What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
I remember when I was in grade school, about 7 years old, and the class went for a walk in the late spring to pick Giant Puffball mushrooms which we then brought back to school and our teacher sautéed them and seasoned them with salt. I remember that flavor very distinctly.
What would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
All the different people that I’ve worked with at various restaurant- both professionally and personally.
Describe your culinary style…
I’m very influenced by the same developments that have happened to Copenhagen’s food scene over the ten years that I’ve been a chef here. There’s an emphasis on, and appreciation of, for instance, wild food, and fermentation- as well a strong relationship with farmers and other producers.
You have recently announced plans for your newest venture, 108, can you tell us abit more about the project?
We have chosen to make an a la carte menu because we feel it suits a wide range of diners, and gives them more freedom in creating a personal dining experience. We want to be a Copenhagen kitchen that is constantly striving to make this food culture our own- at the same time we are similar to noma in our philosophies about hard work and hospitality.
Why did you feel that this was an important direction for you to take?
I’ve dreamt of opening a restaurant for a long time. A couple years ago I had a coffee with René, and we realized that we shared a lot of the same ideas for a more casual restaurant. The more we spoke, the clearer it became that we should partner to create this space together.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
I guess it doesn’t sound very interesting, but I’d say salt and water.
What kind of experience do you aim to give guests at your restaurant?
We want to provide a warm and inviting atmosphere, and encourage our guests to create the sort of night they want- a quick drink and a plate of food, or really explore the menu with a longer meal.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
There have been many moments, but one that is particularly striking for me is the day that I decided to join Christian Puglisi’s venture to start Restaurant Relæ. That whole adventure led me to many great things throughout my career, including this project.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
Something like…“Anything is possible. Keep believing in yourself and with hard work and discipline you can achieve your goals. Above all, make sure you do something that makes you happy.”
What’s next for you/Whats projects do you have lined up?
We’re still focusing on the pop-up at noma and building the permanent restaurant space at 108.
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
There are a couple for me right now: Saison, in San Francisco, Etxebarri in San Sebastian, and Yanagiya in Mizunami, Gifu preferecture, Japan.
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