Now it’s February and I find it appropriate to sum up on the past year. February 20 Relæ has officially been open for six months. We could no longer rest on the laurels and maintain focus on friends and invited guest exclusively. Furthermore, on February 21 it has been exactly one year since I participated in Omnivore Food Festival as representative for the, back then not yet existing, Relæ.
One could say that it was the first time I got a chance to present the restaurant as something more than just a rough outline, ideas and ambitious ideologies. This time I had a knife in my hand, vegetables in the casserole and a distinct focus on the food. In February last year, our presence at OFF was the first step towards the international audience, who now, one year later, has given us a warm welcome. In the past year, the representative from Omnivore has been at our restaurant to dine and so have a number of bloggers and opinion leaders from the festival and guide, and they have been very enthusiastic about our restaurant, hence we have received an invitation to this year’s festival too. This time not only to demonstrate our style of cooking and our ideas, but also to receive an award. I was announced this year’s “revelation” – or put in another way, this years “surprise”!
It way truly amazing and very surprising to receive this award. I had no idea this category even existed, but the element of surprise only made it better. At spiseliv.dk Mia Rudolf posted a great notice telling about this award, along with a general description of the festival.
Award or not, the purpose with our travel was to show people what projects we are working on at Relæ, now a year after I first introduced the concept. Therefore, this year I was just as relaxed and secure about this year’s presentation as I had been excited last year. This time we were at our own stamping ground, carrying a lot of food and serving it with pleasure to a number of happy guests. Hence, we were a lot more confident when we unpacked our stuff and got ready in front of the journalists, gourmands and critical looks.
As I mentioned briefly in the blog post about last years experience at OFF, a large part of the experience is meeting with the other chefs and talking and exchanging ideas, while we do the cooking. This year, Kristian Baumann, joined me on the trip. We enjoyed chilling and taking our time preparing for our presentation. Even though Baumann would probably say I chilled a bit more than him…
Magnus Nilsson from Fävikan in a remote part of Sweden was almost ready to enter the stage with his interesting and very natural kitchen. Definitely a colleague I would love to visit as soon as possible!
My starting point last year was to show what I believed would be the menu that should open Relæ so to speak. 4 courses on stage in 30 minutes. This year I found it relevant to deliver an update of the menu and show what is on the menu today. First we began with showing a short film, in order to present the atmosphere and the energy of restaurant, which we find particularly important for the holistic experience you get when you eat in our restaurant. The film on the top of this page was displayed and Kristin and I continued by mincing meat for the tartar with mussels. Then we prepared and mashed potatoes and served them with olives and pecorino. Next step was to serve our braised knuckle of veal with fried carrots and a sauce made with söl. Lastly, we created a dessert made with Jerusalem artichokes, passion and grinded coffee.
Unfortunately a car was waiting for us about an hour after we left the stage. It took us for a two and a half hours drive to the airport. At this moment we would have preferred having a beer and talking to our colleagues. We lacked time to really enjoy the festival, get inspired by the other chefs and thereby bring something with us home. Especially, we lacked time to get feedback on our presentation. However, I hope we managed to let people see how our small kitchen at Nørrebro has evolved in the short time it has existed. Hopefully we have left people curious about what is going on in Copenhagen.
Well, I promised statistics and the wordpress tools tell me that so far we have had more than 100,000 hits at our website/blog. And this does not include the old website. Wow!