Tag Archives: CPH

500 days of Summer

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Well, perhaps not quite 500.

This weekend promises something quite rare for myself – I will not only be able to spend the whole weekend waking up in my own bed, but I don’t have anything planned for the first time in ages. Yes, I’ve deliberately turned down some things to make it so, but it was from looking at my diary that I came to the realisation that since Mid-June, I’ve only had 3 weekends where I didn’t have something planned or more specifically, meant I had to go away. Yes, I know this is very much a First World Problem, but I was thinking that being so busy should also mean that there *must* be something I could post about, right?

In the space of 3 months, a lot has happened – I had a bit of a scare regarding a lump discovered in one breast which turned out to have been lumps (plural) and affecting both breasts (!!). After a tense few weeks of being prodded and poked for investigation and seeing sights which no woman should ever see, I am relieved to say that I’m OK and have been discharged from the hospital. Being discharged meant that I could commit to a change in job roles and start on a 2 year project which will hopefully result in even bigger and better things for me. Obviously during those weeks, I couldn’t really consider if I had a future, let alone what I should/want to be doing in it, but once I knew it was OK to do so, I started planning my future with a new invigorated sense of trying to achieve more.

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There have been trips to Copenhagen – Two in fact, but the second one was very much a last-minute thing and I’ll write about that in another post. The first trip included a meal at the always-brilliant Relæ, loving Mirabelle so much that we went back the following day for (what turned out to be) the same dishes – Which we didn’t mind one bit, a great experience at Ante (RIP) and most of all, a trip to The Amazing Pig Out at Amass (oh, and going there for Amass Fried Chicken in the garden of Amass the day before). Again, more about this another time…

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A fair amount of beer was consumed – Not only from a trip to the magnificent Birmingham Beer Bash which has established itself as a firm annual favourite in my calendar, but with the opening and discovery of some new tap rooms and bars, especially the (IMO) very brilliant Clink Beer in the Custard Factory. What impresses me the most about Clink Beer is that it was borne out of the desire to have somewhere reasonably central (especially in the Digbeth area) where you can get some really decent and interesting craft beers without having to pay inflated prices as you may for something in the City Centre or travel across the other side of the City (If like me, you don’t live that side of Brum). I’m very biased in that the location of Clink Beer is on my bus route home, therefore making it VERY easy for me to go for a few drinks and still be able to stagger to the bus home, but I genuinely love this place and hope they do really well (I know I will do my bit).

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Founders released their KBS 2016 and expectations were almost impossibly high given how KBS 2015 was one of my favourite beers EVER. Yet Founders managed to pull it out of the bag again – KBS 2016 was somehow even better than 2015 with deeper coffee and vanilla notes. The bar was already set sky-high, but it could well be stratospheric for KBS 2017. Other highlights included being able to finally try Founders’ Mango Magnifico (at the Birmingham Beer Bash), and it was delicious – Even with the poke at the end! Another beer highlight was the latest BQE offering from the always reliably brilliant Brooklyn Brewery which could well be my favourite EVER. Named The Discreet Charm of the Framboise, it’s based on their very delicious Bel-Air Sour beer (which I got to gorge on during the London Beer Mansion earlier in the year), aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels with a whole load of raspberries chucked in – All elements which individually I love so it was bound to be a winner in my books when you combined them all (and it’s every bit as delicious as I thought/hoped it would be).

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Food-wise, there were some highly enjoyable visits to Aulis at at Claridges and The Sportsman and I also got the chance to sample the talents and deliciousness from Alex Nietosvuori during his stint at Carousel before he moved on to Santiago, Chile on his next food adventures. Whatever Alex does next, I’m sure he’ll be a great success and I greatly look forward to tasting his food again. There was also a whirlwind visit to Silo in Brighton, but that visit is very much worthy of its own post.

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From my own part, there was a rediscovery of my own love of cooking when I got to cook for a load of friends (and family) in M & B’s new kitchen (photos) which also meant I not only got to play with, but covet various bits of kitchen equipment and design in their lovely home. There was (as you would expect in cooking meal for 14 people) a fair bit of work to be done, but M&B were such fantastic hosts and so generous in letting me wreck and mess up their sumptuous kitchen (I mean, they actually made us breakfast pastries and personalised fortune cookies). But there was a moment at the beginning of the meal when the entire table were drinking their soup (pork fillet, mustard greens and salted duck eggs) and other than the odd guttural murmur, the only sound you could hear was of everyone happily slurping their soup. I was busy preparing the duck at the time to take a picture or video at the time, but I paused to take in that moment and a massive smile appeared on my face. So whilst I got a lot of thank you’s for cooking the small feast, I have to say a massive THANK YOU to M & B for not only letting me play in their kitchen, but also to everyone else that came along that day for helping me to rediscover the joy I get from not only cooking, but seeing people enjoying the food I’ve cooked.

