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From beech tree forests to urban jungles. From fishing villages to hipster districts: Nicolai Nørregaard leaps effortlessly between worlds. Despite this, the self-made chef always knows exactly where his home is – a small island in the middle of the Baltic Sea.
This young Dane’s home is called Bornholm, and to taste one of his compositions is to get a taste of the island itself. For Nørregaard, the rugged island is both a pantry and a meditative retreat – the place where he grounds himself and his cooking while foraging for herbs and mushrooms through the forests, coasts and meadows. No wonder, then, that the first Kadeau location sprang up on Bornholm, and just as unsurprising is its location between the coast and a forest, as the fresh ingredients are grown literally next to the kitchen itself.
Since 2011, gourmet enthusiasts have been spared the 97-nautical-mile journey out to Bornholm from Copenhagen, as Kadeau opened another location in the Danish capital. And while Kadeau may call one of the hippest corners of Copenhagen its home, it is still firmly routed in the island which lies 180 kilometres offshore.
But how does this island cookery taste? As fresh as the air the islanders breathe. The absolute regionality and freshness of the ingredients is represented in the colours which Nørregaard uses to paint little masterpieces on the plate. Works of art such as cockles with fermented wheat grains and sea urchins, or celeriac with caviar, wood ants and woodruff.
Bornholm may offer its cooks a cornucopia of meats, fish, berries, vegetables, herbs and mushrooms, but the harvest season is short and the winter is unforgiving. This adversity has proven the mother of invention. Where nature offers up its treasures, Nørregaard uses them to the fullest, preserving the special delicacy of his harvest. Marinating, drying, salting, pulping, pickling – he has mastered many techniques for bringing the aromas of his home to the plates of his guests even through the winter months.
Nørregaard had always had a knack for making his guests feel at home – even long before he became a chef. In 2007, a young Nørregaard returned home from Copenhagen and decided to turn his passion into a career and make Bornholm the centre of his world. And so the first Kadeau came to be.
But it was not long before the Bornholm-native felt the pull back to the mainland and the result of this wanderlust was Kadeau Copenhagen, which was promptly awarded a Michelin star in 2013 and which Nørregaard’s cooking has retained ever since. The second star followed in 2016, this time for Kadeau on Bornholm, proving that the self-taught chef knows exactly what he is doing.
Gourmets can now find out for themselves just how good he is and what an island might taste like when Nicolai Nørregaard comes to Restaurant Ikarus as a guest chef in October 2017.
Each month at Salzburg’s two Michelin-starred Restaurant Ikarus, a different top international chef creates the menu. For this globally unique concept, Hangar-7 executive chef Martin Klein visits the cream of the crop, takes a look behind the scenes of haute cuisine, and is let in on some exciting culinary secrets. “Culinary Heights at Ikarus” offers a unique glimpse into the world of high-end cuisine and provides an interesting portrait of each guest chef, their culinary philosophy, and the food culture of their country.