By Laura Greenman
Nordic cuisine is on the up. The last few years have seen Nordic chefs, ingredients and cuisine rise to the global stage. This year’s food festival in Copenhagen is set to be the best yet as the city revels in its recent success now that it is officially home to the best restaurant in the world.
Having bagged a much sought-after table at the famous Noma restaurant in Denmark’s capital last year during my honeymoon, I can certainly see why it won this coveted award. In case you’re wondering what Nordic cuisine is all about, here is what we ate at Noma over the course of our most memorable meal yet:
The restaurant is now completely oversubscribed with diners wishing to get a flavour of Chef Rene Redzepi’s ingenuity. The restaurant itself is understated and comfortable – no airs or graces. Just clients enjoying beautifully crafted dishes with innovative combinations of flavours and ingredients.
The Copenhagen Food Festival
There are many ways to enjoy Nordic cuisine. If you’re lucky enough to be in Copenhagen between the 20th and 29th August 2010 a visit to the Food Festival (and Noma if you can) is highly recommended. A wealth of temptations and culinary enjoyment will be on offer in Copenhagen when Denmark’s best producers and specialists in food, wine and gourmet delicacies come together to celebrate good taste and uncompromising quality.
The festival was launched in 2005 as a tribute to the Danish kitchen and Nordic food traditions and it has been a tremendous success ever since. Focusing on the finest local products, the Nordic culinary tradition has been rediscovered and modernized in recent years and the new Nordic cuisine has received many accolades both at home and abroad.
The sixth celebration of Copenhagen Cooking will take place in the Nyhavn canal area, at the Carlsberg Breweries, on open squares, markets, various city streets and restaurants in central Copenhagen. There will be temptations on offer at the city’s best gourmet restaurants, high quality food at the various food markets all over town, family activities, cookery schools, cooking competitions, daily taste sensations, gastronomic specialities, open kitchens and wine tastings. Visit www.copenhagencooking.com to find out more.
Nordic Cuisine in London
Closer to home, there are numerous Nordic eateries in London attracting both Scandinavians and Scando-philes through their doors.
For the best cinnamon buns on this island, a visit to Nordic Bakery is essential eating – near to Soho on Golden Square. The coffee is first-class too. www.nordicbakery.com
If you’re looking for a happy-go-lucky atmosphere and Nordic supplies, from sweeties to Aquavit, Scandinavian Kitchen on the other side of Oxford Street is a must. www.scandikitchen.co.uk
For a sit-down meal experience, Madsens in Kensington specialises in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian delicacies. www.madsenrestaurant.com
Books on Nordic Cuisine
Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
Rumour has it that Rene Redzepi is launching a book about his beloved Noma restaurant. And how much do I want a copy?! It’s being published by Phaidon Press and released 30 September 2010. It looks like one for the coffee table.
The Nordic Diet by Trina Hahnemann
Northern diets and lifestyles can keep you thin. That’s the basic premise of this best-selling recipe book. The emphasis is on good, home-made and often home-grown, seasonal food consisting of a wide variety of grains, berries, vegetables, fish, poultry and game (but very little meat). A staple read for Nordic cuisine.