Nicolai Nørregaard, Kadeau Restaurant Bornholm and Copenhagen

The  Staff Canteen


Nicolai Nørregaard is head chef and co-owner of Kadeau Restaurant in Copenhagen and Bornholm, both of which hold a star in the Michelin Nordic Cities Guide.

Kadeau Copenhagen was also featured in The Diners Club 50 Best Discovery Series by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants which aims to highlight new dining destinations.

Nicolai Norregaard

Nicolai Nørregaard, Kadeau

Photography by

Marie Louise Munkegaard

Nicolai began Kadeau in 2007 with lifelong friend Rasmus Kofoed, on the southern tip of the tiny Baltic island of Bornholm. They were both brought up on the island where the community in many ways are struggling to stay connected due to the isolation of being based in the middle of the Baltic Sea. The food at Kadeau is largely based on wild nature and local farmers taking inspiration from their environment and the surrounding areas.

Nicolai said: “The food is based on the Nordic Douglas but boils down to an even more specific region which is Bornholm and we cook what we call Bornholm Terroir cuisine, so we base our cooking on what we find and what we grow on Bornholm. Through the whole of the year we pickle and preserve like mad.”

They were later joined by Magnus Kofoed and opened up another Kadeau restaurant in Copenhagen in 2011, still with all the food based on the island of Bornholm. Since then they’ve opened up two more restaurants and also acquired the island’s juice factory, making sure the jobs would stay in Bornholm.

Kadeau is seen as spearheading the new Nordic cuisine movement alongside the world famous Noma, run by Rene Redzepi. The initial aim of the restaurant was simply to celebrate the ingredients of the island and the country as a whole within a relaxed setting rather than as a fine dining establishment which it has since become known for.

Speaking about what inspires him, Nicolai said: “Inspiration is many things and it can be anything and come in any form, taking a hike through nature, reading, going online, etc. but I think the best way to get inspired is to actually be in the process and being in the middle of it. For me that’s where the things happen.”

Langoustines with shaved walnuts.

Raw langoustine, red berries,

lavender, walnuts, scallop roe bottarga

Using primarily ingredients from the island itself, the restaurant is an example of the foraging and innovative style of cooking that defines the Nordic movement. Nicolai explains, “Nordic cuisine is many things but basically it is what surrounds you. We try and evolve and develop new ways of using nature and the freshness is also a key element. I think it’s difficult to put just one label on Nordic cuisine.”

As the island of Bornholm functions mostly during the summer months with little going on in the winter, the team decided to open a second restaurant based in Copenhagen. This proved to be such a success that Nicolai and the team had to acquire bigger premises to deal with the demand. The restaurant later went on to achieve its first Michelin star in 2013, a feat it has maintained three years later.

The Copenhagen branch takes its lead from the original, still using ingredients from Bornholm and maintaining the style and ethos that made Kadeau so successful in the first place. Explaining how the kitchen operates, Nicolai said: “I think a good way to understand our kitchen is how dishes will change and how the menu will evolve and to understand all of the preserves. We will eventually change a dish of course if a preserve runs out, the same as if we run out of a main ingredient on a dish, of course we will have to change it.”

Ember baked Kohlrabi

Ember baked kohlrabi,

silver fir, blackcurrant leaves, white currant juice 

Within its first year of opening Kadeau won multiple awards and went on to achieve a coveted Michelin star in 2013 making it only one of 16 to be awarded the prestigious accolade in Copenhagen. Although it was something Nicolai didn’t intentionally set out to achieve, both restaurants now hold Michelin stars firmly cementing their place within the industry for bringing Nordic cuisine to the masses.

In 2015 the restaurant relocated to a much smaller venue next door reducing its number of covers from around 70 to 24 to create a more intimate and informal dining experience for its customers set in a relaxed atmosphere.

Having achieved a huge amount within such a short space of time, Nicolai is keen to keep things moving in the right direction at a slower pace. He said: “Things have been happening very fast within the last two years in terms of success and attention. I think we will spend the next few years settling a bit, concentrating on just being better and keeping it up.”

>>> Read more in our Featured Chef series here

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 28th February 2017

Nicolai Nørregaard, Kadeau Restaurant Bornholm and Copenhagen