We ventured into Copenhagen to catch the last of Spring and to partake in a tale of two Michelin-starred chefs, both name Rasmus.
Alchemist Restaurant Overview – 2 Michelin Stars
Date: June 26th, 2023
Founded by Chef Rasmus Munk, Alchemist has quickly become a destination dining experience in Copenhagen. Chef Munk’s passion for cooking was ignited during his travels, including stints at Michelin-starred restaurants such as Geranium and Bray’s Fat Duck.
Alchemist stands apart from traditional restaurants by presenting its menu as a series of immersive acts, inviting guests to explore the boundaries of what is edible and challenging their personal beliefs and memories related to dining. As the chef says, a holistic approach to the dining experience. The entire narrated process lasts 4-6 hours.
Culinary Philosophy of Alchemist
At Alchemist, culinary artistry takes center stage, but center stage gets crowded in this ocular treat with a glut of immersive art-related experiences.
Chef Munk and his team push the boundaries of modernist cuisine, creating dishes that are as visually stunning as they are delicious. We could substitute “modernist” with nuttiness, but as a foodie, we thrive on expecting the unexpected.
The menu showcases a harmonious blend of flavors, textures, and techniques, often incorporating unconventional ingredients and avant-garde presentations.
Each dish tells a story, inviting diners to embark on a multi-sensory journey. They call each dish an “impression” and we went through 50 of these impressions. A long evening.
After some orientation and snacking our way through art, the main dining room continues with the theatrics with a massive dome-shaped screen starting with the soothing movements of moon jellyfish and then moving on to other nature-themed transformations.
Alchemist makes no bones about mixing political notes and social issues with their scrumptiousness.
At around US$1000.00 for dinner per person, reservations sell out in about 3 seconds when tables come up so we took each of these burdens of the world in stride and with a grain of salt – yes, we mean that literally.
As an example, they served up a dessert in the shape of a blood drop, where we discovered a QR code on the plate taking us to a website informing us of the blood shortage in Denmark and where you can go donate blood locally.
At least by now, we were getting the hang of interpreting the impressions before these quirky reveals. That’s part of the fun, too.
Expecting the candy bar to lighten things up a bit as we indulged in chocolate bliss, we were reminded of issues concerning the chocolate trade on the wrapper.
On one particular impression, we especially liked the idea of having to “free” a chicken leg and then eat it – while they’re also serving fois gras. Now we know the taste of irony – delicious! All in all, this is just part of the experience we signed up for, and would do it again.
It was such a theatrical, amazing experience. . . and the passion and love behind the dining, experience, and food is immense. Chef Rasmus has helmed every dinner service since the restaurant opened. No sick days for him! In fact, we had the pleasure of speaking with him for quite a while.
Notable Awards and Recognition
Alchemist’s culinary excellence has not gone unnoticed. The restaurant has been awarded two Michelin Stars, a testament to its exceptional cooking and the immersive dining experience it offers.
With accolades from renowned critics and organizations, Alchemist continues to solidify its reputation as one of the world’s most innovative and exciting restaurants.
Geranium Restaurant Overview – 3 Michelin Stars
Date: June 27th, 2023
Geranium, also located in Copenhagen, inside the 8th floor of a football stadium. This is another culinary gem we explored that has earned 3 Michelin Stars.
Founded by Chef Rasmus Kofoed, the restaurant has gained international acclaim for its commitment to showcasing the best of Nordic cuisine.
Geranium’s philosophy revolves around using locally sourced ingredients and elevating them through meticulous preparation and presentation. The restaurant is a celebration of nature and a tribute to the flavors of the region.
Culinary Philosophy of Geranium
Chef Kofoed’s culinary philosophy at Geranium is deeply rooted in his respect for nature and the seasons. The restaurant’s menu reflects this ethos, featuring dishes that highlight the purity and freshness of Nordic ingredients coherent with the season we happen to be in.
The cooking techniques employed at Geranium are both innovative and traditional, resulting in dishes that are visually stunning and bursting with flavor.
While savoring one of the 17 dishes from the tasting menu, the meticulous craftsmanship and purity of the flavors were the driving forces behind our dining experience.
Notable Awards and Recognition
Geranium’s commitment to excellence has earned it three Michelin Stars, making it one of the most prestigious dining establishments, ranking number 1 in the world, 2022.
The restaurant’s dedication to sustainability and its ability to create extraordinary dining experiences have garnered praise from critics and diners alike.
Geranium continues to push the boundaries of Nordic cuisine, redefining what it means to dine at a world-class restaurant. Our Instagram post shares the experience of how to properly open a fine bottle of wine.
Dining Atmosphere and Ambiance at Geranium
Geranium has meticulously designed spaces (we particularly liked the wine cellar, but more on that in a minute) that enhance the overall dining experience and embraces a more minimalistic and elegant aesthetic.
his allowed us to focus on the food and the natural beauty of the surroundings. Geranium’s tasting menu takes guests on a journey through the Nordic landscape, with each dish paying homage to the region’s rich culinary heritage.
The food was excellent but quite honestly, Geranium didn’t feel Denmark-centric. Maybe we got a little jaded after experiencing Alchemist which embraced the Danish culture and vibe at a much deeper level.
Also, Chef Kofoed wasn’t around, so that encroached on our expectations as well. It adds to the experience when you get to meet the chef, especially at the number 1 ranked restaurant in the world.
On the flip side, without mentioning names, a member of our posse knocked over an entire bottle of wine in the cellar and the staff promptly replaced it without judgment. That easily could have been another grand. In the blink of an eye, we were now totally cool that the chef wasn’t around!
Meanwhile, at Alchemist, Chef Munsk spent time with us and gave us a peek under the metaphorical hood. If we were English instead of Yanks, we’d say he’s a happy chap, which mirrors this nation as a whole. Year after year, Denmark ranks number 2 in the World Happiness Report.
Service Standards and Guest Experience
The service at Alchemist and Geranium is second to none. Highly trained staff members provide attentive and knowledgeable service, guiding guests through their culinary journey with grace and professionalism.
The restaurants’ commitment to creating a memorable experience is evident in every interaction, ensuring that diners feel pampered and well-cared for throughout their visit.
Collaborations and Partnerships
Both Alchemist and Geranium value collaboration and partnerships within the culinary industry. They have worked with fellow chefs, local producers, and suppliers to create unique and memorable dining experiences.
These connections have allowed them to stay at the forefront of culinary innovation and consistently deliver exceptional dishes to their guests. Since Chef Munk previously worked at Geranium, Copenhagen is a tight-knit group of culinary mavens.
Final thoughts on our Alchemist and Geranium Restaurant Experience
Alchemist and Geranium are two exceptional dining establishments that have left an indelible mark on the culinary landscape of Copenhagen and beyond.
Their innovative approach to cuisine, combined with their dedication to sustainability and local sourcing, has elevated them to the pinnacle of fine dining.
Both restaurants offer truly immersive and unforgettable experiences, inviting guests to embark on a journey through artful presentations, exquisite flavors, and unparalleled service.
If you’re looking for a dining experience that will challenge your perceptions of what is possible in the world of gastronomy, Alchemist is a must for the theatrics while embracing the local culture.
Geranium was an experience we thoroughly enjoyed on the fine dining side, but nothing special beyond that in terms of feeling the Copenhagen vibe. As we mentioned, this restaurant could have been anywhere in the world.