Kitchen of the Week: Nadine Redzepi’s Secrets to a Well-Ordered Home Kitchen

A few years back we featured the warm but streamlined Copenhagen kitchen of René and Nadine Redzepi: he, the renowned chef and cofounder of the dearly departed Noma; she, a talented chef in her own right, employing restaurant techniques to craft meals that are elevated but attainable, “stylish and relaxed.” In her cookbook, Downtime: Deliciousness at Home, she deconstructs the ideal dinner party (a simple tip: “start with a potato,” from homemade chips to potato skins with salmon roe, that guests can snack on while dinner’s cooking), and reveals recipes both laid-back enough for a weekday dinner with René and their three daughters and sophisticated enough in case a chef friend drops by.

We couldn’t help but wonder how the couple’s home kitchen in the Christianshavn neighborhood of Copenhagen works for them, with its impressively clear countertops, open fire and dining nook, and ceramic dishware on display. We asked Nadine to open her cabinets and share her tips for keeping the kitchen in order, how to maintain a well-ordered pantry, and where she keeps her most-reached-for tools. Here’s what she said:

Photography courtesy of Garde Hvalsøe and Dinesen, except where noted.

the couple enlisted garde hvalsøe, three cabinetmakers, and an a 12
Above: The couple enlisted Garde Hvalsøe, three cabinetmakers, and an architect working with Dinesen wood to create their custom family kitchen. Photograph courtesy of Dinesen.

Remodelista: What was most important to you in designing your kitchen?

Nadine Levy Redzepi: Space. I wanted a kitchen where there was enough room for a lot of people to be in the kitchen at once. We always had small kitchens before, and I hated how the person cooking would get left out of conversations. Designing this kitchen, I wanted a place where everyone would fit, because when you have people over everyone wants to be where the food is.

open shelving on one side of the kitchen island keeps ceramics on display. 13
Above: Open shelving on one side of the kitchen island keeps ceramics on display.

RM: It looks like you keep your countertops impressively bare. What’s your secret?

NLR: Really good storage space. The drawers and the cupboards have to function well. I designed my kitchen with a carpenter instead of an architect because the cabinets and countertops are wood, and we wanted someone who intimately understood that material.

the versatile shelving, styled with glassware. photograph courtesy of dine 14
Above: The versatile shelving, styled with glassware. Photograph courtesy of Dinesen.

RM: What’s your rule of thumb for having a well-stocked kitchen that doesn’t feel cluttered?

NLR: Have enough of what you need for your lifestyle. If you entertain a lot, you’ll need more. But if you rarely cook for big groups, having a smaller set that you love makes sense.

nadine by the wood stove. photograph by ditte isager. 15
Above: Nadine by the wood stove. Photograph by Ditte Isager.

cooking essentials are kept near the stove, including on the vent hood above. p 16
Above: Cooking essentials are kept near the stove, including on the vent hood above. Photograph courtesy of Dinesen.

RM: What organization principles from restaurant kitchens do you implement at home?

NLR: Restaurant kitchens taught me about how indispensable quality pots, pans, and knives are to home cooking. One piece of restaurant equipment I want to have at home, but don’t own yet, is a Thermomix. Because they are essentially blenders that are temperature controlled, you can make mix almost any ingredients until they are completely smooth—I’d use one to make chili oils or herb oils.