She used to come to my restaurant. That was back when I ran a place called The Paul in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Now we don’t see her anymore. Now I cook in an old country road inn, Henne Kirkeby Kro, where the trees are bent by the western winds coming in from the irreconcilable North Sea.
It’s a restaurant that has everything a chef can dream of: A flowering garden, wild nature and cold deep seas – and we’re surrounded by the farmers and producers that make the difference in any good restaurant. But she doesn’t visit us out here. Not once has she been.
Her name is Helena. And she brought with her those people who seem not burdened by gravity: The great rock singers with golden fingers and faces of talent and stardom that sparkles all over the world. We loved having her, and the parties and people she brought. They lifted the place.
Out here she hasn’t been. But we have this thing; we name our sourdoughs. Bread has personality. It is that meal long companion, sitting with you through the whole night. It’s like the skeleton in every meal. In fine dining, breads are never the thing that anyone really raves about. To many, it’s the unnoticed filler. The seamless mortar binding the dishes together. Truth is – a lot of work goes into bettering breads, to make it more than just mortar. And the crunch and crumbling of the crust is the first tell-tale sign of a whether you’re in a good place. Or in a great place.
Our former bread was named Keith Moon, named after the drummer of the Who. We’re a British rock’n’roll cuisine. And Keith has been the beat in our kitchen for two years. But all things pass. And we figured, since Helena hasn’t been here yet, and we miss her company, we’d name our new bread Helena. Maybe she’ll hear of it and come around. We’d love to serve her again. We always serve her upside down so you can see the flowers in her hair.