“Giving birth is always difficult”

Still from Ants on a shrimpFood documentary Ants on a shrimp
One of the best restaurants in the world, Noma based in Copenhagen with its famous and charismatic chef René Redzepi, moves for a period of five weeks to Tokyo for a unique culinary experiment.
Noma is known for its dogmatic approach to cook with natural ingredients from the area of the restaurant. Is Redzepi able to create a fourteen-course menu in a short period with for him still unknown Japanese ingredients that is ‘World’s Best Restaurant’worthy?

Still from Ants on a shrimp

Fourteen-course menu
The documentary follows the creative process of the entire team of Noma in Tokyo to create a fourteen-course menu for 3,000 customers inspired by Japan. Noma was four times named best restaurant in the world in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. In the culinary mecca Japan customers expect the best from Noma. The pressure on Redzepi and his team is further emphasized by the 58,000 people on the waiting list.

Foraging in an unfamiliar culture
At the introduction of the press release, Dutch director Maurice Dekkers explained that the documentary mostly is about to break with the everyday by doing something else. Redzepi literally says that in the documentary, step out of your comfort zone and “have fun”. We get to see dedication and sacrifices, especially of Redzepi’s loyal employees. But whether the fun really splashed from the screen, remained unseen. There were more questions whose answers were out of sight.

Foraging in the forests of Japan and Redzepi who did not dare to venture to the level of Japanese fish specialists, deliver fun scenes. The Japanese food culture remains unknown to the viewer. The passion and dedication of a chef and his team we have often seen before. Redzepi shows himself master of the inventions of his team members. Many times he brainwashes them one by one, to start again and to think differently until the best is put on table. That control is incredible, and well captured. The documentary is beautifully filmed and the music is strong present.

I have learned that vegetarians don’t eat meat and fish but eat ants, and that fried fish sperm is crazy but tasty. A culinary experiment in 88 minutes. It was worth sitting. For a culinary enthusiast it’s always entertaining and appetizing to look in the kitchen and behind the scenes of culinary creations. What never makes a food documentary fun, is that your taste buds always remain unsatisfied. Ants on a shrimp will be shown in Dutch cinemas from September 1, 2016.

Film poster Ants on a shrimp