On our recent trip to Denmark and Sweden we had a multitude of post worthy experiences at Relae, Daniel Berlin and Noma. (posts to come) One of the more unique legs of the trip was organized by our friend Laurent Vanparys from One Bite Consulting . 7 of us food loving folks (some of us who met for the first time) congregated in Copenhagen for a culinary adventure. Saturday night we dined at Kadeau in Copenhagen then the following day we all headed out to the island of Bornholm to experience Kadeau in its natural habitat. Let me tell you it was an unbelievable weekend, one so memorable that it took us a few weeks to create a post that would do the experience justice.
Jose and I have a theme going with our blog, almost every restaurant we put on our site is more than just an establishment that serves good food. The places we are ultimately interested in have such a strong sense of self that they are able to create their own mini micro climate, one thick with context, personality, sincerity and back story. This couldn’t be more true of Kadeau.
Let’s start with the fantastic backstory that centers around friendships, ambition, and a strong sense of community. The boys who all grew up in Bornholm became good friends in the 2nd grade. After many summer jobs and subsequent years working in the restaurant business, the guys decided that their calling was to open a restaurant together. They scoped out a location and gathered a big group of their friends to renovate the building. In a matter of weeks and many hours of sweat equity later, the small beach structure, which used to sell ice cream when they were kids, was transformed into Kadeau. This personally funded project was so successful that they decided to spread their roots further to Copenhagen where they could keep their doors open into the winter season. Currently the Kadeau “brothers” have 3 restaurants, Kadeau Bornholm, Kadeau Copenhagen and Pony.
Kadeau is truly a family affair! The three boys from Bornholm, as they are often called, may not be brothers but as a guest in the restaurant it is impossible not to feel the strong sense of family that radiates around the dining room. This familial aura is what produces an, oh so refreshing, casual and unpretentious vibe, something you don’t experience at many Michelin stared places let alone restaurants in general.
Thanks goes to Stéphanie Biteau for this beautiful picture of the boys.
Nicolai, the chef of Kadeau, has a unique point of view. As a self trained cook, he has been able to create a unique flavor profile that is built out of his intimate knowledge of Bornholm’s terroir. This is perhaps why we most enjoyed the experience of dining on the island. On our pre dinner island explorations we breathed in the fresh salty air, grabbed sprigs of chamomile and petals of the Rosa Ragosa that grew like weeds around the beach paths. What was at the heart of Kadeau’s DNA was all around us and taking it all in made the dining experience that much more memorable and special. Because of this If you can, we highly recommend that you visit the island. It is pretty easy and affordable getting there from Copenhagen so you have no excuse.
We arrived at terminal 1 at the airport (national flights) printed our DAT boarding passes and zipped through the security. The moment we got to the gate it started to pour. We heard that Bornholm is called the “Sunny Island” and we were all keeping our fingers crossed hoping that was true.
Once we arrived the skies cleared. We rolled out to the curb where we waited for our ride. My first memory is Rasmus running out of the tiny terminal with a case of wine glasses that he had clearly borrowed from the airport bar. This was the first indication that we were in a small quaint island town where the locals all know each other. We loaded the eurovan like kids going to a summer camp. This camp was a bit different however, the food was damn good and there was an abundance of delicious natural wines, even in the van.
First stop on our tour was the new Garden, currently being leased to the restaurant by their dishwasher’s father. This family-like structure at Kadeau was a reoccurent theme throughout the weekend.
2nd Stop, The fisherman’s dock. This where I felt very much at home. The rosa ragosa were lush and the smell of salty dried kelp filled the air. If for a second I had amnesia about traveling to Denmark, I could have sworn I was home in Maine. One more glass of rosé later we headed back to the van then onward to our abode for the night.
