Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Copenhagen-The City for Lovers of Fine Cuisine

Taking its place among the leading culinary destinations of Europe, Copenhagen has become a magnet for food-savvy travelers who plan vacations around chefs, restaurants, local cuisine and food/wine events. With 12 of Copenhagen’s restaurants earning a total of 13 Michelin stars in 2009 - and the announcement of its upcoming 2009 Copenhagen Cooking Festival, the city is certain to attract more U.S. visitors than ever.

As a special Nordic culinary treat, the fifth annual Copenhagen Cooking Festival will feature gastronomic events throughout the city from August 21-30, 2009. They will include Eat 09, now in its sixth year featuring food, wine, spices, chocolate and much more under the same roof, and the annual open-air gourmet experience in Frederiksberg Gardens, where beautiful lawns and lush scenery provide the backdrop for a unique dinner spiced up with a culinary treasure hunt, story-telling and fun for the whole family. Also, experience dishes from 11 top restaurants from Copenhagen and Malmø in the Royal Danish Playhouse, as well as a food/lifestyle event with gourmet delicacies in the Øksnehallen Exhibition Centre. There will also be wine tastings, and special menus at the city’s leading restaurants. The Festival’s web site, www.copenhagencooking.dk, will provide locations, dates and times for all this year’s events.

Copenhagen’s culinary scene goes beyond its Michelin stars and its annual food festival. Across the city, restaurant chefs are adapting time-honored Danish dishes to innovative preparations, using local, seasonal ingredients and incorporating the influence of international cuisines. “New Nordic” has become a catchword, along with “Nordic Manifesto” to describe a brilliant and proactive new kind of Nordic cuisine. Restaurants serving traditional Danish cuisine now are stressing the use of high-quality ingredients and organic produce, and incorporating the unique aspects of Danish architecture and design into their décor, seating and table settings.

A delicious example of culinary innovation is the adaptation of traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches, or smørrebrød, at the Royal Café, adjacent to Royal Copenhagen’s retail shop on Strøget, the city’s famed pedestrian shopping street. Renamed “Smushi”, this creative fusion of smørrebrød and sushi served on contemporary Royal Copenhagen china platters is a colorful variation on the original and a treat for the taste buds.

In the hip and upcoming meatpacking district in the area of Vesterbro, where art galleries and restaurants are springing up around the meatpackers, you find Bio Mio, an organic restaurant that seats 200 guests, where one orders directly from the chef. Next door, Paté, a new wine bar, restaurant, tapas café, coffee oasis and delicatessen will open in August 2009. Kødbyens Fiskebar features oysters, razor shell scallops and other raw delights.

For a spectacular view paired with exquisite dining, a visitor should reserve a harbor front table overlooking the Copenhagen Opera House at SALT in the historic Admiral Hotel, where Chef Rasmus Møller Nielsen creates an entirely new Scandinavian menu for each season that combines gastronomic classics with innovative new flavor combinations. The restaurant Alberto K atop the SAS Radisson Royal Hotel affords a sky-high panoramic view of the city coupled with a fusion of Danish and Italian cuisine. The interior of Alberto K, its furnishings and table settings, are inspired by the original décor of famed Danish designer Arne Jacobsen who created the design for the entire hotel.

In addition to the two-star Noma, Copenhagen restaurants that each received one Michelin star in 2009 are:
Kong Hans Kælder
Era Ora
Restaurant Ensemble
Restaurant The Paul
Restaurant Formel B
Søllerød Kro
Paustian v/Bo Bech
Restaurant Kiin Kiin
Restaurant Herman
Restaurant Nimb

Restaurants Herman, Nimb and The Paul are located within Tivoli Gardens, a culinary distinction for the city’s iconic amusement park and entertainment center.

Copenhagen can be reached directly from Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. with Scandinavian Airlines, SAS, www.flysas.com/us. Comprehensive visitor travel information is available at www.visitdenmark.com/us and www.visitcopenhagen.com. Denmark video vignettes also are available on www.considerdenmark.com. To download free images, please see http://billeder.visitdenmark.com/

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