Our next event (details imminently) will be our first working with young Swedish chef Emil Glaser. Still only 21, Emil has already racked up well over two years in Noma’s kitchen. We met up with him last week to finalise plans for the evening and to learn what drove him to don the whites.
Growing up, Emil’s parents would take him to visit his grandparents on their farm outside Warsaw in Poland. He didn’t know it at the time, but the trips were instrumental in his decision to become a chef.
Recalling the feeling of picking and eating a carrot grown by his grandparents, Emil hints at a pure sense of connection with nature and its bounty: “As a kid I saw the whole process on the farm – something being planted, growing, and then dried, maybe pickled. They are special memories and for me food is one of the biggest sources of experience we can have. It’s one of the truest ways we experience life – tasting something new is one of the most memorable things I think.”
That sense of connectivity with land and produce was rekindled at Noma, where Emil landed almost immediately after catering college. The restaurant’s approach to sourcing, preparing and serving ingredients – particularly vegetables – is what sets it apart in his eyes.
He explains: “Foraging has always been important at Noma. I’ve picked probably every herb that grows on Sjælland. And if we don’t pick it ourselves then we know where it comes from. Often the farmers bring it in themselves, still with the earth on it. It’s the way it should be.”