If you are a photographer or lover of life’s details there is no doubt that you will be in heaven in Bornholm. The island’s unique architecture, smoke houses and gorgeous flora just beg to be shot. Pro tip – I highly suggest that you invest in an iphone external charger (also follow these steps to conserve battery life) and free up some of that pesky always disappearing storage so you can capture every last jaw dropping vignette. If we had more time, we would have loved to stay on the island for at least one more day to explore some of the historical landmarks and build sand castles on the fine sandy beaches. Next time…
The second we got situated in our temporary abode, out came the incredible wine. All thanks to Rasmus, aka En Foodie, who picked up a fun bottle of il fric rosato frizzante aglianico 2013 from Manfreds, one of the most incredible wine shops/casual restaurants out there! Gotta love Franks eyebrow of approval.
This is a special spot with some of the most breathtaking views of any restaurant I have seen. As a diner all of your senses are immersed into the surroundings. The sound of crackling fire blends with the crashing waves and the bubbling champagne — truly a magical acoustical mashup. (When you are there don’t forget to take a pre-dinner walk along the beach, around 8:30 or so step outside and enjoy the sunset and last but not least enjoy a final glass of wine by the bonfire. ) At every point in the dining experience you are completely aware of this special sense of place. It is without a doubt one of the most harmonious dinners between food and place that we have experienced.
The Cast of Diners
En Foodie: One of the most knowledgeable diners in Scandinavia. Website
Be-Gusto: From Belgium and eats everywhere and takes gorgeous photos. Website
Blind Tasting Club: Hailing from Germany this guy knows his wine and food Website
Stéphanie Biteau is a chef, writer and an incredible photographer Website
Laurent Vanparys the organizer and brains behind the weekend
Everything about the weekend was incredible but our new friends made the 48 hours even more enjoyable.
We enjoyed all the snacks. Each bite ran deep with flavor, personality and wonderfully varied textures. Of course we certainly had some favorites… The beetroot and garlic dipping sauce was excellent. The crunchy black prawns when dipped into pollen and yeast mayo was such a brilliant and creative play on texture and flavor. The Chinese herbal tea…..(eyes rolling back into my head with joy thinking about this dish) was absolutely out of this world. Magnus carefully cut and collected a potpourri of herbs and let them steep in an onion broth. The result was an intensely aromatic joy ride, one that I could sip over and over again.
It was hard to believe that the dinner could just keep getting better and better after such a strong series of snacks, but it did. The genius of the blue mussel dish and green peas started the sequence of mains on a high note. The rich flavors and smells of the sea were perfectly balanced with the freshness of the peas. Loved this dish!
The Langoustine plate was one for the books! It was without a doubt one of our favs from the night!
It was sad when the savory dishes came to an end. But this earthy plate composed of pork belly and dehydrated carrots was a fantastic finale.
All the desserts were light, tasty and perfect for a summer night.
The best way to share a place this breathtaking is through video, so I took some time to cobble together a few of my shitty iphone videos into a little montage. Super amateur but I think it conveys some of what we experienced… especially the drinking and droning. Enjoy!
Overview: We, like many of you, have been to our fair share of incredible restaurants. Often times when you go to the famous places you are greeted with an air of arrogance and stuffiness, a feeling that creates a bit of friction and discomfort between the diner and the establishment. I get that dining sometimes equates to theatre but to be frank I much prefer to dine in a place like Kadeau —a casual and real familial place where even kids are welcome. Kadeau strangely enough has a calming effect. Maybe it was all of fresh salty air or the breathtaking view but this was the first time that on the walk up to the restaurant that I actually felt relaxed and genuinely happy, a feeling that typically surfaces when Im home with my family and friends in Maine. What the Bornholm boys are doing is truly special and we can honestly say that going to Kadeau is a total dining experience, one that sits with the likes of other destination restaurants like Faviken, Willows Inn and Daniel Berlin.
PS. The wines here are to die for!
Vestre Sømark Pedersker
3720 Åkirkeby CVR 30297016
Phone: +45 56 97 82 50
1408 København K
Tlf. +45 33 25 22 23
More useful links
Great Interview of Nicolai Nørregaard on eater
Some Helpful links
Crayola colored prop planes deliver you to the island in a short 25mins
BornholmerFærgen ferry service
The Ferry may be a bit longer but it is relatively effortless thanks to the train from Copenhagen to the Ferry stop in Ystad, Sweden.