Preview Guest chefs 2023
Guest Chefs at Restaurant Ikarus
Guest Chef May 2023: Eric Kragh Vildgaard
Eric Kragh Vildgaard knows how to surprise. In a humble 3-star hotel on the outskirts of Copenhagen, hardly anyone would expect a world-class fine dining restaurant. Also, the career of the chef himself is far from ordinary. Eric Kragh Vildgaard did not actually intend to become a chef as a teenager. His adolescence was rather rough and turbulent, and some bad decisions led him off the right path. However, a corrective measure for troubled youths was to open his eyes to his true calling. He was taken on a sailing ship where he had to work in the galley. Surprisingly, he enjoyed it immensely and turned out to be a natural culinary talent with a keen sense for flavours and inexhaustible creativity. Praise and recognition for his skills spurred him further, sparking the ambition to become even better.
The up-and-coming chef learned the craft of cooking and had his innate skills honed in the country’s best restaurants, such as Søllerød Kro, Almanak or the legendary Noma. He met his wife Tina Kragh and found in her not only a partner for life, but also a passionate service manager, with whom he opened his own restaurant in 2017. Since then, it has been full throttle on flavours – crafting picturesque plates and mouth-watering creations cooked with remarkable harmony. Within a recordbreaking ten months, the Michelin Guide awarded Jordnær its first star, followed by a second one in 2020. Furthermore, the restaurant holds The Michelin Guide Nordic Countries Welcome & Service Award and has entered The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2022.
Chef Vildgaard is uncompromising in his focus on a modern and sustainable Nordic cuisine. Danish ingredients, radically regional. When it comes to preparation, however, he is open to French and also Japanese influences. Fish, shellfish and especially caviar play an important role in Jordnær’s menu. Jordnær translates as “down-to-earth” and is testament to a great humility towards nature. For Eric Kragh Vildgaard, being down-to-earth and using the highest quality products is not a contradiction. Deep respect for the ingredients, how they are produced and processed, makes all the difference.
You can’t coax a great dish out of a sad chef.
This conviction sums up Eric and Tina Kragh Vildgaard’s attitude towards gastronomy and its social dimension in a nutshell. They strive to make every employee feel like they are part of a family at Jordnær. The couple conveys their love of gastronomy so that the team can pass this feeling on to their guests. They see their work as an opportunity to make people happy and to get positivity and happiness back in return.
Copenhagen consistently holds its own at the top of the culinary world. In May 2023, one of the city’s most flamboyant characters brings his pristine cuisine to Restaurant Ikarus. Eric Kragh Vildgaard’s purist concentration on essentials as well as his pointedly pronounced aromatics will guarantee an unparalleled experience in taste.
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.