Two of the world’s best chefs—Noma’s René Redzepi and Coi’s Daniel Patterson—improvise in a home kitchen as they explore the way inspiration turns raw ingredients into a finished dish.

April 26, 2012


Chefs René Redzepi and Daniel Patterson were prowling the fields of County Line Harvest, a Bay Area farm in the Marin County hills. The two were assessing the greens and root vegetables growing in the rich dirt, in anticipation of a weekend spent cooking together at Patterson’s house in Oakland, California. Their goal was to explore the question, How does inspiration turn into a recipe?

A Dish is Born

René Redzepi and Daniel Patterson create a new dish. Photo © Michael Turek.

The Inspiration

Chef Daniel Patterson stands at his espresso machine at home, staring at coffee beans while making a cappuccino. “We should cook something with coffee,” he says to chef René Redzepi. Redzepi happens to be holding a winter squash. “Why don’t we bury this squash in coffee and see if it takes on the flavor of the beans?” he responds.

Dish 1

Patterson and Redzepi roast the sweet squash with the bitter, nutty beans, and the combination of flavors is surprisingly good. Patterson adds crème fraîche as a garnish. The chefs discuss making the dish with carrots, which have a similar flavor to winter squash but are easier to prepare.

Dish 2

Patterson takes the idea back to his restaurant. As a replacement for the traditional cheese course, he now offers crème fraîche with a garnish of coffee-roasted carrots.

More Creative Dishes & Dining Experiences

World’s Top 10 Life-Changing Restaurants

World’s Most Beautiful Dishes

Cooking with Wild Ingredients