Mikkel Karstad, visionary of Danish company catering.
Enjoy what nature offers. Mikkel Karstad's philosophy of original food has revolutionized Danish company catering.
Mikkel Karstad is a visionary. The top chef has a dream: of people knowing where their food comes from – from the forest, the river, the pasture – and how to prepare it. As a six-year-old he learns from his grandmother – cook on a Danish island – how to catch and fry fish, preferably over a fire on the beach. Karstad's grandmother always waited until the fishermen brought in their catch and the market showed what was on the plate. That is Karstad's ideal, his role-model.
When a Copenhagen law firm wooed him away from an inbetween excursion into the mysterious culinary world of Greenland as a consultant to Noma- and TV chef Claus Meyer, he took the new challenge with zest.
Convenience and frozen products are taboo to Mikkel Karstad. His cooking principle: fresh, natural and organic at a fair price. "Meat is greatly reduced, more fish and seasonal vegetables conquer the plates." If you offer veal tongue, you can tell, it's obvious. "Nothing in my cooking is wrapped, meaning hidden, in dumplings."
The protests are massive, initially. But then, guests vote
the restaurant the best canteen in Denmark
in one year. And it works out well in terms of pricing, too. When you buy your ingredients according to the daily offer and measure them exactly, it saves enormous costs.
More time and qualified personnel
are necessary to acomplish this. "Nowadays, more and more top chefs are discovering the canteen for themselves. A lot has changed here", Karstad says. "Mission accomplished."
About Mikkel Karstad
At the age of 17 the Dane Mikkel Karstad started his apprenticeship as a chef in 1990. At the age of 20 he conquered London's award-winning cuisine, then became involved in Noma in Copenhagen and tested Italian star cuisine there. As a representative of the original Nordic cuisine, he changed the eating habits of the Danish parliamentarians and polished the image of a law firm with an excellent company restaurant. The cookbook author, blogger and influencer works as a gastronomic consultant and cooks for his own and corporate events.