Chef Renè Redzepi and Padma Lakshmi at 92nd St Y
The World's Best Chef spoke with everyone's favorite Top Chef host on the Upper East Side on Wednesday night.


New York City may be the best city in the world, but unfortunately it's not home to the best restaurant in the world.  That title belongs to Noma, in Copenhagen, where Chef Renè Redzepi and his restaurant have earned the title in 2010, 2011, and 2012.  

Luckily, New York City is a city of world class cuisine and cultural events, and 92Y excells at connecting people from all over the world successful in different capacities.  

92Y's series with acclaimed independent bookstore Kitchen Arts & Letters (which sold books for signing after the event), brings world class chefs, cooks, and food personalities to speak on the Upper East Side.

Alongside Padma, Chef Redzepi discussed his new cookbook, "A Work in Progress: Notes on Food, Cooking and Creativity" (Phaidon, $65), which comes in a trio of green-tinted books including a large book of recipes from his restaurant and his personal joural which inspires him to cook creatively. 

"I do trash cooking," Chef Redzepi said. "We're all familiar with nose to tail here, but I do more."  He went on to explain- supplemented by a graphic video of lamb-skull sawing- his experiments with brains, and his early hopes that he could turn them into the next bacon.  That idea didn't exactly take off, but Redzepi continues to use ingredients in new and creative ways, such as consuming live ants that "taste like lemon grass" and roasting old, mushy purple carrots, until they become the "best" carrots he's ever tasted.  

Nordic cooking methods aim to reduce waste and create new flavors, textures, and combinations, and Chef Redzepi certainly lives up to that image.  

92Y left time for audience questions, a great opportunity for New Yorkers to get in their word with the famous chef, allowing him to open up further about his children, family life, and thoughts on the life of a chef. 

As for the cookbook, Chef Redzepi knows that you may not find reindeer tongue at the Union Square Greenmarket, but you may want to start with the cauliflower and spruce salt.  Afterall, everyone needs a use for their Christmas trees post December 25th...