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There has been a lot of reflection over the summer – My health scare at the beginning of the summer made me a lot more contemplative than usual, but the Olympics also made me think of the last Olympics in London – And how I can finally look back at that time more objectively. I mean, I remember posting about the Olympics on here and how I kept bursting into tears – During the National Anthem, whenever some athlete was crying.. I can look back on it all now and realise that at that time 4 years ago, I was deep in the throes of grief, but it hasn’t diminished my appetite for watching the Olympics. I mean, after being able to gorge myself in sport around the clock, I felt a bit bereft when the Olympics ended. (Although, as a side note, YAY for the Paralympics coverage!).

However, the main event was for me, the wedding of M & G. It may have been towards the end of the summer and in the middle of a *really* hectic few weeks, but more than anything, it reinforced how close my family all are – And how fortunate I am to have such a loving and utterly brilliant family. Whilst there were no tears from watching the Olympics, there was much laughter, some tears and some moments of tension between and from each of us at some point over the weekend. Naturally, all of us at some point turned our thoughts to our late parents and how they would have both *loved* to have been there. However, I know that I’m not alone in thinking that seeing the beaming smiles and howls of laughter across everyone’s faces – Along with the very evident joy and happiness on M and G’s faces as they got married – made us all feel fortunate to be able to share and join in these new happy memories for all. And whilst it’s a very old cliché, we all know that our parents were with us in spirit.

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So what now? I’ve already mentioned how I should (need) post about a few places, but after such a hectic summer, I think it’s time to step back a little and take things slightly easier – Not only will my body thank me for it, my bank balance will too! After all, I need to save up for bigger adventures 😉

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The 40 Project part 4 – CPH (AKA: I *heart* CPH)

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Given how often I go to Copenhagen, I couldn’t really have a 40 list without including something from CPH really. The thing with CPH was that because I had been so many times before, there were a lot of things which could qualify for the list which I had already done (if at all possible, I tried to do new things for the 40 list). That said, some things are too good to miss out so that’s where I started to change (bend) the rules somewhat in my approach to the whole 40 Project.

First up will be the Danish hot dogs (and Frikkadeller) [33]. I mean, even if you ignore the stand in the hall on your way to baggage reclaim at Kastrup Airport, there’s another kiosk right by the baggage carousels. What’s more, they’re both packed most of the time with Danes wanting a quick hot dog fix or presumably, a taste of home after some time abroad. In my case, it’s partly a reminder of my childhood when one of my cousins used travel to Denmark quite often as the guy she was dating lived in Denmark and she would subsequently bring over boxes of “Danish Sausages” (as we called them in my house), much to all my family’s delight. But it’s also a reminder of how much nicer hot dogs are than what we’d get over here. There is the important “snap” of the casing and the contents of the sausage may well be meat of indeterminate origin, but they’re damn tasty – Especially if like me, you got for the whole gamut of finely diced raw and deep fried onions, ketchup, remoulade and pickles all delicately encased within a hot dog roll lightly toasted and not big enough to encase the whole sausage resulting in both ends protruding out. I completely understand why the returning Danes make it one of their first stops upon landing back in CPH – I often make sure it’s one of the first things I eat upon landing at Kastrup and I look forward to it every time. I love the fact that your choice of drinks range from bottled water to soda fountains, or why not have a beer, Gammel Dansk or (my fave) a Jägermeister. So, whilst it’s not something new I did for the 40 Project, I couldn’t really have a CPH post and *not* include hotdogs in some way.

