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Ranked second in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Copehagen’s Geranium is a globally renowned fine dining location. So people certainly take notice when such an establishment announces it will stop serving meat starting from 2022. The move aims to bring the menu into alignment with head chef Rasmus Kofoed’s dietary choices. Meat will no longer be served from January.
Geranium is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant storied for its 22-course tasting menu curated by Kofoed. Come January, it will dramatically change to reflect his own meat-free lifestyle. Signature items will be dropped entirely, all replaced with seafood and locally sourced vegetables.
His kitchen, his rules
Kofoed stopped eating meat five years ago but has continued to cook it until now. “My kitchen at Geranium has long been focused on vegetables, fish, and shellfish as the star on the plate, with small quantities of meat,” he said, addressing “friends” on Instagram. “The menu is a reflection of me, of who I am and how I am evolving as a chef and as a human being. I haven’t been eating meat for the last five years at home, so to no longer use meat on the new menu was a logical decision and a natural progression for Geranium.”
In place of meat, Kofoed says he will highlight local sustainable seafood and vegetables. “I see it as a challenge to create new dishes which celebrate seafood from the pristine waters & vegetables from local, organic/bio-dynamic farms which thrive here in Denmark & Scandinavia,” Kofoed concluded.
Meat-free dining is not new for Geranium. Last year, Kofoed initiated a pop-up within the restaurant, called Angelika. Named after his vegetarian mother, the process inspired him to make moves to cancel meat from the main menu. A midnight flash of inspiration, apparently, led to 15 new recipe ideas by the following morning.
Fine dining for plant-based palates
Kofoed is not alone in his meat-free menu mission. Earlier this year Michelin awarded 100% vegan restaurant Ona a star, the first to receive one in France, and New York’s Eleven Madison Park, also a three-Michelin-starred venue, announced it would be transitioning to exclusively plant-based dining and Only two animal products will remain, milk and honey, to be used in hot drinks.
The change came in the wake of Covid-19 with Humm telling diners: “It was clear that after everything we all experienced this past year, we couldn’t open the same restaurant. With that in mind, I’m excited to share that we’ve made the decision to serve a plant-based menu in which we do not use any animal products—every dish is made from vegetables, both from the earth and the sea, as well as fruits, legumes, fungi, grains, and so much more.”
There are a growing number of Michelin-starred plant-based locations worldwide. 81 stars were awarded to vegan and vegetarian locations in 2021 alone. Many are striving for a Michelin green star as well; a signifier of enhanced menu sustainability.
Ark, a fellow Copenhagen fine-dining eatery, has bagged a coveted green star. 100 percent plant-based, the food and cocktail menus are conceptual and seasonal. The tasting menus are five or seven courses long and, like Geranium, highlight local produce.
All images courtesy of Geranium.