Noma, the trailblazing Copenhagen restaurant with a reputation as one of the world’s best, has chosen its new pastry chef, according to a report in The New York Times.
Malcolm Livingston II, 28, a veteran of Per Se and Le Cirque who has spent five years creating desserts at chef Wylie Dufresne’s wd-50 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City, will move to Denmark not long after wd-50 closes at the end of November.
Noma’s previous pastry chef, Rosio Sánchez, is ending her run there to open a taqueria in Copenhagen.
“When we announced that we were hiring, we had over 50 applications, which is pleasantly surprising,” said René Redzepi, the chef at Noma, told The Times. “Several of them were very capable, but Malcolm was always in the back of my mind. The wd-50 school of pastry has been, to my knowledge, nearly without equal for the past decade or so. The pastry chefs that have come out of that kitchen have influenced methods and ideas in kitchens around the world.”
Others who have passed through the wd-50 pastry department include Alex Stupak, Sam Mason and Sánchez herself. “I think it’s cool that one WD employee replaces another at the No. 1 restaurant in the world,” Dufresne told The Times. “We’ve hopefully done something right in preparing them for the next level.”
Redzepi pointed out that coming up with desserts at Noma, as at wd-50, hinges on a willingness to think differently. A sweets course at Noma may involve potatoes, onions, seaweed, mushrooms or a chocolate-coated slab of chicharrón.
Livingston, who was born and raised in the Bronx and started cooking in New York restaurant kitchens as a teenager, is no stranger to unconventional approaches. But he acknowledged that Noma’s devotion to unusual products from the Scandinavian landscape would present a learning curve.
“They’re using ingredients that I’ve never even heard of,” he said. “I’ve never foraged before. I’m from the Bronx.”