It’s impossible to talk about this restaurant without looking back to 2007, the year a couple of childhood friends inaugurated – with great enthusiasm – their first eatery. Nicolai Nørregaard, the cook, and his partner, Rasmus Kofoed, began their adventure in Bornholm, an idyllic island in the Baltic Sea from where they both hail. They put forward an unusual evolution of cuisine; while continuing to be committed to the principles of New Nordic Cuisine, they redefined its spirit by exclusively using produce from the island.
In 2011, and after several incidents, they installed a sister restaurant in Copenhagen for the winter months. They continued with their intimate gastronomic universe, whose roots are nourished by the wildness of nature, represented unadorned on a plate in all its starkness to conserve its identity, but without renouncing the element of surprise derived from juxtaposing perceptively chosen ingredients that are treated with astuteness. ‘Kadeau has the ability to immerse nature in a photographic developer,’ says journalist Joakim Grundahl[MF1] .
Kadeau Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Scandinavia whose defining motto on its imaginary flyleaf reads: ‘We plough, tend, harvest, pick, conserve, serve and love.’ Nørregaard, a self-taught cook, firmly believes that by committing to such a reductionist ideal and with the conviction of sticking to a limited natural pantry, the experience at Kadeau is amplified. It is not an attack to weaken the obsolete principles advocated by Central European classicism, but instead intends to be free of all protection, committing to authentic precepts that constitute its modest philosophical credo.
Along the journey through the ‘Bornholmerbank’ menu – that it not at all tiring – the sensory nuances of the dishes are calmly muted, umami is present in each morsel, yet in-depth, diverse and faraway notes have not been relinquished. The beautiful compositions are deceptively simple, textures play a decisive role: pickled vegetables on cockle dashi; hot and cold salmon with figs; scallop with horseradish and pine flowers.
Kadeau is currently one of Europe’s most transcendent restaurants, and its imprint on the gastronomic avant-garde continues to expand silently like an ardent, joyous epidemic.
By Federico Regalado