France, Italy and Spain may get all the attention as EU culinary capitals, but Denmark, Copenhagen is starting to get some long overdue love. Suddenly, the "new Nordic" cooking movement is all the rage.
Copenhagen's Noma restaurant may be to thank for that. It was recently awarded second place in San Pellegrino's "50 Best Restaurants" awards for the third consecutive year.
The chefs Noma has trained and the restaurant's "understanding the wild and love of nature" philosophy has ushered in the new Nordic culinary revolution across the city, notes Danish culinary dynamo — and two-starred Michelin chef — Francis Cardenau.
To try some of the best of this cuisine, one need look no further than Amass, run by former Noma chef Matt Orlando, who has gastronomes on every continent scrambling to book a table. But Amass, which features Orlando's Nordic take on global cuisine, is only one of Copenhagen's new, revered dining destinations run by Noma alums.
Two other former Noma chefs, Victor Wågman and Samuel Nutty, have put their own spin on "wild" and "nature" with a menu driven by seasonal vegetables and edible flowers at Restaurant Bror. Meanwhile, former sous chefs Christian Puglisi and Claus Henriksen are working wonders at restaurants Relæ, which sports its own vegetable menu, and Dragsholm Castle.
Michelin-starred Kadeau, with a menu focused on produce from the Danish island of Bornholm, "is operating at a world class level," says Cardenau.
A Sense of Humor
A sense of playfulness is an important element of the new Nordic tradition. A great place to see this sense of humor is Pony, where it's not unusual to find pork neck or smoked beer sausage on the menu. Or head to more informal spots such as Marv and Ben for playful takes on traditional Danish delights.
The smørbrød, the Scandinavian open-faced sandwich, is also experiencing a come-to-new-Nordic cuisine moment. Restaurant Schonneman draws crowds for its casual atmosphere and inspired takes on the classic.