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Smørrebrød, or (Danish) Open Faced Sandwiches were the first thing I remember making in Home Economics class in school (many aeons ago). Being a Brit, I just thought it was curious why you wouldn’t have the 2nd slice of bread on top – That’s the whole point of a sandwich, isn’t it?!. That said, my trips to CPH have since taught me that the singular, solitary slice of bread on the base of a smørrebrød isn’t just any bread, it’s a slice of deliciously rugged and wholesome Danish rye bread – The sort where you believe that it’s actually doing you good by the act of eating it alone and well, you don’t need a 2nd slice to top the sandwich. Furthermore, the toppings are not of the ham and cheese (or coleslaw) variety my classmates and I had to eat in Home Economics all those years back. Rather, it’s some of the most delicately smoked eel either with scrambled eggs or some other accoutrements, it could be topped with another Scandinavian favourite – Pickled Herring, or you could top it with some organic local Danish roast pork… The variations are both broad and all very tasty. So it came to be that on one occasion in my 40th year, I didn’t just manage to eat Smørrebrød at Slotskælderen hos Gitte Kik in CPH, but I also managed to drink some Danish snaps and a local CPH beer [34] whilst there. This wasn’t the first time I had smørrebrød in CPH and I thought the first occasion was OK, but this visit to Slotskælderen hos Gitte Kik was brilliant – From the friendly service, to the guy with the red face at the front finishing most of the plates in front of you and I suspect that the snaps and beer may have added to the whole experience, but whilst the roast pork may not have looked like much, it was some of the best roast pork (and crackling) I’ve ever eaten and was worth the food coma it sent us into afterwards.

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An unexpected treat was a trip to the oldest bakery in Central CPH, Conditori La Glace. I loved how the window display of all the cakes drew you in and it’s very old Copenhagen inside, but the cakes are fantastic – They even had a sugar-free cake which I loved. However, I did manage to eat a Sportskage [35] which is the cake that La Glace is best known for and added another tick to the 40 list.

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With my growing interest in (Craft) Beer, it would be remiss of me to travel to CPH and NOT at least drink something local and well, the Daddy of CPH brewers is Mikkeller with their collaborations and experimental beers. So it was on the way to Relæ for another brilliant dinner that I got to drink a (Mikkeller) beer at Mikkeller and Friends [36]. It has quickly established itself as one of my favourite places to drink in CPH – With its minimalist look of walls painted in a soft, light blue (Turks and Caicos blue, I believe it is) combined with fixtures, fittings and furniture in a bare wood (lightly coloured) – The kind of Scandinavian minimalist design that you (well I) covet over for your own home until you realise that you’re too much of a hoarder to even begin to contemplate the ideal of minimalism. It’s the kind of bar design that is quite common in CPH and much as places in the UK imitate or offer something similar in design and setup, there is a certain (minimalist) swagger and well, vibe that makes it work so well in CPH which is missing in other places. Actually, whilst I’m here, I should really mention how CPH (despite the high price for alcohol) is a great place for craft beer – There are some really great tap rooms throughout the city with really varied and interesting selections. I mean, even the local corner shop near a hotel I was staying at had an entire aisle of bottled craft beers (which meant I could cheekily have one of my favourites, Brooklyn Brown Ale, with a snackette back in the hotel room). It was also in CPH that I discovered Christmas Ale (Beer) or Julebryg – And truly, my life has never been the same since..

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Relæ has an extra special place in my heart because it was my first experience of New Nordic Cuisine 4 years ago and I was completely blown away by it all – The cooking, the room, the soundtrack, how you got your cutlery from a drawer in the table. Added to this how Christian Puglisi and Kim Rosen are 2 of the nicest (and coolest) guys around, it pleases me to see how their little empire has expanded and transformed Nørrebro. So it was with complete surprise when YKL phoned me letting me know of an email that she had received from Christian saying that he knew it was short notice (4 weeks) and well, YKL and I had only literally just returned from a weekend in CPH, but that it was the 5th anniversary of Relæ opening and to celebrate it, they were having a bit of a party in the local park. Sounds good, right? Then we read this:

“The plan is that our amazing friends Rosio Sanchez and Renè Redzepi will be dishing out tacos, Magnus Nilsson cooks up hotdogs, Matt Orlando fries chicken, Mehmet Guhrs braises lamb, Kobe Desmeraults makes us Croquettes-de-crevettes and Chad Robertson will spread butter on delicious bread – all for you, friends and family to taste.”

