So what happens when creative and innovative chefs are given the chance to create a special dinner inspired by their homeland, Denmark and The World’s Best Restaurant, NOMA of Copenhagen??
Well…a 10 Course “New Nordic” Dinner with Fritz Knipschildt of Chocopologie presented by CTbites Invites, turns into a true culinary happening. I lost count, but 10 courses turned into 16 courses, each paired with local wines from CT, Upstate NY and Long Island and beers from local breweries; Southport Brewing Company and City Steam of Stratford.
But first a little food history as Fritz explained the evening ahead. In November 2004, on the initiative of the Danish chefs René Redzepi and Claus Meyer of the then newly opened NOMA restaurant, chefs and food professionals from all the Nordic countries met in Copenhagen to discuss how best to develop what they called the "New Nordic Cuisine." In particular, they sought to emphasize the need for what they described as "purity, simplicity, and freshness" as well as increased use of seasonal foods. Restaurants were encouraged to develop traditional dishes making use of ingredients benefitting from the local region's climate, water, and soil.
As Fritz stressed, this cuisine was taking the farm-to table movement one step further, by foraging the earth for unique flavors and ingredients by using fresh herbs, moss, edible flowers and burnt hay to enhance the flavors of each dish.
Each dish was a work of art as Fritz and Chef Christian Wilki created and plated for our viewing and dining pleasure. The menu, noted here, really does not do justice to the flavors and the experience as smoky burnt hay was sprinkled over potato puree, fresh oysters were topped with licorice foam and paired with Connecticut Pale Ale, and a perfectly cooked quail egg was decorated with moss, violets and the seasons first fresh carrots.
And The Menu...
Scallop tartar/asparagus/rhubarb jelly
Smoked mashed potato puree/carrot/burnt hay
Egg flan/pine dust/winesap apples/ hollandaise over straw nest
Smoked tilefish/radishes/pea sprouts/chive hollandaise/ Brotherhood Dry Reisling
Oysters/ Licorice foam/ SBC Pale Ale
½ quail egg, moss, violets, fresh carrot/ Bedell Chardonnay
Mixed berry sorbet
Seared duck breast/scallions/parsnip puree/ Bedell Taste Rose
Beef Tenderloin /pommes fondant/thyme glaze/ Bedell Cabernet Franc
3 cheeses, home made crackers/apple pear compote/Blueberry Port
Berry soup served with vanilla gelato
Gooseberry tartlet w/pinenut crust & white chocolate mousse
Chocopologie Signature Chocolate Martini
And of course….being at Chocopologie, no dinner would be complete without a decadent dessert of :
Flourless chocolate cake, elderflower crème Brule, berry coulis /City Steam Naughty Nurse Amber Ale.
The incredible evening lasted close to midnight, but no one seemed to mind as the relaxed and candlelight ambiance provided by Chocopologie and the spirited conversation and friendly chatter among true “foodies “made for a special and memorable evening.