25 Jan Denmark is known as a culinary destination and home to several top…
Photo Credit : Jesper Bøjlund on behalf Bocuse d’Or Danmark
Denmark is known as a culinary destination and home to several top restaurants and chefs, including our own restaurant, 2 Michelin star restaurant Alchemist and our world acclaimed Chef Rasmus Koefoed 3 x Paul Bocuse winner and Michelin 3 star awarded restaurant Geranium in Copenhagen, which was voted the #1 restaurant in the world. And once again, at the Bocuse d’Or WORLD Competition in Lyon at SIRHA, this last weekend Denmark took top honors with winning Chef Brian Mark Hansen from Michelin star restaurant Søllerod Kro.
Hip hip hurrah! Chefs Hats off for a big celebration with champagne galore! It was a crazy day, with the odds stacked against the chef with missing items and delays in his kitchen, yet still he pulled through and brought a Gold Medal and the golden statue of Paul Bocuse home to Denmark.
I was in Lyon as I always am there every 2 years to follow the chefs and the vigorous 5 hour program of cooking from scratch, using base material in starting a specific dish which is created finally on thus massive trays, the dishes designed are enforced with a strict set of rules and a fixed amount of ingredients which limits the chef’s freedom, well that’s the point I guess is to make cooking within stringent conditions and within a set timeframe. As you sit in the balconies those hours watching, every minute of these 5 hours count, there is no time for a break, for the chef and his sous chef it’s teamwork all the way to the end.
While this is cause for Danish pride and celebration, a problem remains–lack of funding.
As an ex-member of the Board of Directors, we always struggle to raise needed funds, and despite the shoestring budget, we still continue to produce winners.
Why is it important to support Bocuse d’or Denmark?
Because these chefs are putting Denmark on the map when it comes to fine dining, bringing visitors from abroad to this foodie destination, as well as offering Danes the opportunity to experience gastronomical delight in their own communities.
We keep great talent here in Denmark, and inspire future chefs to remain in their home country.
Private money is not a constant ! My family sponsored for so many years , the Danish food industries donate food items which I know Bocuse d’Or Danmark are forever grateful for but the bottom line is cash is needed to pay the bills for the activity around the Chef and sous chef .
Even with our strong network , we managed one year to raise some monies through a charity dinner , with our late Ritt Bjerregaard , may she rest in peace , with a strong team of Danish socialite activists we all work for free , given up our daytime and some evenings dedicated in finding ways to raise money it becomes nearly a begging game to get cash in the box it’s pretty sad that the government doesn’t step up and support Bocuse d’ Or Danmark properly, this would solve many equipment issues logistic issues the team is struggling. Within the Danish chef community and commitment to Danish gastronomy, all of the big food wholesalers give a generous donation as well as my husband Lars and I and a few other dedicated sponsors are long term supporters of Bocuse d’or Denmark. When I first became involved it was Chef Kenneth Toft Hansen and Svinkløv Badehotel, trained by Rasmus Kofoed. Our Geranium won the gold medal in 2019. I spent two years asking for financial support to offer a platform for success at Bocuse d’or and put Denmark on the world map for gastronomic experiences, which in turn has attracted many tourists, generating income to the hospitality business, as well as other businesses who benefit from increased tourism.
Supporting Bocuse d’or Denmark makes good sense so I hope readers will be inspired to make a contribution on whatever level is possible, and tourism organizations the Culture/Food departments in the Ministries should see the wisdom in this as well.
Next time you enjoy a fine meal, or bring family, friends, and clients to one of Denmark’s celebrated restaurants, or perhaps discover a new spot led by an aspiring chef, please remember the importance of supporting raising chefs Bocuse d’or Denmark. Your taste buds will thank you for it!