The date of our first meal is rapidly approaching and we’ve been busy sourcing ingredients. On Monday Ben and I paid a visit to one of Copenhagen’s best fishmongers,Jacob Kongsbak Lassen, out in the meatpacking district.
Kongsbak Lassen is a family-owned company and last year celebrated its 125th anniversary. It’s where chefs from many of Copenhagen’s best restaurants come to select their fish and it’s easy to see why.
Ben introduced me to the duty manager, Jesper, and he whisked us into the service elevator and down to the freezer facility. The chefs are planning a mackerel dish for the 19th and Jesper set to work, seeking out the best specimens.
He rejected the fish from the first box he found, explaining that the best and freshest mackerel retain a rainbow-like sheen after they’ve been caught. The next fish were much better, he said, and as he held one up to the light, I could see the kaleidoscope of colours playing across the scales.
Jesper explained that these mackerel had been caught in Norwegian waters using a more refined, far less aggressive netting technique that, unlike trawling, keeps the fish alive for longer. The result is fresher, more tender fish on the plate.
The fish selected, we said goodbye to Jesper and I left Ben pondering how best to do it justice on the night.