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A Day in the Kitchens of Noma

Jade Ward completed the 2 year Diploma of Cookery at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine in 2021 with completing her workplacement at Andiamo Restaurant in Herne Bay and continued to work there for two years. Following this, Jade moved to Queenstown to work at Amisfield under Chef Vaughan Mabee and in 2023 travelled to Restaurant noma in Copenhagen, Denmark to work at an intern. 

Here is Jade's story of a day in the kitchens of noma, 2024.

We start the day with group production where the whole team comes together around one long bench to complete the more the time-consuming jobs such as picking parsley, peeling shrimp etc. This is accompanied by loud music (usually techno) and is a great way to get a lot of work done in a short period of time. 

Next, we break off into our sections and work on our designated mise en place.

I am currently working on one aspect of the petit four serving - the clam gel with cloudberry and saffron and a preserved cherry from Noma's summer season. 

At 11am we all sit down together for Rice Bowl, a noma tradition. This consists of rice, miso soup, chawanmushi, cured egg yolks and a variety of pickles and vegetables. 


After rice bowl, we return to our own mise en place until we come together again for group production. This time, we split into three different groups and help with larger service related tasks such as constructing the seaweed plates for the broth serving, tying langostine tails in preparation for service and preparing the cod jaws and tongues. 

We then sit down for staff meal which is a varying menu decided by the two staff members that are rotating in the staff canteen at the time. Because we are such a multicultural team we get to enjoy a large variety of dishes from each person's home country which is amazing. 

After staff meal we split off into our respective dishes and prepare for service. Some dishes require a lot of hands early on to prepare such as the Sea Urchin (Kina) which requires a large quantity of fresh hazelnuts to be shaved thinly. The chefs will prioritise their time and help where they can until they need to leave for their own dishes. 

Service meeting is at 4pm where we discuss any important information for the day including dietaries and dish changes. We finish the meeting with the chef calling "Let's have a great service". The entire team then claps once in complete unison. After this, the energy in the team is electric. Service begins at 5pm.

My time at noma so far has been an incredible experience. I'm surrounded every day by a team of inspiring people who want to be the best and do their best. The energy in the team is unlike anything that I've felt before, words can't really do it justice. I have the upmost respect for everybody there. 

As interns, we were told from day one that it was up to us to decide how much or how little we take on; that we would be the ones who decided how much that we got out of the programme.

The Noma Team have put a huge amount of trust in us and encouraged us to try new things and not be afraid to make mistakes (so long as we learn from them of course).

We are allowed to interact with guests and describe dishes at table.

We are able to be in charge of our own dishes and send them into the restaurant from our own "pass". There is really no limit to what we are allowed to do as interns, as long as we show willingness.

This has been incredibly empowering and mind-blowing experience. I never would have imagined that I would be in charge of a dish at a Michelin 3 Star restaurant! I am so grateful for the support from the team, I have learnt so much already and I am hungry for more! 

Jade Ward

Intern, Restaurant noma 2023/4. 

Graduate, New Zealand School of Food and Wine Diploma of Cookery

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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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The School

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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