Denmark’s second city Aarhus, along with the Central Denmark Region, has fast been gaining a worldwide reputation as a centre of Gastronomy and even more so for the coming year when it will be ‘Rethinking Good Food’ with over 100 different food events as the European Region of Gastronomy 2017.
With outstanding fresh ingredients and new restaurants, bars and food markets adding to its culinary prowess, the region continues to gather international acclaim for its Michelin star restaurants and annual Aarhus Food Festival which has grown to become the largest in the North. Supported by passionate farmers and producers and a creative bunch of food entrepreneurs, it has an ever-developing food scene, continuously rethinking and redeveloping gastronomy and products.
In addition to Aarhus’s annual culinary events, the year of gastronomy will bring together chefs, producers and world leaders in sustainable thinking, to host a programme of events and activities that not only pays tribute to gourmet cuisine and local ingredients but addresses ‘Rethinking Good Food’ for a more sustainable food culture.
Wassim Hallal, owner of the Michelin Star Restaurant Frederikshøj and Ambassador for European Region of Gastronomy 2017 commented: “My job is to spotlight Danish gastronomy and promote Aarhus and Denmark internationally in this respect. Rethink is a platform for us to think outside the box. Our region is fairly unique in providing so many opportunities for procuring fresh ingredients in our forests, our bay and our fields. I want to create something entirely new with this. We must continue to develop our gastronomy and raise our standards. My aim is to create something big that reaches beyond our borders.”
Building on the back bone of ‘good food’, the programme, of over 100 events and activities, aims to get everyone thinking about what they put on their plates and how it got there, whether it be educational workshops to discuss issues such as the challenges students face with the school food culture, foraging with others for ingredients, listening to a chefs’ discussion on running a more sustainable kitchen or sitting down to a communal feast.
Throughout the year, there will be a number of highlight events including: The Touring Beach Chefs- a collaboration between local chefs and Natural History Museum Aarhus as part of its Rethink Urban Habitats projects - whereby chefs will tour around local beaches introducing people to an edible feast of beach and sea delicacies such as seaweed, prawns, mussels and rock pool herbs before cooking them up on the beach; the 500 metre long table of Arla’s Kitchen where Arla asks children aged between 8 and 14 to rethink their packed lunches; The Catastrophic Meal, a three-part gastronomic adventure looking into the future which includes scientists, Sci-Fi thinkers, scenario plotters and chefs all coming together to discuss the potential larder with the view of creating a menu of the future - born out of much scientific, culinary and forward-thinking discussion; and The People’s Feast, a communal dinner where 500 people will be able to sample different menus from all over the world as well as the outcome of The Catastrophic Meal.
As a city already well-known for its thriving festival scene and adding to the highly successful Food Festival which attracts over 30,000 visitors annually, the year will showcase a selection of other foodie festivities. Taking its lead from foraging, The Wild Food Festival will put wild produce and wild food on the agenda and inspire everyone to get out into nature. Whilst in recognition of the bountiful countryside, the Aarhus Harvest Celebration will see 1,000 guests sit down at one long table to enjoy what has been reaped.
With plenty of opportunities to try and discover new ways of rethinking food throughout the year through a series of short workshops – ‘The bottom of your refrigerator - a "random" meal’, ‘Dinner from Nature’s treasury’, ‘What you need to taste before you die’, there is still no better way of enjoying some of the region’s best cuisine than by dining out in one of Aarhus’s restaurants. With plenty to try, skip all additives and enjoy the pure philosophy of newly opened deli and restaurant SÅRT where only organic locally farmed and sourced ingredients meet traditional techniques to create exceptional seasonal food; go for a Michelin star at Restaurant Gastromé where the two innovative chefs serve the food they personally love - gourmet country-inspired cuisine; or more casually relax in the bistro styled Pondus Restaurant where the best of fresh Danish cuisine is served at affordable prices. Adding to its vast stable of fine eateries, try the Danish farm shop chain Landmad which has recently set up shop in a 300 year old merchants house in the heart of the Latin Quarter or head down to the harbour to the Danish wine and tapas bar VinDanmark to enjoy a bit of bath tub dining!