Rasmus Kofoed to remove meat from the menu at three Michelin-starred Geranium

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

On December 18th, World's 50 Best 2nd restaurant in the world will close its doors for Christmas. When it reopens in January, there will be no more meat on the menu. 

Following his trial-run of a vegan menu with Angelika, a lunchtime concept launched at the restaurant after the first lockdown in Denmark, the new offering won't cut out animal products entirely as Daniel Humm has done at three Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park (and tried to do at his Claridge's outpost, Davies and Brook, bringing his venture at the London hotel to a rather abrupt end), as seafood will still feature on it.

Guests trying the 22-course tasting menu at the restaurant in January will experience the chef's first entirely new menu since he opened the restaurant in 2007, as he will be scrapping every one of the signature dishes that earned the restaurant its many accolades - an almost unheard move at the three-star level.

The chef told Danish news outlet Berlingske: “There are a lot of people who stick to their signature dishes all their lives," such as Thomas Kellar with his oysters and pearls, on the menu since the first days of French Laundry and Per Se.

'I do not see it as a limitation, but a challenge'

"And I can well understand that he sticks to that, but personally I need change now," he added.

“Two or three weeks ago, I woke up at three in the morning and had almost a revelation, so I just wrote down my stream of consciousness, and before five in the morning, I had come up with 15 really good new dishes."

As someone who doesn't eat meat himself, he said, "it can be difficult to convince others of something if you do not believe in it yourself."

Having said that, he added, "I do not see it as a limitation, but a challenge that makes it possible to go more in depth with something else."

The chef will be joining the ranks of an increasing number at the highest level of gastronomy to reduce or eliminate the use of animal products from his menu. As world leaders discuss the reduction of Co2 emissions by cutting our consumption of meat, it is timely, but bold.

Whilst grateful for the recognition and praise his signature dishes have earned him, the chef said, "now I feel we need to wipe the board clean."

"It will throw us out at the deep end, which is fine as long as one does not sink, and I love a challenge," adding that "it is not the case that we are introducing a completely new style: Geranium's cuisine will still be recognisable."

No vegan menu on the horizon

The chef has, however, ruled out making the restaurant entirely plant-based. For him, people should be convinced of eating vegan food with more casual offerings, rather than at the highest level of fine-dining.

“It may be that it will be completely vegetarian one day, but it will probably not be vegan," he said. "If you want to influence people to eat more plant-based, it should probably not be in a fine dining restaurant, but a more down-to-earth place," such as Angelika.

Along with the menu change will come a refurb of the restaurant, reflecting the chef's desire for absolute change. Whether the guide books will stay on side remains to be seen.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 18th November 2021

Rasmus Kofoed to remove meat from the menu at three Michelin-starred Geranium