The last few weeks have been quite a ride. Spring went right into summer with a blink of an eye and before we knew it our one-year anniversary was knocking on our door. And part of the reason for the craziness has been planning and doing our first collaborative dinners. Now I have always been a big fan of collaboration dinners. Of course it is great for the guests to experience different cooking styles, but for me there are multiple things that draw me too these dinners and to want to be a part of them.
What is it about collaborations that I love so much? Mainly it’s how collaborations force everyone, both our cooks and waiters, to embrace something they’re not used to and represent something different, even if it’s just for a short period of time. For chefs, they are pushed to cook differently-not just in terms of ingredients, but also in terms of technique and timing. Basically, they’re forced out of their comfort zone. For servers, they not only have to describe new dishes, but also have to adjust to new products. We are all pushed to ask questions, and in the end, will ultimately walk away with a bit of knowledge that we didn’t posses before. In the end it gives you a greater respect and appreciation for what you do everyday.
We did two collaboration dinners in the past month. The first was held on June 11th. We cooked with Sasu Laukkonen of Chef and Sommelier from Helsinki. If you are reading this blog, you know how important our garden is to us as part of a larger mission to be sustainable. Sasu is also a chef who believes in this too. His project, “Fill the Gap” is an attempt to put urban gardens throughout his hometown of Helsinki. So why not get together and do a dinner to promote urban gardening and to give some of the profits to a good cause, like a rooftop garden project in Nørrebro for children called DYRK to be exact. It was great and I think everyone in the dining room left with a bit more of an appreciation for the hard work and effort that goes into farming in the city and turn empty space into some thing that supplies restaurants with products or can become learning havens for kids that would normally not have a connection with their food. Thanks Sasu for rockin’ it with us!!!!!!
Then there was “The Long John Reunion Tour.” Dan Burns and I have been friends for the last ten years. We cooked together at the Fat Duck and Noma and then went our separate ways. He opened Luksus in New York City pretty much the same day that we opened Amass. We did a couple of dinners at Luksus together last October and it was only logical for Dan to come to CPH so we could cook together at Amass. To make a long story short, it was amazing. Dan and I have worked together in the past and when you have spent multiple years together, it is like riding a bike. You know each other’s moves and he slid right into our kitchen like it was his own.
If this gives the impression that collaborations are seamless, then you’re mistaken. You feel the entire time that you are always an hour behind. BUT, it’s great because it makes you feel alive. The cooks at Amass know exactly what I mean. We’ll continue doing them and actually Dan Burns and I are brewing up a scheme to involve others chefs and restaurants in the upcoming years, but we’ll let you in at the end of the year. And before I forget, thanks again, Mr. Burns. It was an honor and a pleasure.