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Restaurant Kong Hans Kælder.

Restaurant of a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux in town. Denmark,Copenhagen

Thomas Rode Andersen

Restaurant Kong Hans Kælder Copenhagen DK-1070

I have always been passionate about cooking. I also love the atmosphere in a restaurant’s kitchens. That’s why I wanted to become a chef. And that’s also why I might as well try to be a really good one!

After my apprenticeship, I set off to learn from the finest chefs in the best restaurants in my country, before seeing what was happening abroad, in particular in Germany and Austria
When I returned to Denmark, I first worked at Falsled Kro and then was offered a post at its sister restaurant, the Kong Hans Kaelder in Copenhagen – an attractive enough job for me to still be there some 13 years later.

I learnt that it was not enough to be passionate about the job; you also have to work hard and have a sense of priority. My principal mentor was the former chef at Falsled Kro: Jean-Louis Lieffroy, my superior, for one season and my colleague for more than 10 years.

My aim in life is to produce international cuisine by blending French tradition with Scandinavian identity.

What was your most moving culinary experience?
I used to cook for my children fish cakes with remoulade sauce. One day, as I was running late, I cheated and brought a ceps remoulade from the restaurant, thinking they’d never notice the difference. My daughter, on trying it, said: “Daddy, you know I ate the mushrooms just to make you happy, but in future, please don’t put any ceps in my remoulade!” She was five years old!

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
Once when I was working as a caterer I was very late in putting together my “Smørrebrøds”. In my hurry to get them to a customer, I slipped on the icy pavement. I managed not to fall and used my chin to steady the tray piled high with roast beef and horseradish, all covered in remoulade. As I got up, I started to try to set the sandwiches back to rights and glanced around hoping that no one had noticed. That’s when I saw that all the guests waiting for me were in stitches the other side of the window!

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Improvise, and in order to be able to do so, make sure that where you work is always clean, neat and tidy!