2015 SPIER SECRET SPEAKER Frederik Bille Brahe on the everyday feast
The Spier Secret Festival focus in 2015 was once again on sustainability and ethical practices in preparing, supplying and presenting food but this year pushed things a step further, bringing a crack team of innovators together to discuss not only how to put these principles into practice but to use the decisions we make as consumers of food as political acts.
We documented the speaker topics in a series of blog posts.
Three years ago, Frederik Bille Brahe took over a small but beautiful space in the centre of Copenhagen. Too small to be a restaurant and without the permission to open at night or serve alcohol, Bille Brahe set about applying the skills he’d sharpened in a fine dining background to simple, everyday dishes. Today his eatery, focusing on sourcing only the best produce, has become a local treasure with a devoted fan base at home and abroad.
I started working at restaurants quite young, 15 maybe. I was really bad at school, and not because I was stupid but just because I didn’t like it and couldn’t focus. Coming from fine dining and wanting to do something special, I had to create a cuisine. We wanted to include aspects of fine dining into the everyday experience. Why should we eat the best meals at restaurants on the weekends when we are here every day? We need to put more emphasis on the everyday meal. The limitations created the kitchen. So what do you do? People drink coffee every day. Fresh drinks. So we created a philosophy that everything we use should be really good. All items are selected; there is nothing that is just there. Nothing should be random. A plate for example should be something special. I inherited a lot of items from my family and sometimes those valuable items break, which is too bad, but we glue them back together. We use these valuable items to build trust between the restaurateur and the customer where these things actually matter. I feel that we are creating a sort of philosophy that says food is about respect and trust. We plan things two thirds of the way but always leave space to create and respond in the present moment. It is extremely important to be in the present to be creative.
Watch Freddie’s talk here: