By Franz Scheurer
Are you a handyman, accountant, business trip organiser, chef, waiter, valet, cleaner, sommelier, good at all of the above and like working in a beautiful castle-like residence overlooking the sea in Denmark?
Obviously, this combination exists. I have met the ‘chefs’ from Hvidøre a couple of years ago, on one of their annual culinary trips, this one to Australia, when they organised a private cooking class with David Thompson at the Sydney Seafood School. Each and every one of them multi-talented and soaking up new knowledge like a sponge. They proceeded to eat themselves through the top restaurants, listened, absorbed, inhaled, imbibed, ingested and went back home to Denmark, inspired.
They work in three teams, with a 7 week schedule. One chef starts at 7.00am and the two others at 7.30am. Two of them work in the kitchen and one in the restaurant. At 3.00 pm the next three chefs arrive and, again, two work in the kitchen and one in the restaurant. The morning team finishes at 3.30 pm and the evening team leaves around 10.30 pm. At the same time the last of the seven chefs arrives. He looks after the guests during the night and is responsible for tidying up to insure that all is perfect for the start of breakfast the next morning. His shift ends at 6.00am, which is also the time the housemaids start their daily shift. This schedule changes weekly, which means they have worked in the kitchen and the restaurant both mornings and evenings and been on nightwatch. There are two administrators who look after all the paperwork, and yes, they have come up through the ranks and understand the entire business.
They work hard and there is literally no free time, but there are rewards. Firstly they cater for people who are used to the best and there are hardly any restrictions as to the produce they use. Obviously only the best and the freshest will do. As they are cooking for a small number of guests they can afford to be super fussy and they make everything in-house. The perfect place for a passionate professional. Once a year they all go on a culinary trip, somewhere in the world. On these trips they sample the best restaurants, source produce, learn about new ingredients and the local cuisine. This knowledge is then integrated in the food at Hvidøre, to ensure that their clientele will never be bored.
Why do I tell you all this?
It’s because they have just released a cookbook: “The Kitchen at Hvidøre”.
This is an absolutely fabulous cookbook! It follows the natural flow of the day, from breakfast to late night snack. It shows true professionalism, commitment, passion and imagination. The recipes are inspirational and the photography some of the best I have ever seen, anywhere in the world. I have a whole room of cookbooks and this one stands out! No mean feat amongst names like Joel Robuchon, Arzak and Adria, The French Laundry Cookbook, Mosiman and all our own talent, from Tetsuya to Greg Malouf. I have read this from cover to cover, twice and think this is a must have for any serious cook, photographer, food stylist or gourmet.
I know that the chefs have been in contact with the Cookery Book store in Crows Nest and no doubt, sooner or later it will be available there. In the meantime you can get a copy from the publishers:
Nyt Nordisk Forlag A/S
DK 1150 Copenhagen K
Tel.: +45 3373 3575
As a cookbook my score has to be 10/10