Ants on a Shrimp at Berlinale

Ants on a Shrimp

Black and Paper spoke to Director Maurice Dekkers at the Berlinale 2016 about his culinary documentary on one of the world’s best restaurant, Noma, from Copenhagen.

How did the idea come up for the film?

I read Rene was going to Japan.  I wanted to record a chef creating a new menu, in a different location.   It was a complete change of routine for both of us, a real challenge.  This was my first documentary film while he was preparing a 14 course meal in Tokyo.  Everything was new, fruits, vegetables, and herbs,

How was Rene during the filming?

Chef Renee

Calm.  He was not always so tranquil in the past but during filming he did not lose his cool.  I did not want to make a film about a screaming chef.  I followed him around for 2 months filming.   He tries everything, asks a lot of questions.

And your interaction with the crew?

I saw them as one person.  But they did not experience the kitchen, not Japan.

One of my favorite parts of the film is when Renee and his crew are out picking twigs in the forest.  This was a “normal” moment.

What about the kitchen? What was different?

There were no fires or pots. Everything was fermentation.

What was your favorite item on the Noma menu?

The citrus and underground root based dishes.

Did the team crack the Code of the Turtle?

No, not while I was filming.

How did you become interested in the culinary arts?

I have been interested in food from the time I was born.  I produced KEURINGSDIENST VAN WAARDE (‘FOOD UNWRAPPED’) for many years in Holland.

Ants on a Shrimp was part of the Berlinale 2016 Culinary Cinema Section