FOURty Seconds with Jonathan Berntsen

21 Oct 2016
3 min read
FOUR speaks to bright star on the Danish food scene, Jonathan Berntsen of Restaurant Clou, to find out how the old Kingdom is more than just Nordic minimalism and Noma alike.

What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?

I have always known I wanted to be a chef, My parents say I talked about it all the time whenI was littleand they took me to amazing restaurants from a very early age. I remember dinning at Auberge de L’ill as very young, maybe 5 or 6 years old – I remember having some dish with frog legs – and it was amazing.

What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?

Maybe it’s a cliche, but my mother took me very seriously when she noticed my interest for cooking. she put me in the kitchen with her and learned me a lot.Inmy older years great chefs andpersonalities like Christoph Dufau, Jacob Mielke and Rasmus Groenbech has learned me a great deal of what I know today and formed me as a chef.

Describe your culinary style…

Guests and critics say We have aMediterranean style. Even old school. And i concur – I like South European cusine – I made it my own with a special twist. And it has become my personal cuisine.

What would you say is the main focus/ for your menu at CLOU?

The food and wine parrings are essential – it’s the most impotent to complet the perfect meal.

What do you think makes a restaurant, or menu sosuccessful?

It’s very impotent with a red thread inthe menu – you have to start somewhere and end at a point were itfeels natural – a journey. The personality of the cuisine and restaurant is also impotent forthe experience togo to a higher level.

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

Caviar!I have a very good friend who has his own brand, “Rossini Caviar”, and it’s always on the menu in one of the dishes and on one of our amusses.

What changes have you witnessed on the ‘New Nordic’ food scene in recent years?

For me it’s hard to say,I ammaking South European food, but the Nordic Cuisine is still going strong and has putCopenhagenon the World foodmap.

What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?

It’s impotent for my team and I to give our guests a “real” restaurant experience. We don’t aim to impress with powder, smoke and fire works at the table.Our guestswill lean back and enjoy a meal made with the best products one can find – they will understand every dish and the will get lovelywineswitch are matched perfectly.

What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?

I was lucky enough to compete at the international”Copa Jerez V” in Spain,the most famous andprestigiouscompetitionin food and wine parring – the judges were idols like; Juli Soler, Josep Roca andDoug Frost.CLOU was representing Denmark as a “wild card” as the otherchefs and sommeliersfrom all over Wold was representingtwo and three starred restaurants. We gave it our best and ended up winning theoverall competition and I even won the”best chef award”.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?

I feel very lucky when looking back from where i started. I have no regrets and there is no experience I would be without. If I could say something to myself at the time I started up on my own, I would say; Get involved the guests in the dinning room – be proud already and show them who you are andhow happy you are to see them dinning at your restaurant.

What’s next for you/Whats projects do you have lined up?

CLOU is a restaurant that evolves all the time – it’s what makes it interesting – to do better and better all the time both food and restaurant wise. We still have many things to achieve and many years to go – and CLOU needs all of our attention at this point.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Is there time for any? I have a small family now and all the time Im not at the restaurant I use with my fantastic girlfriend and my small son -I am lucky enough to have two dreams come true; to havemy ownfamily and to have my dream restaurant – that must be the greatest pleasure.

What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?

I love to experience new restaurants and to travel placesI haven’t seen before – but there is one restaurant I keep comming back to and it’s on the list forever;Le Louis XV in Monaco – for me they deliver the perfect dinning experience.

Find out more Jonathan and Restaurant CLOUhere…