5 Questions for Nicolai Nørregaard
Pesto made from rose hips and forest ants? These are ordinary ingredients for top Danish chef Nicolai Nørregaard. With his restaurant "Kadeau," he secured a spot for the small Baltic Island of Bornholm on the list of destinations for gourmets.
March 8, 2023
Nicolai Nørregaard: An Important Representative of Nordic Cuisine
In your two "Kadeau" restaurants you rely almost exclusively on products that you grow on your home island of Bornholm or track down in nature. Where did this idea come from?
From my grandfather. He always grew his own vegetables here, caught his own fish, fermented herring and preserved vegetables for the very long winter season. He spent almost all his time in the kitchen, always brimming with passion and knowledge.
What impact did that have on you?
His dedication showed me at a young age what an important role individual ingredients have in the preparation of great food. One day I tried a fish that was still slightly warm inside from the four-hour smoking process. It was accompanied by rye bread with butter and fresh chives. It was divine.
Dane Nicolai Nørregaard, 42, counts as one of the best chefs in the world. ©Marie Louise Munkegaard
What do you look for in restaurants when you go out to eat?
I think it's important that restaurants are personal - and that passionate people stand behind them. I like places where you can sense that the staff enjoys working there. But of course, good food and good wine also play a big role in my selection.
Is there a meal you'll always remember?
My first meal at the restaurant "Noma". At that time, apart from me, there were still quite few who scoured the region for wild treasures of nature and focused on high quality and local products. Accordingly, it was exciting for me to taste the results there. The dishes overwhelmed me. From then on, I was even more convinced of our concept than before.
In his two "Kadeau" restaurants - on Bornholm (one Michelin star) and in Copenhagen (two Michelin stars) - he relies mainly on products from the region.©Marie Louise Munkegaard
How important is travel in your life as a star chef?
I have traveled almost the entire world. Without these experiences and impressions, I would never have come to where I am today. Being allowed to experience foreign food cultures not only awakened my own creativity, but also broadened my understanding of the diversity of food and people who think in different ways than I do. Today, I dream of traveling to the most remote places to try dishes prepared by locals. That's why my best advice to young chefs is: travel around the world!