Written by Joan Øhrstrøm
Photo by: Semko Balcerski
Boiling, salting, fermenting and experimenting in the Bornholm gourmet kitchens, where the rocky island’s creative and quality-conscious chefs are constantly inventing new exciting dishes. Have a taste at six of the island’s best restaurants, all of which appreciate cultivating the fresh Bornholm ingredients.
There is not far from the farm to the table at the honoured South Bornholm restaurant Kadeau, which has a whole hectare of land. They use every vegetable as long as they bring out the right aroma. With less meat, for the sake of the climate and the taste.
– It’s not because we have ambitions to become a vegetarian restaurant. We want to try to pull away from the red meat, and in return, we are working to become even better at using vegetables, says head chef Nicolai Nørregaard and adds:
– We are already there, but we will go even deeper in processing the vegetables so that the guest does not miss the meat. That is why we are working on developing deep dishes that do not have meat, but a lot of umami, whether it comes from fish, seafood or vegetables, the chef explains.
– We focus on taking as much of Bornholm into the plate as possible on Stammershalle Badehotel. It certainly does not matter if the plate is also from Bornholm. Because we want to support local food producers, use nature and serve local food on Bornholm porcelain, he explains that the menu is inspired by French and Nordic cuisine, but that the seasons also determine a lot. The ingredients are always fresh and seasonal. However, he believes that large amounts of butter, cream, sour cream, and herbs always work wonders.
At Melsted Badehotel, the future restaurateur, Martin Påske Christensen, is trained in French cuisine. In addition, he has lived for several years in Italy. – I had a fish restaurant north of Sicily, mainly focusing on seafood. Even though you do not catch so many fish on Bornholm anymore, fish will fill the menu, says the Melsted chef, who also wants to give the Bornholm plank steak with spice butter on oak planks a renaissance. – We try to upgrade it visually and in terms of quality, he promises.
There is a lot of experimentation in the kitchen at Râzapâz in Rønne.
– We play with challenging tastes. Right now, we focus on food waste, so we always get leftovers turned into something more excellent than the original product. Cauliflower leaves can easily be used in their kitchen, and dill stalks can, for example, turn into pesto, herb chips or get a fantastic taste of anise if they are pickled. This allows it to be used at the bottom of a dish because even though it is not pleasant, “it tastes SO good”, explains owner Patrick Hult. He describes their taste universe as a meeting between the French and Nordic experimental cuisine.
At Det Røde Pakhus in Rønne, the menu is primarily designed for the local, loyal customers who visit all year round.
– It is not a summer restaurant, and we are not hyper-experimental. If we think it’s good, then the guests probably think so too, explains the chef Daniel Kruse and adds that the menu is constantly changed. The inspiration can come from Nordic, French and even Japanese or Thai cuisine – but with the exact requirements for all dishes.
– It must be well cooked, it must taste good, and it must look good. People have to feel good and think: “Wow, it tastes good”, says the chef, who has been on the national team of chefs and still sees it as a sport to decorate a plate.
The taste of the food is more important than how it looks at Restaurant Nordlandet, which is also inspired by French and Nordic cuisine.
– We have often been called a gourmet bistro, and it is a term that suits us very well.
We want to make good, honest food. If there is a herb on the dish, it is there because it tastes good and fits, says head chef Anne Bruun Jessen. In return, she and her colleagues are always ready to try something new. The inspiration can come from many places because the nature of Bornholm is a delicious playground for chefs who are constantly looking for ingredients that can provide new taste experiences.