Geranium, Rasmus Kofoed’s Copenhagen restaurant, currently sitting at number two on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, has completely rejuvenated its menu. See the exclusive images of the new dishes below.
Chef Kofoed's inspiration
Kofoed has never backed down from a challenge and after reaching the upper echelons of the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list last year, second only to fellow Copenhagen restaurant Noma, he decided to rework the restaurant menu, the interior and the experience to make something fresh, more authentic and closer to the passions that drive him.
“My inspiration is the seasons and working with a total experience,” says Kofoed. “We were working with music [the band Efterklang] to create a special atmosphere and we had a local artist [Rikke Darling], who painted Danish wild nature, plants and insects on the walls., we changed the lighting so everything is a little lighter and we took away the meat.
Photo Credit - Claes Bech-Poulsen
“Everything is very seasonal in the dishes. They are brand new but with the DNA of Geranium. One of them is inspired by my visit to the Palace of Versailles; one of them is inspired by the wild nature in this season, another is inspired by the ocean."
While Noma represents a more austere, innovative, Scandinavian aesthetic, Kofoed’s Geranium incorporates light, nature and positivity. The new Geranium is a multisensory experience, one that reflects the freedom that the chef felt in starting over.
“These are dishes with a lot of flavour, so you are trying to find the right balance and still not compromise with your ideas and your thoughts and your heart. We’ve been spending a lot of time to create this menu. I felt freedom when I was setting up this menu,” says Kofoed.
“I was kind of cutting the strings that I had before and I just felt so much freedom, and I was so excited to create this new menu. It breaks the traditional rhythm. So it’s been a very good feeling.”
The decision to remove meat from the menu came from Kofoed’s own eating habits at home, where he hasn’t eaten meat for five years. Fish and shellfish are part of Geranium’s soul, but did the chef have to expand his technical palette in order to elevate the plant-based elements?
“It’s a challenge, and you need to take on the challenge, and then you need to search for great flavours that come from other things,” he says. “Like reduced chicken stock… it’s always easy to add reduced chicken stock to anything liquid and it will boost the flavour. So we are doing it differently, we are working with reduced mushroom stock, we are working with acidity, some Japanese flavours…"
“We use the great smoked mushroom garum that they developed at Noma, which is a nice flavour boost for a mushroom toast that we are doing. It feels really great. We use oysters and we add liquid from cucumber so you get this great salty and fresh flavour, you really feel the ocean."
Denmark has a cuisine that bows to the extremity of the seasons, so by leaning into a more vegetable-forward menu, does it depart from the tradition in any way?
“We have dishes inspired by Danish tradition, in fact, the first bite you will get is a dish made with Danish traditions. We start with the salted herring and the dill aquavit we like to drink when we eat herring. So there are some traditional Danish elements, but there are also influences from the dishes that I like to make for my family. There’s a dish we do at home that we do with apple and cinnamon and lingonberries, I make oatmeal at home three times a week for my kids and we use apple cinnamon sugar."
“The inspiration comes from reaching out to life, the life that surrounds me at the moment.”
Danish tradition: Salted herring in crispy algae with dill stems & aquavit - Photo Credit - Claes Bech-Poulsen
Winter Greens from Kiselgården: flowering Brussels sprouts, leeks & wild onions Photo Credit - Claes Bech-Poulsen
Winter greens from Kiselgården_ flowering Brussels sprouts, leeks & wild onions Photo Credit - Claes Bech-Poulsen
Boiled beetroots, birkemosegård, dried blueberries & horseradish - Photo Credit - Claes Bech-Poulsen
Cloudberry, pumpkin & white chocolate - Photo Credit - Claes Bech-Poulsen
Forest mushrooms, beer, smoked egg yolk, pickled hops & rye bread - Photo Credit - Claes Bech-Poulsen