Jul
14

CPH Meal #5

Preparations for our fifth meal included a foraging trip to the beaches of Lammefjord on the west coast of Sjælland. Chef Emil gave us a crash course in the different plants and herbs growing so abundantly and we managed to get some nice footage.

While on the hunt mostly for beach coriander, scurvy grass and beach mustard, Emil also discovered oodles of beach cabbage – something he hadn’t expected to find by early May – and decided it would make for a lovely appetizer, served simply blanched and with a dash of cream.

The rest of the film was shot during the serving of the meal. Special thanks to the hostgator discount list.

Jun
16

An Evening at Paté Paté

We’re pleased to present our first film – a profile of the Copenhagen eaterie Paté Paté, filmed over the course of an evening last month. We’ll be doing more film work in the future – we’ve been working on different ways to complement our events and film feels like the best medium. Hope you enjoy it.

May
17

Pics from CPH Meal #5

A little delayed but here are some shots from our last event (there’s more here). Thanks again to everyone who came – we loved how this one turned out. Special thanks also to Christian at Ved Stranden for his lovely wines and for being such an amazing host.

We’re hatching some plans for the summer and we can’t wait to release the details. As ever, stay in touch on Twitter and Facebook and you’ll be the first to find out when we have something concrete to share.

Guests arriving at CPH Meal #5

Emil Glaser

Beach cabbage

Beach cabbage

Squid, rhubarb, milk

Squid, rhubarb, milk

Grilled cucumber, ramson, veal fibres

Grilled cucumber, ramson, veal fibres

Pork belly, asparagus, seaweed

Pork belly, asparagus, seaweed

Peas, pine, yoghurt

Peas, pine, yoghurt


Apr
20

CPH Meal #5 – WOW!

Thanks to everyone for the, quite frankly, confounding response. Unfortunately, it does mean that quite a number of you were left disappointed. It’s important to understand just how busy our chefs are and that this event was planned around one of Emil’s very rare days off.

We’re currently trying to think of some way to make it up to those that didn’t get tickets. We’ll get back to you after easter.

Thanks!

Apr
20

CPH Meal #5 – Tickets on sale!

Tickets for our next event are available here.

There are only 16 places available, so you’ll need to be quick!

Sorry! SOLD OUT.

Apr
18

CPH Meal #5

Spring has definitely arrived here in Copenhagen, and with it comes our fifth event. Chef Emil is very excited about serving up his interpretation of the new season’s offerings. Tickets will go on sale on-line on Wednesday, but until then, here’s the menu and event details.

When: Monday 9th May, 6pm
Where: Ved Stranden 10
What: Five courses + five wines
Price: 350DKK + small booking fee.

Menu

  • Squid, rhubarb, milk
  • Grilled cucumber, ramson, veal fibres
  • Pork belly, asparagus, seaweed
  • Samsø cheese
  • Peas, pine, yoghurt
Apr
11

Emil Glaser

CPH Meal chef, Emil Glaser

Our next event (details imminently) will be our first working with young Swedish chef Emil Glaser. Still only 21, Emil has already racked up well over two years in Noma’s kitchen. We met up with him last week to finalise plans for the evening and to learn what drove him to don the whites.

Growing up, Emil’s parents would take him to visit his grandparents on their farm outside Warsaw in Poland. He didn’t know it at the time, but the trips were instrumental in his decision to become a chef.

Recalling the feeling of picking and eating a carrot grown by his grandparents, Emil hints at a pure sense of connection with nature and its bounty: “As a kid I saw the whole process on the farm – something being planted, growing, and then dried, maybe pickled. They are special memories and for me food is one of the biggest sources of experience we can have. It’s one of the truest ways we experience life – tasting something new is one of the most memorable things I think.”

That sense of connectivity with land and produce was rekindled at Noma, where Emil landed almost immediately after catering college. The restaurant’s approach to sourcing, preparing and serving ingredients – particularly vegetables – is what sets it apart in his eyes.

He explains: “Foraging has always been important at Noma. I’ve picked probably every herb that grows on Sjælland. And if we don’t pick it ourselves then we know where it comes from. Often the farmers bring it in themselves, still with the earth on it. It’s the way it should be.”

Mar
06

Din Baghave

Mette Marie Mølgaard Helbæk - Din Baghave

Tucked away in a cosy Vesterbro sidestreet, Din Baghave is an Aladdin’s Cave of fresh, delicious produce – all of it grown by some of Denmark’s most innovative and environmentally conscientious farmers. We met with owner Mette Marie Mølgaard Helbæk to find out more.

What is the inspiration behind Din Baghave?
My husband and I had a restaurant (Hansens Køkken & Bar in Frb Allé) and I was used to getting fresh ingredients straight from the farmers. When we sold the restaurant, I was forced to do my grocery shopping at the supermarkets and I wasn’t able to find the same kind of excellent vegetables. I hate supermarkets! They make people consume without reflecting.

Vegetables from Din Baghave

At the same time, I was working as a food writer (I was the editor of Spiseliv.dk) and I noticed that there was a lot of focus on vegetables and local terroir in many top restaurants (l’Arpege in Paris, Dragsholm Slot, Noma and Geranium here in Denmark and Joia in Milan etc.). That, coupled with the upsurge of interest in Nordic cuisine, made me think that this would be the perfect time to open up a gourmet vegetable shop. I still think I’m right. I mean, we have the best climate in the world for growing specific things like apples, strawberries, root vegetables, cabbage etc. When we have all these things outside the door, why can we only get the less good things from Holland and so on in the supermarkets?

With Din Baghave I want to revolutionize the way people look at vegetables. From a cheap, boring, healthy necessity to an amazing luxury full of stories, colours, variety and flavours.