Literally, my jaw dropped. Had we really been invited to this? Even though we had just got back from CPH, we were scrambling our diaries looking at plane tickets and accommodation. To cut a *very* long story short: It was every bit as brilliant as I hoped. There was a laid back feeling of joy in the air and it very much felt like a coming together of like-minded people in celebration of how Relæ has evolved in 5 years and with it, helped to make Nørrebro a go to destination within CPH. In fact, the whole weekend was centred on the (aforementioned) empire of restaurants and bars that Christian and Kim have built up: Bæst, Manfreds, Mirabelle and of course, Relæ. But what could I add from this for the 40 list? I could have added eating the beef tartare at Manfreds (Truly, if you’re ever in CPH and go to Manfreds, have the beef tartare – It’s one of the best you’ll ever eat). However, I wanted to convey how it felt extra special that in the year I turned 40, it was also the year that Relæ turned 5 and they put on such a massive spectacle which YKL and I were so very lucky to experience. So whilst I have eaten at Relæ many times and will continue going back as much as I can. For me, being able to eat a reinterpretation of the original menu at Relæ [37] made it onto the list. However, I do need to mention the generosity of Kim and Christian because when the bill arrived for that meal which was one of the best we’d ever had there, it appeared to be wrong (and any subsequent demands to speak to Kim and Christian were laughed at by the staff..

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Similarly, I have another special place in my heart for Bror; quite often our meal at Bror will contain the best tasting dishes of the whole CPH trip which is saying something how we generally go for the Big Hitters. Sam Nutter was still at Noma the first time I ate there and he was the one whom gave us our kitchen tour afterwards. When he and Victor Wagman left Noma to open Bror, I remember Rene Redzèpi saying how they both may not have any investors backing, but they had “huge talent and balls”. That only added to the amusement of how a signature dish at Bror became the Bull’s balls – They even have T-shirts saying “Poached, Sliced, Breaded, Fried” (how it’s cooked). So whilst I could say that eating Bulls balls at Bror[38] is on the list, I should also mention how during one of my trips to CPH in my 40th year, I also got to eat at Café LilleBror (RIP) where not content with feeding me balls at Bror, I also got to eat crispy dicks at Café LilleBror. [added to 38] As a side note, I can’t believe I’ve just made that public and now worry how this post is going to come up for certain internet searches…

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I started this post by saying how I couldn’t really leave out writing about Copenhagen given how often I have been there. Therefore I can’t leave out one of (if not) the main reasons for going to Copenhagen in first place – To eat at Noma. Yes, I am very biased when it comes to Noma – But that’s because I’ve never had a bad experience when at Noma. Sure, there have been some dishes where they didn’t *quite* hit the mark, but when you talk about an overall dining experience to encompass the setting, service, wine pairing and food – The whole shebang – you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere better in the world than Noma. Every time I’ve been to Noma, it’s been special and for different reasons every time.  I always spend hours recollecting various parts of the meal with YKL with a permagrin on my face – be it certain dishes, interaction with the staff, recounting conversations… The fact that I got to eat at Noma not just once, but twice to mark my 40th year with friends [39] added to the how special my 40th year was.

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I know this won’t be my last post about CPH, but it very much was part of my 40 Project and whilst some things weren’t within the original remit of eating something local to that region or a speciality of a restaurant/bar for the first time, it felt right that I tweaked some of the qualifying criteria just so I could share some of the happy memories I have from my trips to CPH.

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You don’t have to be lacto-fermented to work here, but it helps…

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The main purpose of our CPH trip this time, if you will, was our Saturday night meal at Noma. It’s Noma, the biggie, voted the world’s best restaurant again after slipping (if you can call it that) to 2nd place. René Redzepi is credited with changing the way the WORLD’s restaurants approach food – You can’t get any restaurant menu these days without some sort of reference to foraging, local or seasonal produce.. But for YKL, it’s much simpler than that: I remember her first going to Noma not long after they opened (and way before they started making waves on the San Pellegrino’s World’s Best restaurants list) and when she first got back, I remember her saying that it was the “Best meal of her life”. Pretty bold statement, but she constantly went back and never once did she have a bad time. Then I started going a couple of years ago; And whilst my first visit was good, I’ve since seen different sides of Noma and absolutely see why YKL made such a statement originally. Noma is the original and still very much setting the standard – Whilst you have restaurants out there which are similar in concept and some similar in style of food, I can guarantee that Noma is not only unlike every other restaurant, it’s still head and shoulders above them all too. It was with this in mind that it was entirely appropriate that we should go to Noma for YKL’s Birthday weekend.

