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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

Dishwasher becomes partner at one of world's best restaurants in reward for loyal service

Gambian-born Ali Sonko has worked at Copenhagen’s Noma since 2003.

sonko Ali Sonko (far right) Source: Facebook

A DISHWASHER HAS been made a co-owner of the world-famous Danish restaurant where he works.

Ali Sonko has worked in the Copenhagen restaurant Noma since it first opened in 2003.

Noma has been named the world’s best four times by the industry’s Restaurant magazine.

62-year-old Sonko first came to Denmark in 1983 after emigrating from his native Gambia.

“It gives me incredible joy to let the world know that our restaurant managers Lau and James, and our dishwasher, Ali, have become partners in Noma,” the restaurant’s chef and co-owner René Redzepi said in a Facebook post.

This is only the beginning, as we plan to surprise several more of our staff with a piece of the walls that they have chosen to work so hard within.

Sonko became a face known around the world in 2010 after being denied a visa to enter the UK when Noma received a world’s best restaurant award.

The staff who represented the restaurant on that occasion wore t-shirts depicting Sonko’s face in solidarity.

Two years later when Noma was again honoured at the event Sonko was this time present at the event in London and delivered the restaurant’s acceptance speech.

Noma is set to rebrand itself as an ‘urban farm’ – a restaurant with its own vegetable farm – with Sonko’s partnership announced to celebrate Noma’s last day in its current location on the Copenhagen waterfront.

“This move is one of the happiest moments of my time at Noma,” said Redzepi.

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