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Shannon Smith, Intern at Noma, Copenhagen – Denmark


Shannon Smith long headshotOur recent graduate Shannon Smith is a great example that studying at Culinary Institute LeNôtre makes your dreams come true. Read the amazing story of one of our Alumni interning at Noma in Denmark, a restaurant ranked number 3 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015! It is also a Two Michelin Star restaurant.  

Name: Shannon Smith
Age: 25
Hometown: Houston,TX
Current city: Copenhagen, Denmark
Course of study:  Diploma in Culinary Arts
Year of graduation: 2015
Favorite food: Salmon and Cauliflower
Current Job/Position: Currently Intern at Noma

Noma’s ability to remain fresh and to assimilate culinary cultures other than its own demonstrates not just the immense skill of owner and head Chef Rene Redzepi and his team, but also the global importance of Noma. It remains among the most influential restaurants of this century

Exterior photo of Noma   Interior photo of Noma

Noma first course and dessert course

Noma plated dishes

Noma kitchen staff out front of building

  • Shannon, what is your Story? What did you do before culinary school? What have you been doing since you graduated?

Before Culinary School, I received my bachelors in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs from Southern Methodist University and worked as a Public Relations Associate for a Financial and Crisis Communications Firm in Dallas, Texas.  While I was there, I shared my restaurant experiences with friends and the Dallas community via my blog Feed Me Dallas.

While I was doing that I began to receive tons of positive feedback from the community and people in other cities.  I realized that my true passion was food so I quit my job to return to school to learn to cook properly and to gain the necessary knowledge base about food, cooking techniques and the industry. Since, I graduated I’ve been traveling and interning at restaurants. I interned at a restaurant called Baest for 4 days in the butchery and I am currently interning at Noma in Copenhagen.

  • What was your inspiration that led you to wanting to become a chef?

Starting my schooling I had the intentions of learning how to cook so that I could pursue a profession as a food writer.  As I got more into the classroom and cooking everyday, I realized it was what made my happy and what I wanted to do everyday.  I love how creative you can be with food and how everyone shares a common interest and joy when they have a good dish.

  • Describe your classroom experience/ your experience at school/ your experience as project manager for the Gaston LeNôtre Scholarship gala?

Photo from Shannon's instagram account.I loved my classroom experience at CIL. Every teacher made class fun, but extremely motivational and interesting.  I learned new things from each teachers strengths and techniques. I made valuable friendships with my classmates and truly enjoyed every moment of it.  It was great to see how every person’s experiences and preferences shaped the way they worked in the classroom and created dishes during mystery basket projects. Working on the Gaston LeNôtre Scholarship Gala was a wonderful experience and helped me learn the true impact and value of the scholarship.  Mrs. LeNôtre and the Gaston LeNôtre Scholarship Board work so hard for the CIL students and the hard work pays off and when you see the joy of the success of each student.

  • What are you doing right now? Describe a normal day of work.

Right now I am an intern at restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. I will be here until the end of July. Currently, I have been working for two weeks and am working on the production team and in private dining room service. Currently, there are 28 interns that will rotate through the stations and sections of the restaurant.  Other sections include, grill, service stations, foraging, test kitchen and the fermentation lab. I am learning about new herbs, nuts, fermentation and drying processes daily and am enjoying every minute of it.

  • What are your projects for after this incredible experience at Noma?

I am not sure what my projects will be after Noma, but I think my experience now will shape me to find the right project for me and give me a knowledge base that will help me to achieve a different approach to cooking.

  • Would you like to share an anecdote or a recipe with us?

This is my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, Enjoy!

1 Stick of Brown Butter
1 Stick of Butter
1 cup of Dark Brown Sugar

2 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Paste
1 tsp Molasses
½ cup Sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 ¼ cup four, sifted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup semi- sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Brown 1 stick of butter and let cool for about 20 minutes.
2. Cream 1 stick of butter with brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla.
3. Add the cooled brown butter and granulated sugar.
4. Add the eggs.
5. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and then shape the dough into a disc and wrap in freezer paper. Put in the fridge overnight or the freezer for 1 hour.
6. Use a scoop to shape and bake at 350 convection for about 8 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Do you do anything besides cooking? Hobbies? Food blog?

I do lots of things besides cooking, but cooking is one of my favorite things.  I love to bake cookies even though I only took one level of Baking and Pastry. When I am not doing that, I love to run, yoga, bike, camp, hike and kayak. I love the outdoors and nature.

– Credits Pictures –
Noma Restaurant & Shannon Smith

The World's 50 Best Restaurants logo

Shannon smiling next to a bucket of crabs.   Shannon with her instructor on the last day at CIL.   Photo from Noma's instagram with Shannon in the kitchen.