Actually, I was a bit snidey too; Knowing it was YKL’s Birthday, I cheekily emailed one of the directors if they could arrange a little something – They very generously ordered a brand new bread basket especially for her last year when our whole family went, so I thought I would ask if they would mind doing a little something for her this time. I had no idea what they could have done – Far be it for me to suggest anything – But I knew it wouldn’t involve her having to stand on a chair whilst all the staff sung Happy Birthday to her. Very generously, they agreed to do something but I didn’t hear from them in a while and it wasn’t until I was about to fly out that I checked again if they had managed to think of anything, just so I could think of something else incase they were too busy to do so. I got an email reply saying they had sorted something out and well, it would be a surprise for me too.. Unfortunately, YKL happened to look over my shoulder and saw whom had emailed me and so, the cat was kind of out of the bag. I admitted that I had been in contact with the restaurant for her Birthday was but it wasn’t until later that I revealed that I too, had no idea what was going to happen. The combination of nervous excitement had been building for 24 hours by the time we got to the restaurant. It may have been the day after YKL’s Birthday, but we were pretty sure that we were going to experience something awesome..

Getting there was no different to any other time, we speculated if we would be greeted outside, but we had a slightly later booking which would have meant that everyone would be in the throes of the organised chaotic symphony that is a restaurant in service. M, YKL and myself lurked outside the restaurant on the harbour for a brief spell – Mainly to compose ourselves – But it was there that I spotted movement inside from one of the chefs I knew and admitted to the others that I think we’d been spotted. James, the Restaurant Manager suitably came out to greet us and during the conversation to YKL dropped “It’s your Birthday, isn’t it?!”. Yep, they ALL knew it was her Bday so it was time to head out of the cold outside and hand ourselves over to the whole brigade at Noma..

Stepping inside and down the few steps into the restaurant, it’s quite normal for a few of the chefs to greet you – Not just the front of house staff. But what greeted us this time was the ENTIRE kitchen brigade – I honestly think they all stopped cooking for a brief moment and waited to say hello to YKL like she was royalty or something. Seriously, I’m not kidding, I stepped in and down the steps and was quite taken aback by a wall of chefs greeting us all. Very charmingly, some of them (the ones whom have been there longer so knew us a bit better) said Happy Birthday to YKL but to be greeted immediately by such a sight was quite overwhelming. Then we were led to our table;

YKL of course, led our party and she was led to her seat. Normally, they wait for us to choose where to sit, but YKL was definitely led to her seat this time. How did we know this was her seat? Because on the table in her place seating was an old large Danish cookies tin. Yunno, the kind your mother or Grandparents would get in the 70s – I certainly remember them from when I was younger. I did momentarily wonder if there was a cake in there – I know they use the tins as part of their petit fours, but the look on YKL’s face when she opened the time was an absolute picture – A combination of shock, delight and OMFG!- Inside were a selection of kilner jars, each containing different fermented or pickled ingredients to cook with. It was, for all intents and purposes, a tin of Noma. For a Birthday present that was unique and very Noma-esque? I could not have dared to ask for anything more. It was perfect – And this was the beginning of the meal!

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The meal itself was the best I’ve had at Noma yet – There seems to be a bit more of a swagger and assurance in their cooking now and some of the results are spectacular. I’m not going to give a taste-by-taste detailed account, but as much as I joke about it, I really didn’t think I would be saying phrases like “They were some TASTY ants!” when I woke up that morning. Nor did I think that I would need some implement that looked like it was Tarzan’s weapon of choice for my main course of roasted mallard and Widgeon. This was food that was not only very delicious, but also got you really excited to see how innovative and creative people are in making things taste so damn good.

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In the bar area afterwards, we settled down with our teas/coffees and some really fantastic petit fours – Best I’ve had there yet and reflected on what had been another intense, but very triumphant meal. Very sweetly, 2 of the waitresses came by with a small Birthday cake for YKL to cut. In a stroke of genius, M asked if the girls would sing Happy Birthday to which the response was “I will if you will”. Well, it may have been 3 people whom started singing Happy Birthday, but it ended with EVERYONE – staff and guests alike – singing Happy Birthday. It was awesome.

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However, that wasn’t the highlight of the night for me. Yes, it was fantastic for YKL and I was so happy to be part of such a special Bday for her – But the highlight of the night was what came afterwards. I have previously mentioned on this blog about the Saturday Night Project where selected chefs get to present their dishes for the rest of the team, it could be that they’ve been given a project to work on and the end result is presented during the Saturday Night Project. My last and only evidence of this was after my family terrorised some of the chefs as they were preparing their dishes and we were all given a tour of the kitchens whilst a bit drunk.. I honestly thought that we would be banned from it as a result, but they offered us a chance to go see the Saturday Night Project to which we leapt at the chance.

