posts or open their own places. Many are happy to be there.

I wonder if there will be sanctions from the client side, some might realize the meal they are eating are part of an abused system.

That’s why we have choices and varieties! :star_struck: :yum: And it’s good we are all different!


Why should it happen now ? The whole system in restaurants and in other fields is well known for many years and the customers never had a problem with it. I am surprised that many people act like the Noma news “uncovered” anything new or unusual. And in particular people who have the financial power to eat regularly on that (financial) level use the same mechanism in other parts of their life (just look into au pair/nanny systems and their “great” pay). There will be minimal changes perhaps but over (short period of) time everything will work as before.

But it is not an abused system.

It is just the system.

As a person who inhabits another field that has relied on this exploitative tactic, no: The idea that to get a career in your field you must give up pay-- or work for punishingly low pay is a problem and is not cavalierly solved through “choice”. The normalisation of this exploitation is part of the problem.

ETA: I’m quite frustrated that I’m ill right now because this deserves a more nuanced and measured explanation about workplaces, labour rights, and the violence of capitalism, but there you go. I’m worn out and saving energy for a general strike anyway.


Eh, it has changed: It’s gotten worse. Much worse. (Speaking as an academic who is lucky enough to have a full time permanent gig, but who is furious with the growing exploitation.)

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My nephew is in the very early years of a career as a cinematographer. He’s been content (happy is too strong a word) to take work that has effectively meant he’s worked at a loss and rarely at anything approaching the national minimum wage, if it had applied. He’s done it to gain experience and to start to build contacts. It seems to be paying off and he’s starting to be invited to pitch for proper paying jobs. And he’s getting some work - which means he’s been able to start to repay the several grand we loaned him to buy kit.

It’s a risky strategy that mainly pays off for those who have the support networks (like generous uncles with cash to spare) and which fundamentally keeps people from earning their pension until much later.
I don’t know if your example is praising it as a sustainable labour model, but it just isn’t, especially as (if “cinematographer” indicates a media gig) the industry is notoriously reliant on precarity and a precariat for labour.
I’ll try to stop.

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It wasnt. Throughout my working life, I was an active member of my trade union - I don’t do worker exploitation.

That said, the nephew doesnt really regard it as exploitation - as he is gaining from it (the experience and building of useful contacts). His hope is that, with his work’s growing exposure, he’ll be signed up by an agent. Apparently, that’s the key to getting on in the film industry in the UK.