Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), has announced a partnership with Noma — the Copenhagen icon that was named the World’s Best Restaurant in 2014 — which will open its Japan pop-up at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo on Friday, January 9.
Although the partnership will not directly impact All Nippon Airways travelers, the airline’s domestic network enabled the Noma team to travel all over Japan and gather inspiration for the pop-up menu.
“Back when I was a young cook, with no money, much less a restaurant of my own, I would dream about Japan,” said chef René Redzepi. “Chefs would talk about the region in hushed, reverential tones — the remarkable devotion to craft, the dizzying variety. For this adventure, we’ve challenged ourselves and started from scratch. We have left our entire pantry at home, in an effort to delve into Japan’s landscape and learn about all it has to offer.”
In order to make sure that Redzepi and his team were able to experience Japan’s legendary culture of cuisine — which has been named among UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage inventory — Japan’s only five-star airline provided access to nearly a dozen Japanese cities and towns.
“ANA has been a valuable partner in enabling us to learn about Japan, Japanese food culture and richness of its agricultural offerings. But more than that, for us, ANA represents the best in hospitality and performance in its field. We aim, humbly, to do the very best, and if we can align with an organization that does the same, it is ideal,” said Marc Blazer, chairman and co-owner of Noma.