Noma is generally a jolly place to work at, but it is a dishwasher from Gambia who's the happiest of all the team members. He has been working there since the beginning, and now he has just gained a new title: partner.
During the closing party of Noma, René Redzepi, best chef
250 dinner guests, the firsts to try Noma's new location (myself included), heard René Redzepi's heartfelt and funny speech of half an hour, in which he announced that the 62-year old dishwasher would become a co-owner. René of course also highlighted the background of this development: "Ali is the heart and soul of Noma. I don't think people even realise how much he means to us. He is always happy and smiling, irrespective of what might be going on with one of his children - of which he has 12. By the way, my father's name is Ali as well, and he also started as a dishwasher, when we first arrived to Denmark" [Redzepi is an immigrant himself, of Albanian-Macedonian origin.]
When Noma was chosen the best restaurant
I wasn't present for the 2010 awards ceremony, credit for this photo goes to Dubai Guzzler.
Ali has continued to be a key figure of the restaurant, even though his position of
I will provide you with a report on Noma's fabulous closing party, but for now, it is enough to know that they are already preparing the pop-up restaurant in Mexico, in parallel to having started work on Noma 2. It will be in a protected, long building made of concrete. So far, the place has been basically an unofficial homeless shelter and the canvas of graffiti artists. They are adding new units to it, and they want Noma 2 to amaze the whole wide world.
I didn't even know that he would be a co-owner, come the evening:
This is my video about the Noma party. Of course, featuring Ali!