Our R&D section features two kinds of work: deeply-researched dishes from our chef’s tasting menu which changes twice a year; and improvisational dishes from our weekly omakase  menu.

Wagyu nduja


Nduja is a Calabrian sausage made from pork trimmings, roasted peppers, and a mixture of spices.

It derives its name from the French andouille, a similar smoked pork sausage which was developed when the French were defending their land against the invading Spanish in the early 19th century. 

A central ingredient to nduja is the red pepper, a 15th century import from the Americas. Diego Álvarez Chanca, a physician on Columbus’ second voyage to the West Indies in 1493, brought the first chili peppers to Spain and wrote about their medicinal effects in 1494. 

The spread of chili peppers to Asia was a consequence of its introduction to Portuguese traders, who promoted its commerce in the Asian spice trade routes. Portuguese travel logs from the early 16th century note that chili peppers were welcomed by Indian cooks because its similarity to the pungent black pepper and biting ginger. By the end of the century, peppers became an integral part of Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines.

We see the use of peppers in a similar form to the nduja in Korean yukhoe, Levantine kibbeh nayeh, Ottoman cig kofte, Syrian muhammara, and Hungarian ajvar. The category of Peranakan dishes called tempra— which employ caramelized onions, red chilies and meat, fish or chicken marinated in lime juice— originated with the Malacca Portuguese. Japanese pickles known as nanban-zuke, made with chilies and vinegar, emerged during the Portuguese sojourn in Nagasaki in the late 16th century. Fermented pepper pastes with similar flavour profiles range from the North African harissa, Thai sriracha, Indonesian sambal, and Korean gochujang

Our wagyu nduja is a combination of ground wagyu beef, gochujang, chili powder of the Baniwa pepper, and bulgur, sandwiched between lavosh crackers and served with an emulsion inspired by romesco and muhammara. 


Our research and development methodology at Nouri is structured, but we always leave room for improvisation. We follow research guidelines but are willing to break them if the work demands it. Our primary mandate is always creative.

We begin with a specific kind of pattern recognition. Drawing on the vocational strength of our chefs, we identify similarities in ingredient, technique, or flavour of dishes from around the world. How does a mole from Mexico resemble a red curry from Thailand? Why do Peruvians cure their fish in the same way as Pacific Islanders? We are able to ask these questions because our chefs taste these questions. Taste— which can be dismissed as a subjective experience in amateurs— is a rigorous tool at the disposal of our professional chefs. It frames and guides our research questions.

We then conduct preliminary historical research to determine whether the patterns we identify are the result of mutually independent development or cultural exchange. When an ingredient is found around the world, we often see similar methods of use. Liquorice is an example. More often, we recognise similarities because of cultural exchange. Food travels across boundaries and between cultures through trade, war, migration, etc. As a result, each culture adopts the ingredient or technique, featuring certain elements of the culture from which it received it, and imbuing the item with new features, too. Chili pepper is an excellent case study of an ingredient that has transformed the cuisines of South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

Our chefs begin their development process with these initial observations.

Then, we approach relevant experts— sometimes regional historians, other times anthropologists, sociologists, linguists, economists, etc.— to validate, and sometimes challenge, our hypotheses. They provide access to primary source materials that help us map the lineage of a specific food item as it travels across cultures. This step is essential to our crossroads approach to food; it allows us to work with products or techniques that are verifiably shared by people globally.

We also partner with chemists and food scientists to examine the molecular structures of the foods we think share common origins or features. On our menu, we serve a rice stem dish that draws on the shared flavour profiles of a south Indian buttermilk and a Norman sauce dieppoise; this link is confirmed scientifically and culturally. 

Our final output is an original dish that is conceptually related to food traditions from around the world without being traditional. It is innovative without ignoring historical influences. It fulfils the requirements of a complete dish in terms of taste, texture, and style, but also paves the way for a broader engagement with global culture.

Beyond food 

Crossroads thinking was born out of a desire to think more deeply and critically about culture and globalisation. A focus on food was incidental— we just happened to be chefs and/or working in the culinary industry. Crossroads was an epistemological position before it was a cooking philosophy.

Today, we collaborate with architects, fashion designers, and visual artists to expand their practices with a detailed study of cross-cultural interaction and influence.