9.17.2015: New Noma / Mark Bittman


Mark Bittman Leaves NYT for California Startup

In his final piece for the Times over the weekend, food columnist Mark Bittman announced he’s leaving the paper because he’s joined a food startup “ to take a central role in a year-old food company, to do what I’ve been writing about these many years: to make it easier for people to eat more plants.” He also explains that over the past five years, his column has run its course, raised important issues, and given him a platform to say what he felt he needs to say.

Now it’s time to take on the real-life version of these issues as an entrepreneur. He hasn’t announced which company he’s joining just yet (I have a few guesses, but I hate being wrong, so I’m going to keep those to myself for now. I’ll let you know if I was right.)


The New Noma

Any time the revered chef from one of the best restaurants in the world makes a big announcement, especially a big announcement in The New York Times, it reverberates around the internet like an echo in an empty house. Rene Redzepi announced his plans to close famed Copenhagen restaurant Noma in its current form and reopen it as an urban farm in nearby Christiania, which is such a radically special and unique and fantastically interesting enclave in the center of Copenhagen. And, just a few hours ago, Redzepi posted a ten-minute video about the history of Noma and what’s happening now — in his own words.

I have a lot of thoughts about this. (The first is, naturally, I need to get to Copenhagen in the near term and do more than take a selfie outside the restaurant like I did last time.) The next is that although this isn’t exactly a technology story, it is a future of the restaurant industry story. No, I don’t think famed restaurants are about to decamp for urban farms or (or even rural farms), but as we as consumers are becoming more obsessed with food, more obsessed with where our food comes from, and more in tune with a global economy of growing and sharing and feeding others, this bold move is indicative of a greater understanding and acceptance of food systems — and I absolutely believe that technology and the internet have a lot to do with accelerating and spreading that message.

Additionally, the work done by Redzepi’s team in Copenhagen (everything from the restaurant to the Nordic Food Lab to MAD conferences) is well-documented and shared online; if you haven’t checked outThe MADFeed and its associated social accounts, you really, really should. It’s a glimpse at what to expect from the future of Noma and a good look at what to expect from the future of food and restaurants.


Google’s Restaurant Recommendations Get Local

The newest way for software to tell you where you should eat comes from a sort-of unexpected place (or, totally expected if you paid attention when I talked about this almost two years ago and then again in early 2014, toot, toot!) Google Maps is now in the business of recommending restaurants within a map — on Android only, for now, iOS users stay tuned. This is so great. (Well, great for those in New York, San Francisco, and London, where the project is starting.)

You might have already noticed the descriptive text that’s been appearing beneath restaurant names on the map. (ex: “Asian fusion with a hip vibe.) This feels like a natural progression, and it’s a smart way to integrate the data Google already has from its Zagat acquisition.


…to Eater for its awesome “Future Week.” Content so far has been so much fun to read. (And remarkably well-timed.) Here’s the full rundown


  • My thoughts on last week’s #TechTableSummit in New York — Medium
  • To support: an online wine education Kickstarter from the awesome people behind Journee, a beautiful and useful new space in New York for the restaurant crowd — Kickstarter
  • The next season of Radio Cherry Bombe starts today! — Heritage Radio Network
  • NEXT restaurant in Chicago (again) launches its new menu with a great video — YouTube

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