Copenhagen has so much to offer in terms of gastronomy, culture and shopping – but where to start? We have teamed up with a handful of local actors, designers and writers, who all have one thing in common; they love their city! During the next couple of months we will bring interesting and honest interviews with some of these people – and for this very first edition, we have met Rasmus Palsgård. He is the journalist behind the blog Feinschmeckeren.dk, and he knows a thing or two about ‘the good life’.
Name: Rasmus Palsgård
What do you blog about?
Feinschmeckeren.dk is my personal project – a site, where I write about gastronomy and wine. I launched the blog almost 3,5 years ago while I was still studying to become a journalist.
I have always wanted to write about good food and wine, so I started the site as a dynamic resume and since then it has simply evolved to become something more.
When did your interest for gastronomy begin?
I am originally from Skive (a city in the mid-western part of Denmark),which is not exactly the gastronomical gem of Denmark. My parents have always been very passionate about food though, and I come from a family, where homemade food of great quality has always played a vital role.
Ever since I was very young I have been used to dismembering a pig myself, making my own patés, sausages etc. and that gives you a whole new perspective on food!
Now you live in Copenhagen. What is your favorite neighborhood in the city and why?
I have been living at Østerbro since August last year and the area is really growing on me. I like that it is so laid-back and calm without being boring.
I am still exploring the neighborhood but I enjoy taking a stroll down Nordre Frihavnsgade, which has a big variety of small independent grocery stores. My favorite is La Fromagerie, which has a great selection of cheese. The French owner Christophe is very passionate and always up for a chat, so do take the time if you ever go there; he has a lot to tell.
As for restaurants, I like the more funky Carte Blanche, which serve great food and wine for reasonable prices. It is located at Dag Hammerskjølds Allé in Østerbro, and the owner Vincent is quite the character. He jokes a lot with the guests, which creates a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
The neighbouring restaurant, Hungaria, is a hidden gem in the city, and the food there is actually really good! It is classic Hungarian food – sort of a “gourmet light” experience.
As for restaurants in general: which one is your favorite?
NOMA is the easy choice, but it really is one of my favorites. Besides NOMA, I have a soft spot for Mielcke and Hurtigkarl located in the Frederiksberg Garden. The Chef there, Jakob Mielcke who some might know from the TV program Masterchef, is a very reflective and intellectual chef. The food might not be traditional and what customers might expect, but it always awakens the senses and makes you think. With the mix between Nordic cuisine and the Japanese kitchen, it is a mystery to me why this place still has not received a Michelin star.
Which dining experiences has left you with the biggest impression?
I have to say NOMA. What really impressed me is how much they are evolving over time. I went there for my second visit last summer, and whether it was better the second time around I cannot decide, but the evolvement and the movement they show with the creativity of the food really surprised and impressed me.
Imagine a perfect Saturday night out in the city. Where would you go?
I have a thing for wine bars, so I would start the night at “Den Vandrette” in Nyhavn. The service here is great; they serve organic wine and the view of the Copenhagen canal is incredible. After that I would move on to Studio, which is the solo project of the former NOMA chef Torsten Vildgaard. It quickly received a star and I understand why. The food is impeccable, it is a young and hip staff, and all in all it is just a super cool restaurant!
If I am able to move after the dinner at Studio, I will go for drinks at Ruby’s, which is a fantastic and very exclusive cocktail bar in the center. What is even better – they make the best cocktails without ever being snobby.
What is a must-do for tourists visiting the city?
The most important thing is that you take the time to eat well, as any other city I guess. Like anywhere else, Copenhagen has its tourist trap’s, so do a bit of research before your arrival. I would recommend going for lunch at Number 2 located at Christianshavn. From here you could enjoy the view of the water and the beautiful Black Diamond. After lunch, go on a boat tour in the canals – it is a great way of seeing the city and getting acquainted with some of the stories behind our beautiful buildings.
I would really recommend people to go to Torvehallerne (a food market in the center of the city) to feel the vibe, and maybe grab a coffee at Coffee Collective before moving on.
Interview by Helena Espeland
Photo credit: Landbrug & Fødevarestyrelsen/Pelle Rink