From Passion to Michelin
Take a look behind the scenes of Michelin starred Restaurant Kadeau on the island of Bornholm and learn how passion can take you all the way to the top!
While most people are familiar with the world of Michelin few know the history behind it. The initial idea was developed by the French Michelin brothers, Andre and Edouard, in 1900. The Michelin brothers were the owners of a tyre company they had established in 1889 who were looking for a method to compel their drivers to make more journeys and thereby buy more tyres. The guide listed a wealth of information for motorists which included where to find the best meals and accommodation whilst touring in their cars.
As time passed, the guides and the criteria changed to the version we know today, “the Bible of all dining guides”.
So how does a restaurant earn one of the most coveted awards in the world of fine dining? It is not that clear because while Michelin keeps much of its approach under wraps, it does outline five main criteria for inclusion of the guide. These criteria are the quality of the products, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money, and consistency between visits.
The beauty of Bornholm
Kadeau opened its doors in 2007 in the easternmost point in Denmark on the island of Bornholm located in the Baltic sea. The founders, Nicolai Nørregaard and Rasmus Kofoed, both grew up on the island, and while having moved to Copenhagen in the meantime, they chose to move back knowing there was something unique about the island. Bornholm is full of charming and cozy fishing villages, known for their herring smoke houses where locals and visitors can enjoy idyllic backdrops and soak up the true island vibe. The island is truly a gastronomic beacon, buzzing with life during the summer with its old half-timbered houses and crooked, narrow streets. It has a unique feel and atmosphere that is different from the rest of Denmark from the gentle maritime climate to diversity in flora and natural beauty all around the island.
When a little beach pavilion was put up for sale, the founders grabbed the opportunity and opened their own restaurant. Everything just blended perfectly together and Kadeau started incorporating the uniqueness of Bornholm into their restaurant. Whether it was meat, fish, grains, greens, fruits, berries or wild herbs it was implemented in most of the dishes at Kadeau. This incredibly local-centric focus translated into a focused and cohesive dining experience that you will not be able find anywhere else. Even the plates were replaced with ceramics from Bornholm’s talented ceramists, a long-standing traditional craft that is representative of the island. By eating at Kadeau visitors get the complete island experience.
When first opening the restaurant, the concept was slightly different. Inspired by classic French cuisine combined with the Danish traditions and foraging for local ingredients. The love and appreciation for the raw ingredients in the surrounding nature of Bornholm is pivotal.
The limitations on ingredients have created a loving desire for experimenting with different processes, such as fermentation. Kadeau has two vegetable gardens, a small one just outside the restaurant and a bigger garden five minutes away. Both supply the restaurant and some it is fermented for later use. It was required of them to run their own kitchen gardens in order to meet the supply for large volumes of raw ingredients. Today they are almost self-sufficient and only 10% of their ingredients are supplied from other vendors. The gardens are mainly supervised and cared for by one of the founder’s father.
Kadeau cares a lot about the traditions and that is apparent in their philosophy as well as soaring ambitions combined with playfulness and forever exploring attitudes. One of the most important aspects is the way they do things in relation to Bornholm. Everything served comes from, or is inspired by this small island with unique climatic conditions. In 2007 when Kadeau opened, the “New Nordic” trend had started emerging and that has definitely been fused together with their DNA. Now Kadeau also draws inspiration from the rest of the world which is reflected in their menu.
In 2011 Kadeau opened a new restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark. At that time the two founders both lived in Copenhagen, wanting to spend more time at home with their families. Almost immediately the new restaurant became an unexpected success and all of a sudden a new milestone had been reached. What had started as a side project was now a huge success and it was crucial for the restaurant to be in tune with the ideology of the original Kadeau on Bornholm.
Being awarded a Michelin star might be an unattainable dream for every restaurant with an edge and character. While the owners of Kadeau had never given it a thought, something amazingly unimaginable happened. In 2013 Kadeau Copenhagen was rewarded their first Michelin star and was awarded a second star only five years later. This unexpected success was no doubt overwhelming and has since drawn huge crowds to both restaurants.
Keeping a relaxed atmosphere is important for the owners of Kadeau. Restaurant-goers should be able to enjoy themselves without too many formalities and lean back in their chairs and joke with the staff.