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When I was a child I was crazy about cooking. And so the idea of becoming a chef soon seemed the natural choice. I started training with Alex Larsen who told me that by working hard and always being willing to learn something new, I couldn’t fail to succeed. After my studies at a Hotel Management School, I went to Switzerland, Spain and France to work in starred restaurants, before coming back to pursue my profession in Denmark. The time I spent at Le Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu was decisive for me. Dominique Loiseau and her team made me feel instantly at home and I learnt a Relais & Châteaux-style sense of hospitality. . In 2000, my wife, Randi Schmidt, and I had the opportunity to participate in the launch of a new hotel in Norway, Engø Gard, and we set ourselves the aim of joining Relais & Châteaux within 5 years. After 4 years, we were proud to have achieved this aim. When I received my letter accepting me as a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux I felt I had made it into the culinary “Champions League”! One of the high points in my career was a reception organised at the Engø Gård for the seventieth birthday of the Queen of Norway. All the crowned heads of Europe were there for what turned out to be the only sunny July day of the year! A wonderful day! In 2009, after 9 years in Norway, we had the opportunity to buy up a historic building in our country of origin: Falsled Kro. That’s where French cuisine made its debut in Denmark in the 1970s. That is where I create a pure, clean, light-drenched cuisine with a Nordic twist.
The langoustines from northern Denmark are magnificent, they are large (four to seven pieces per kilo) and one can obtain them alive. They are fished in season (from May to June and from September to October) in northern Jutland. I serve them pan fried or quickly grilled under the salamander. But they can also be boiled or poached. For me, the ideal way is to sauté them in a little butter, garlic and lemon peel. At the restaurant, I then serve with a purée of cauliflower, hazelnuts and apples, accompanied by a somewhat sweet old Riesling.