Founded in 2011, MAD is a not-for-profit organization that aims to build a community of cooks, purveyors, and thinkers with an appetite for knowledge and a desire to improve the restaurant trade.
The cornerstone of MAD is an annual symposium, held every summer, that brings 600 people into a circus tent along Copenhagen’s harbor and features two days of talks from speakers from around the world. All videos of the talks are viewable online, for free.
MAD has evolved to include MAD Mondays, a series of intimate talks open to the public, and The MADFeed, a blog exploring food culture that keeps the MAD spirit alive throughout the year.
“Mad” is also the Danish word for “food.”
MAD has been a grassroots operation from its inception. Since starting out with a single full-time employee using a borrowed desk in a small office on the fringes of Copenhagen’s city center, MAD has grown to comprise a team of three employees, now with office space to call their own, and collaborators spread throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States.
Though we, and our ambitions, grow with every passing year, the “make it happen” spirit of MAD will always be our driving force. We want nothing more than to continue bringing people together, celebrating our trade, and developing a valuable resource for those in the world of restaurants.
René is the founder of MAD, the Nordic Food Lab and chef-patron of Noma, a restaurant in Copenhagen that opened
With a Master´s Degree in Business Administration, Peter entered the advertising industry and went on to head major events within a number of fields, including the opening of the Copenhagen Metro, whilst also becoming a noted public speaker in the field of experience economy. In 2007, he joined noma as Director of Business Development. Within a year, he was already Managing Director of noma. He remains so today, as well as Director of the Komitéen for MAD Symposium.
Ali Kurshat Altinsoy
Born in London to Turkish Cypriot parents, Ali went on to study at Warwick University. Upon graduating, he returned to London and entered investment banking. During four years spent in the City, his interest in food led him across the world, trying new restaurants and writing about his experiences. He first met Rene and Peter in 2009 and, after dining at noma twenty times, he resigned from banking in 2011 and moved to Copenhagen to organise the first MAD Symposium.
Mark Emil Tholstrup Hermansen
A native Dane, Mark Emil moved to London to study at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design then Oxford University. Upon his return to Copenhagen, he joined the Nordic Food Lab as an on-staff anthropologist to examine the ‘deliciousness of insects’. At MAD2, as well helping execute the entire event, he also presented on his research. After being instrumental in securing funding for a long-term project at the NFL to investigate eating insects, he has now become part of MAD full time.
Born and raised in New York City, Gabe attended NYU, where he studied romance languages and graduated with high honors in 2011. Though he planned to continue on in academia after college, his interest in writing and the table took him across the world for the next two years reporting for Eater and contributing to Lucky Peach, Bon Appétit and WSJ Magazine. He joined the MAD team in 2013 as a full-time writer and the editor of MADFeed.
Lennart Ricard (Chairman), Pelle Øby Andersen, Thomas Harttung, Peter Kreiner, Jens Nørgaard, René Redzepi
Pelle Øby Andersen, Thomas Harttung, Jens Nørgaard, Tor Nørretranders
We are always on the look-out for talented warriors, writers and designers to join our small team in Copenhagen. Internships are unpaid and their duration is flexible. To apply, please send us a cover letter, resume and references to email@example.com. If you are a designer, please also attach your portfolio. We review applications on a rolling basis.