Noma chef to launch vegetable festival in Copenhagen

The chef of the best restaurant in the world and unofficial ambassador of Nordic cuisine will be hosting a new food festival that features plants and vegetables as the star ingredient.

René Redzepi, chef du jour at Noma in Copenhagen, will be hosting the MAD Foodcamp festival in the Denmark capital and helping set up the largest food market in Northern Europe as part of ambitious plans to kick-start an annual tradition that improves emerging chefs' "literacy in ecology."

The word mad in Danish means "food."

Redzepi, a protégé of the famed El Bulli kitchen, which is slated to close Saturday, is known for foraging for his foods in the Danish countryside and places a bigger emphasis on wild plants and vegetables in his dishes.

Noma topped the annual S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list this year.

The two-day festival in August will also feature a symposium for chefs where experts will share their knowledge on subjects like soil, quality, vegetation, hay and compost. Among some of the star speakers will be chef David Chang of Momofuku in New York and food writer Harold McGee, author of On Food & Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.

"The MAD Foodcamp should be the straightforward celebration of food that I've always dreamt of but have never yet experienced," Redzepi said in a statement."There is a strong demand for chefs, farmers, gatherers, consumers, researchers, distributors and food writers to meet face to face to share knowledge and inspire each other."

Meanwhile, Toronto hosts what's regarded as the largest Vegetarian Food Festival in North America in September, where more than a hundred exhibitors will showcase new products and ideas.

MAD Foodcamp takes place August 27-28 in Refshaleøen by the Copenhagen Harbour.

Tickets for the symposium are 130 DKK (€17).