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Noma Australians: restaurant manager James Spreadbury

Noma chef René Redzepi has brought his entire team to Australia for their 10-week Sydney residency at Barangaroo and four of the key members are Australian. We caught up with restaurant manager James Spreadbury to talk days off, catching up with family and friends, and showing the folks from Copenhagen a good time.

Born in…
Belair, South Australia.

Member of the Noma family since…
2009.

How did you end up at Noma?
I wanted to expand my horizons and had a few restaurants in Europe on my radar that I wanted to chase down. I became extremely interested in the approach Noma was taking, packed up my life and knocked on the door.

What are you looking forward to most?
Being in my home country with the team, and being close by family and old friends. Even being from Australia there's so much I've never seen or tried before, so I'm excited to learn about and taste the incredible ingredients down here.

What's your fondest memory of the Noma Australia journey so far?
There are so many things over the last 12 months. Probably coming on the first research trip and realising that it may become a reality, to coming back to Sydney in December and seeing what was once drawings and lines that we went over and over actually start to take shape.

How will you spend your days off?
Hopefully hanging out with my daughter and getting in the ocean; along with some good times with the team and catching up with all the good people of Sydney.

Where will you eat when you're not working?
The list is too long! There are so many great places: 10 William Street, Ester, Automata. But mostly I'll probably be smashing my way through Chinatown.

What shockingly touristy thing can't you wait to show the Noma Copenhagen gang?
Not sure I'll have time for shockingly touristy, but the barbecue on the beach is a must.

What do you crave when you're away?
I miss mangoes, Coopers and the beach.

Which three things will you tick off before you leave Australia?
Getting in a surf and as much time on the beach as possible. I've also never been to the Blue Mountains, so I can't wait for that.

Fast-forward to the 10-week residency wrapping up. How will you celebrate with the Noma crew?
With a huge barbecue at the beach.

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