A couple of years ago, staying in Copenhagen, I ate at the Michelin-starred Geranium restaurant and had what was probably the most ridiculous, pointless and expensive meal I think I have ever eaten.
We were there by mistake really. We’d eaten at Noma (nominated as best restaurant in the world) the night before and our hotel, obviously thinking we were keen ‘napkin sniffers’, recommended this place. We should have walked out on seeing the menu and the prices but it was late; we chickened out.
Our meal consisted of big white plate after big white plate of foams and smears and drips and flowers but nothing substantial and nothing that looked or tasted of itself. The nadir was a miniaturised cube of apple so small it was as likely to stick in your teeth as be eaten. We still laugh about it. Grimly. This was Squidbeakery to the nth degree,
It’s ridiculousness was confirmed when I read in the latest Observer Food Monthly that the winner of the Bocuse D’Or, the most bizarre competition known to man or chef, was Rasmus Kofoed of Geranium.
The competition was set up by Paul Bocuse who inexplicably dreamt up the idea of a chefs’ Olympics in which competing chefs from all over the world perform in front of an audience of 3,000 braying friends and relatives dressed in national costume – we’re talking Viking helmets and sunrise bandanas here – all shouting, banging and screaming while the chefs are required to adhere to an arcane set of rules that involve mega tons of ingredients cooked over a five hours to produce ornate dishes and elaborate garnishes presented to the judges on silver platters.
You couldn’t invent it. Well actually Bocuse did invent it. Rachel Cooke in the Observer called it ‘the bastard child of Eurovision and Masterchef’ with some of the bafflement of It’s a Knockout thrown in’.
Amid the madness and mayhem backstage, Rachel Cooke tracked down the British judge, Brian Turner ‘the slightly prissy Yorkshireman you might remember from This Morning with Richard and Judy’
After three hours of tasting and two hours of conferring Rasmus Kofoed is presented with his gong and he announces his win on his website. Go see. Check out the photo gallery, the dinner menu at £112 a head, the wine parings at £112 a head. You want exclusive wines? That will be £192 a head madam. Driving? Stick to juices at a mere £56.
The mission statement explains it all: ‘Geranium is a lucid, light and dynamic kitchen. Our mission is to create meals that involve all our senses – restores, challenges and enriches.
Dynamic means force and stands for the living formative forces of nature. These forces are not visible, but their biologic “footprints” are. The effects can be seen if one learns to observe and understand the connections between the formative forces and the physical matter of all organisms.’
I’m sending it off to Pseud’s Corner.