What kind of customers are you getting?
My customers are anyone and everyone. Old people, families with children, students. But of course also a lot of gourmets. People who come to pick up havtorn and herbs from the forest and the things from Søren Wiuff that they’ve read about in the magazines.

A lot of food writers come to my shop to find special things for a photo shoot or a TV appearance. And some old people come to find the sorts of potatoes, apples or strawberries they remember from their childhood but are not able to find anywhere else.

I also have a lot of health-conscious customers who like that I have a lot of organic and biodynamic things. They are more than welcome but I have to stress here that my mission is not to bring health to the people, I want to show them how excellent vegetables can be and how good they taste. Then it’s just a nice side effect that they’re healthy too!

What are your plans for the future?
In May I’m opening up full-time stalls in Østerbro and one more place (maybe in Ørestad). In August my plan is to open up a stall in the new Torvehaller in Israels Plads. I want good vegetables to be accessible for anyone. I want them to be the natural choice instead of the dull Dutch and Spanish vegetables that everyone’s buying today.

Inside Din Baghave

Can you tell us a little about your suppliers?
I’m only using suppliers who want to do things better and different to all the other farmers. I constantly encourage my farmers to go new ways and they have to be ready for that. My main suppliers are Søren Wiuff in Lammefjorden and Kiselgården in Ugerløse and for the new season I have made some excellent (meaning interesting, not cheap) deals with a guy called Carsten Søgård in Glænø, Ventegodtgård near Køge and Bakkegården near Ringsted. They are all very passionate people. They care. That’s so important. Caring is everything, it’s the only way you can make extraordinary things.

Oct
10

Café Benedict

Ben Hamilton of Cafe Benedict

A little off the beaten track but more than a little special, Café Benedict is the venue for our second ‘big’ event, taking place later today. Much-valued friends of this project, husband and wife team Ben and Anne Hamilton have created a lovely eatery, combining some of the best cooking to be found in Copenhagen with a cosy, unassuming atmosphere. Chris and I paid a visit last week and asked them to share their story.

A chef for 20 years, including stints at numerous Michelin-starred restaurants around Europe, Ben long held reservations about opening his own place: “When I’ve worked for other people, I’ve seen first-hand what’s involved. You’re not just a chef, you’re an accountant, you’re taking the rubbish out – you’re basically doing everything.”

Despite the doubts, Ben had a vision he was determined to realise and he found a willing foil in his wife: “I couldn’t wait to get away from the stuffy, poncy tablecloth environment and Anne agreed that we should do something together in the industry.

“I wanted to bring my cooking to people who might not normally try it. I wanted to make something friendly and accessible. The amount of places I’ve worked in over the past 20 years, I’ve picked up things from really good vegetarian restaurants to baking in Paris and so on and I’ve basically combined all of that into what I do today.

Ben Hamilton making the bread“I try and keep it seasonal and I try and keep it regional. I concentrate on flavours. Because I’m on my own, I can’t do 15 elements on one plate because it’ll kill me. The risotto that you’ve had tonight for instance, I’ve taken three elements – rice, butternut squash and egg – and just tried to make as tasty a dish as I can.”

The couple work hard at what they do and employ next to no outside help. That means a typical day can involve managing reservations, deciding the menu, choosing ingredients, dealing with the building owners and various suppliers – all before beginning the prep.

This relentless schedule can take its toll but the rewards outweigh the stress. Ben elaborates: “When I have the good nights – and the good nights far outnumber the bad – and we’re full and the guests are leaning across the bar and calling into the kitchen to tell me how good it was, those are the nights I get a buzz from and it makes me remember why I’m doing this.”

But perhaps the main attraction is the feeling of liberation they get from being their own bosses. Ben explains: “The beauty of what we do is that we decide. It’s our menu. When we’re at home Sunday night trying to work out what to put on then it might be that Anne suggests something, or I might be looking through a book or magazine or an old menu from Le Sommelier and get inspired. Or I might be walking in Valbyparken and see some beautiful plums that find their way into a dish. That’s what we like.”

  • Try the 3-course menu for 295kr.
  • Open Tuesday to Saturday from 16:00 until 22:00
  • Check their website for the monthly Sunday lunches during the winter

The approach at Café Benedict is perhaps best summed up by a story Ben recounts of Anne’s time at business school: “She took an evening class before we opened just to brush up on a few things. At the start they asked everyone to describe their concept. Anne stood up and said we’re going to open a small café, it’s going to be cosy, clean and tidy, and we’re going to serve good food and give good service.

“Everyone basically laughed and said ‘is that it?’. But for us that’s enough.”

Café Benedict

Reviews (Danish)
Spise Liv
iByen
AOK

Oct
07

CPH Meal #2 – Wine List

Here’s the wine list for Sunday’s meal. We know we said there would only be three different wines, but that wasn’t good enough for Christian at Ved Stranden 10. He managed to put together a great list of five wines to complement the food as well as something bubbly for when you arrive.

  • NV · Cremant de Jura “Indigène” · Arbois · André et Mireille Tissot
  • 2008 · “TO” · Burgenland · Velich · Chardonnay
  • 2008 · “Emmeram” · Burgenland · Gut Oggau · Gewürztraminer
  • 2005 · “L’Enchentoir” · Saumur · Manoir de la Tête Rouge · Cabernet Franc
  • 2005 · “Alter Turm” · Weinviertel · Fidesser · Chardonnay + Frühroter Veltliner
  • 2004 · Auslese “Sommerhäuser Steinbach” · Franken · Weingut Schloss Sommerhausen · Sylvaner