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It was interesting for a whole host of reasons: I’ve obviously met René every time I’ve been to Noma and have seen him in the Test Kitchen upstairs, but I’ve never really seen him working in the kitchen. I’ve seen him on television leading the kitchen brigade, but have never seen the man in action, so to speak. We entered the finishing kitchen quietly and there was a bit of a murmur of chatter in the back of the kitchen and immediately René asked for silence from the back so that the chef speaking to present his dish could be heard by all. This was completely Rene’s domain and in there, you play by HIS rules. But it wasn’t a case that he was a totalitarian in there, he asked for silence so as to respect the fact that one of the chefs – a colleague – was trying to speak and what they had to say demanded to be heard and René was giving them his full attention as a result. What’s more, the Saturday Project was a chance for the chefs to learn – René asked questions to the whole brigade like a good teacher does: “What was your project?” “I had to test different lacto-fermentations” “OK, who here doesn’t know what lacto-fermentation is?”. Anyone who raised their hand had a definition of lacto-fermentation by the senior sous chef. I just loved the whole feeling of nurturing talent – So inspiring to see first hand.

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As you can imagine, the Saturday Night Project is a good chance for young chefs to really make their mark – As was the case we saw that night where a young chef had interned with Noma for 6 month and his internship had actually ended, but he stayed in CPH for a few more weeks knowing that he had a chance to present at the SNP. His eel dish was a great hit and interesting for René because he’d tried to make use of the abundance of eels from the harbour but had never managed anything near as good as what he was tasting that night. Added to this, Noma are going to Japan for a few months early next year and the way the Japanese prepare eel is very different, but it would be an ingredient that is available to them when they go over, so you could see how he wasn’t only impressed with the dish and the young chef for sticking around, but that they could perhaps do something with eel in a Nordic way when in the Far East. The camaraderie I witnessed afterwards when some of the other chefs went up and hugged and congratulated him after he had presented was sheer joy. I honestly felt privileged to have witnessed that. Furthermore, the last presentation of the night was dried scallop baked into a brioche and served with a sea urchin butter. Now, our meal earlier had a scallop fudge and there was a dried scallop element to one of the snacks which reminded me very much of the dried conpoy that we use a great deal in Chinese cookery, but you could see all the chefs devouring into this bread and butter and the questions being asked repeatedly afterwards in slightly different ways – “You put the scallop INTO the brioche?” “So you dried the scallop and put it INTO the bread?” “The scallop in IN the brioche?” amused me greatly – It was like they couldn’t fathom how someone thought of doing something so simple – But genius at the same time. Although, there was a bit of a wince when René asked how many of HIS sea urchins were used in the butter! And the verdict? There were no words, René just started clapping and everyone – EVERYONE – in the room joined in and applauded this young chef for not only being innovative and simple at the same time whilst meeting his brief, but in also producing what was a complete knockout dish. The must be little else more gratifying than getting the warm applause and raptures not only of your peers, but of your boss and someone you gently admire. Genuinely, I had to hold back the tears a bit because I could imagine the pride that young chef was feeling right then. Yeah yeah, call me soppy or sentimental, but I wasn’t even drunk.. Genuinely, it was a fantastic experience and so interesting to see how the chefs are not only nurtured, but helped to develop not only their culinary skills, but also their creative talents.

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I said before that there is nowhere else like Noma in the world – There are many restaurants that may be similar in some aspects – How they forage for food, only using seasonal and local produce, nurturing their staff. But combined? Noma is light years ahead of them all. It’s not just the food that is sensational, the front of house operation is effortless in making you feel completely at ease and as if you’re the most important people in their world right now – Be you a lead actor in one of the best new TV shows in recent years (turns out Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was sat on the table next to us), someone who’s saved up for years to be able to eat at Noma and meet René Redzepi, a Foreign Dignitary or just someone with a good appetite and keeps coming back for more. But now that I’ve seen how they develop their staff, Noma really is unique and I love being able to go back time and time again. Each time has been special for different reasons, but there is also the assurance that I will be treated to the same friendliness, professionalism and deliciousness that makes every visit so very special – Just look at how well they’ve treated YKL at short notice for her Bday – And that’s why I keep going back.

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