Since the early 2000s, New Nordic Cuisine has gripped the imaginations of food lovers globally, with restaurants such as Noma, Relae and Geranium regularly topping ‘world’s best restaurants’ lists. The ethos is simple: focus on local, seasonal ingredients and revive old techniques (such as curing, fermenting and pickling) in a way that’s both fresh and modern.
But there’s a new wave of Scandinavian chefs evolving a style that goes beyond New Nordic, adapting to influences from further afield. Among them is Jakob Mielcke, the executive chef of Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, an ethereal restaurant in the gardens of the Royal Danish Horticultural Society in Copenhagen.
Here, he delivers a 360-degree vision that merges the dining room with its historic botanical surroundings, immersing diners in a multisensory garden of Eden that starts with the smell of herbs, freshly picked from the kitchen garden, and ends with a soundscape that mimics the noise of forest creatures.
Having started his career in Holstebro in Denmark, Mielcke went on to train at Pierre Gagnaire’s in Paris and Sketch in London. All of these restaurants have honed his style but it was under Gagnaire’s famously iconoclastic guidance that he learnt to put his own personality on the plate, which Mielcke says was the ‘biggest gift’ the French chef gave to him. He then returned to his home country to work with Jan Hurtigkarl as executive chef at Hurtigkarl & Co, where his own creativity began to unfold.