Foodies looking to broaden their horizons should block out their diary in the dog days of summer. Now in its twelfth year, the Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival is an annual showcase of the capital’s effervescent food scene. This year’s jamboree promises to be bigger and better, with 100 events spread across 10 days – each celebrating the Nordic kitchen, the season’s bounty and Copenhagen’s evergreen culinary appeal.
For clean-living fans, there’s breakfast and yoga on a boat in the harbour while for alphabetical gluttons there’s the gut-busting “Hotdogs from A-Z”. Diners with courtly cravings should make a beeline for the 1930s royal banquet served at Christiansborg Slot.
The underlying theme of this year’s festival is “Breaking the New” – a reflection on the innovative thinking that has marked Copenhagen’s emergence as a global food destination over the past two decades.
“This development was started by a handful of pioneers who had the courage to think differently and try new paths,” explains festival director Stine Lolk.
Lolk adds that this year’s goal is to showcase new trends in food and gastronomy – from down-to-earth street dinners to gourmet experiences.
“A common denominator of all of our events is that our guests are going to experience something that cannot be found the rest of the year,” she says.
Indeed, one of the most eye-catching events this year involves creepy-crawlies. Nina Askov – better known as the ‘Buglady’ – hopes to show why insects are a healthy, sustainable and, above all, tasty source of protein. You can find Askov crisping her crickets and warming her worms at Kødbyen’s CPH Food District, alongside other innovative food professionals demonstrating the potential future of food.
But if bugs aren’t your thing, then how about Greenlandic cuisine? It may not be on many bucket lists, but with Inuunguaq Hegeland in the kitchen, you should be in safe hands. Twice voted Greenland’s best chef, and now resident at the hyggelig-sounding Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat, Hegeland will prepare a three-course Greenlandic fusion meal on August 19 and 20. Expect musk ox and berries, as well as more familiar Greenlandic staples such as lamb and fish.
For something more conventional, head to Fisketorvet, where there’ll be free cooking demonstrations throughout the festival. Also look out, for the pizza-making workshops, fermentation classes, cocktail pairing, and what’s been billed as a “pop-up community kitchen in the world’s largest straw bale garden”.
Or book a spot at the Frederiksberg Harvest Feast, which will see diners gather around a table in the middle of Frederiksberg Allé. According to Julie Hildebrandt-Hæsum Bender, the constituted head of the festival, the feast reflects the growing number of Copenhageners who want to know more about where their food comes from.
“We’re celebrating the meeting between the food producers and the people who live in the city,” she said. “The harvest feast is also a good example of how food works as social glue — bringing people together and creating new local communities.” M
Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival