The 20th World’s 50 Best Awards Ceremony took place in London last month and became another victorious year for Danish gastronomy with Geranium claiming the title as World’s Best Restaurant and two new Danish restaurants entering the top 50 list.
Last year’s #2, Geranium topped this year’s list. The restaurant is located on the 8th floor above Denmark’s national soccer stadium Parken with panoramic views over the Fælledparken (the Common Gardens). Rasmus Kofoed is the head-chef and co-owner as well as the only chef to have ever won the gold, silver and bronze medals at the esteemed global cooking competition the Bocuse d’Or.
“My determination and curiosity to lean more each day gave me confidence and finally I found the world where I belong,” said Kofoed, who in his acceptance speech talked about how he had gone from an insecure child to where he is today. “Geranium became our vision to create a holistic space embracing the circle of life. Food is a connector, uniting people from different continents. Sharing traditions, culture and creativity. And I feel so damn grateful to be able to be a part of that.”
Kofoed praised his Copenhagen team and wife before conclusively adding: “now it is time for some hygge. Skål!” (skål is cheers in Danish).
The front of house, wine and drinks is managed by co-owner Søren Ledet, who joined Kofoed on stage at the award ceremony.
Geranium’s way to the top
Geranium was the first Danish restaurant to receive three Michelin stars in 2016, and they have gradually moved up the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list from #49 in 2012 to #2 in 2021.
The current menu, “The Summer Universe”, costs DKK 3,200/$440 per person and lasts for a min-imum of three hours. They offer various wine menus as well as a no-alcohol paring.
From the start of the 2022 season, Geranium removed meat from their menu to focus solely on vegetables and seafood. About the shift to a meat-free menu, Kofoed commented: “The menu is a reflection of me, of who I am and how I am evolving as a chef and as a human being. I haven’t been eating meat for the last 5 years at home, so to no longer use meat on the new menu was a logical decision & a natural progression for Geranium”.
The restaurant first opened in 2007, but closed in 2009 before reopening in the new location in 2010.
Alchemist enters the top 50
At #18 was holistic dining restaurant Alchemist, rising from #58 last year. Leading Alchemist is chef Rasmus Munk. The restaurant opened in 2019 and got two Michelin stars in 2020, its first year in the guide. A meal at Alchemist involves 50 courses or “impressions”, which include light, theater, art and sound based on their holistic dining manifesto.
“Rasmus Munk and team have reimagined the holistic dining experience with innovation at every turn. The performance elements are matched with cuisine that is rooted classic tech-niques, fresh research and the best ingredients”, said ceremony host Stanley Tucci.
The dining experience lasts 4-6 hours and costs DKK 4400/$600. Alchemist is located in a for-mer welding hall in the former industrial Copenhagen neighborhood, Refshaleøen. The same neighborhood as noma is located in.
Jordnær is Denmark’s new addition to the World’s 50 Best
Jordnær north of Copenhagen entered the list at #38. Jordnær hold two Michelin stars and the current 17-course menu costs $436. “Head here for huge langoustines, turbot and king crab, generous volumes of caviar and more – all fresh from the ocean”, said host Tucci and jokingly added that the two owners Eric Kragh Vildgaard and Tina Kragh Vildgaard have six children and deserve an award for that as well.
The name Jordnær translates to “down to earth”, and the restaurant opened in 2017. Chef Vild-gaard has a complex history of both crime and working at restaurants like noma and Søllerød Kro. He is the brother of another Copenhagen noma alumni chef Torsten Vildgaard.
Last year, noma took the top spot. After the change of the rules in 2019, noma will now retire to The Best of the Best list.