Your Instagram profile has the hashtag ‘vinvivant’ prominently displayed in the bio – why is that word important to you?
Nothing added, nothing removed is the best definition for what ‘vin vivant’ means in wine production in my opinion. Wine that is alive, contrary to what you pick off the shelf in a supermarket. It’s basically as nature intended – no pesticides or chemicals are used on the vines, plus no added yeast or filtration methods are used in the cellar.
How did growing up on a rural Danish farm shape who you are in 2020?
My hometown, Bøjden, 200km southwest of Copenhagen only had three shops – a butchery, bakery and pizzeria – you had to travel 10 kilometres to get anything else. We farmed pigs, ate only meat and carbs and that’s all I knew. My first job was washing dishes at the butchery three times a week after school, and at 15 I enrolled in chef school in Svendborg – where a whole new world opened before my eyes.
After graduating, you were a waiter at Le Sommelier, the grand dame of Copenhagen’s French restaurants – how did that experience contribute to your culinary journey?
It’s an appropriately named establishment because it has the biggest wine list in the city. I learnt a lot there and most significantly joined the Danish Sommelier Association – and passed their test! I was also overworked and underpaid [laughs] and left to join a wine bar.
Is that where you learnt another part of the hospitality industry – hosting, or ‘working’ a room?
Absolutely, the owner at Ved Stranden 10 (where I worked for two years) was an incredibly charismatic man – he could laugh, argue, even shout with (and at) customers, but always landed up hugging them on the way out. Just by watching him, I learnt lot of how a business owner has to actively engage with his or her customers in the wining and dining industry.