What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
My earliest memories are of picking blueberries with my cousins and grandmother in Bathurst, New Brunswick on the land near the family farm. Iwill always remember how wonderful the flavour was; and how amazing everything that my grandmother cooked tasted in that special old farmstead house and kitchen. Everything felt and tasted differently there.
What would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
My travel and experience in Europe has inspired and influenced my cooking the most for sure. Having spent three years in England and then three more in Denmark (during the time when Noma was starting to become recognized internationally) was incredible.Ilearned so much and it shaped very much how and what Ithink about food and cooking generally – about ingredients and how to use them. Travelling is a massive source of inspiration for me as well. To get invited for guest chef dinners is always some of interest – first of all to be able to cook and create with another chef; but also to eat and see the products available in different parts of the world.
Describe your culinary style…
Most importantly for me is to cook with the seasons and so to take and get inspiration from which plants, vegetables and wild things are freshest at any given moment. Ithink we have a certain more European approach to the kitchen than alot of other restaurants in the city; and Iwant the dishes to showcase bright, clean flavours.
You took part in lastyear’s NORTH festival, what did the event mean to you?
It meant the opportunity to cook with two very good friends – Fredrik Berselius and Mads Refslund- and to have a fun evening. It was a great event and it helps to raise the awareness of the Nordic kitchen. We are not trying to be ‘new Nordic’ at Luksus; but any affiliations that are assumed Imore than welcome as Iam extremely proud about my three years spent as pastry chef at restaurant Noma.(As Isaid, Iwant to be a seasonal restaurant that uses local ingredients to create a tasting menu that changes often.)
Your restaurant Luksus recieved a Michelin Star for the 2016 guide, what did this mean to you when you heard the news?
It was incredible to hear of our inclusion in the guide. Always an honor to be granted the star rating. Ithink most chefs dream of getting a Michelin star, so it’s wonderful; and there’s room to improve alot more as well.
What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?
We aim to make delicious food – this should always be the goal of any chef or restaurant. In addition, there should be a flow to the menu that makes sense – starting with some small bites and then moving to the main dishes. Sharing dishes and eating things with your hands is important and elemental aspects of eating that the guest experiences at luksus.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
We use lots of beetroot, malt and all types of acidity.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
I would say the most memorable event was a lunch that happened here at Luksus in April 2014 during a GELINAZ event here in NYC for Wylie Dufresne whereby 30 of the most influential chefs from all over came to eat the day before the event. It was incredible to cook for everyone all at the same time; and it was so soon after we had opened – a very memorable experience. It was also wonderful to be a part of the team at the fat duck in 2005 when it was named the world’s #1 best restaurant by the world’s 50 best.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
Ibelieve that Iwould advise myself to go to Europe even earlier to gain international experience and awider perspective on food generally. When Istarted out, cooking was not a glamorous career choice, so I certainly never got into it for the reasons some do nowadays…
What’s next for you/Whats projects do you have lined up?
Hopefully Iwill make the long time goal of opening a gelato shop a reality in 2016. Open to doing other spots also, perhaps a bakery one day also.
What is your guilty pleasure?
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
Extebarri – Ihave always wanted to go! Also, Ivery much want to visit mexico and japan for inspirational trips.
615 Manhattan Avenue