Natural Flavours from a Nordic Kitchen by Mikkel Karstad

In 2012, Time Magazine named René Redzepi & Claus Meyer (owners of NOMA restaurant) as two of the World’s 100 Most Influential People, for putting Denmark on the gastronomic map, and for influencing a new generation of chefs around the world.  New Nordic Cuisine is about getting out into the countryside to forage for the best and most unusual ingredients. It’s about experimenting and presenting exciting new ways of combining traditional foods. It’s clean, elegant, natural and delicious.

In this book, Mikkel Karstad, consultant chef and advisor to the NOMA team, takes this inspiration home.  In his own kitchen he shows us how to make 5-6 different dishes from a selection of fourteen favourite ingredients.  These range from fennel, berries and sage, to squid, beef and lamb.  Beautifully yet sparsely photographed and designed, this book will take you on a culinary adventure into the heart of pure Scandinavian cooking.

Mikkel Karstad is now the Head Chef at Christianborg, the Danish Parliament, food writer and former gastronomic advisor to Claus Meyer (co-founder of NOMA).  Mikkel trained at Tante Claire in London, Bagatelle in Paris and Kommandant in Norway.  He is also the food stylist behind several Danish cookbooks – including the giant Almanak by Claus Meyer – and contributes regularly to several Danish magazines.

Some folks seem to get that work-play-swim-life balance just right. Copenhagen chef, cookbook author, daily swimmer and father of four Mikkel Karstad is one of them. He explains how he keeps the different areas of his life working in harmony.

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The morning we speak Mikkel Karstad posted on Instagram a petrol-blue sea below ominous clouds. Water temperature, 1C, wind chill, -20C, according to the caption.

This is the Danish chef’s dawn swim, which he undertakes every other day in the Oresund strait, between Denmark and Sweden, after sharing the view with his 34,500 followers.

The rest of his feed comprises extraordinarily beautiful images of barley soup, ginger tea and blackcurrant-stained lamb (his latest dishes), and the occasional golden-haired child (he has four, aged between four and 16).

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