Ants on a Shrimp

Ants on a Shrimp ★★★★

Maurice Dekker's documentary on the NOMA pop-up restaurant in Tokyo, Ants On A Shrimp (2016) appealed to me on several levels. First, as a foodie I an interested in creative high end food, secondly it is always interesting to see how highly successful people operate and the lengths they go for the result they demand, and thirdly the fact that this event took place in my adopted city of Tokyo was intriguing. Executive Chef and owner Rene Redzepi is the creative force behind the project and constantly pushes his handpicked team to challenge themselves to produce the best dishes possible and in this context it meant trying to learn and incorporate ingredients that were unfamiliar to the Denmark-based crew and this involved months (if not years) of research prior to the project. In the film the crew visits all regions of Japan (Okinawa, Kyushu, Nagano, Tohoku, and Hokkaido for example) in different seasons to research the best ingredients. Reprized is humble enough to know that it would be futile to recreate Japanese-style dishes (He says there are probably 2000 restaurants that can do sashimi better than them), but use the ingredients to inspire new creations. It was a challenge to have fun and and push themselves to the next level, and is an example of how he was able to capture the world's best restaurant from 2010-2012 and in 2014. The dedication of his staff was impressive as well-I think anyone who has had the opportunity to be part of a successful team gets a lot of satisfaction from working with inspirational and creative colleagues that help push you to do your best. I found this to be a fascinating and inspirational film.