Dishwasher Becomes Owner Of NOMA, One Of The World’s Greatest Restaurants! An Amazing, Inspiring Story From Denmark!


Meet Ali Sonko, the surprising NEW Co-Owner of one of the world’s greatest restaurants!

The Guardian has the inspiring story:

“A dishwasher described as the “heart and soul” of the world-class Danish restaurant Noma has been made a co-owner of the establishment he has worked in for 14 years.”


That’s right, Ali Sonko has been the restaurant’s dishwasher since it opened fourteen years ago, and now he’s part owner!

NOMA Chef Rene Redzepi announced the decision in this Facebook post, and celebrated it at a staff party in Copenhagen.

noma Restaurant in Copenhagen - Main Entrance

The World’s Greatest Restaurant!

For those who may not be foodies, this Danish restaurant is one of the most acclaimed of all time.

NOMA has been named the world’s best restaurant four times by Restaurant magazine, and has also topped the “San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best” restaurant list three times as well!

Chef Redzepi has amazingly creative food ideas like this one:

sea urchin pie

Try A Slice Of Sea Urchin Pie!

NOMA did a recent “pop up” in Tokyo, and wowed the city with amazingly unique courses like that…see more of them here:

Now, the restaurant has a new co-owner!


Dishwasher Sonko is 62 years old, and moved to Denmark 34 years ago from his native Gambia. Here is his reaction to the shocking announcement:

“I cannot describe how happy I am to work here,” he told the Danish website BT. “There are the best people to work with and I am good friends with everyone. They show enormous respect towards me and no matter what I say or ask them, they are there for me.”


NOMA Chef/Owner René Redzepi said it was “one of the happiest moments of my time at Noma” to announce that Ali was to become one of his new business partners, saying it was in recognition of his hard work and enduring smile.

As The Guardian reports:

“I don’t think people appreciate what it means to have someone like Ali in the house,” Redzepi told friends gathered for a party to mark Noma’s move. “He is all smiles, no matter how his 12 children are faring.”

Chef Redzepi says he plans to do more of this to reward his loyal team.

Bravo to Chef Redzepi, and bravo to The Guardian for their terrific, in depth story…you can see all of it, with more great pictures, by clicking on their link here:

Speaking of the best restaurants in the world, here is a look at my visit to restaurant #8 on the list:

eleven madison exterior

eleven madison exterior

Foie gras and sinach leaf 11 Madison Park

My wife and I had an amazing meal at Eleven Madison Park in New York – check out my review here:

We were also at the twenty year celebration of The French Laundry, Chef Thomas Keller’s iconic restaurant that has also been proclaimed the world’s best…

The French Laundry

Oysters and pearls

Yes, that is Chef Keller’s iconic “Oysters and Pearls” dish!

You can see my course by course menu here:

Once again, bravo to NOMA restaurant for their amazing “employee motivation” program!


Categories: Art, Awards, Books / Media, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized, Wacky Food

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3 replies

  1. A heartwarming story, John. Thanks for sharing. You and yours are true epicureans.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great news for Ali, and a fantastic gesture from the owners, especially in this cutthroat commercial world.
    It makes my old heart glad!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Dig Into This Delicious List! Here Are The World’s 100 Best Restaurants 2021! – johnrieber

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