THE NORDIC WAVES-SCANDINAVIAN CHEFS: THOMAS HERMAN
The Nordic Waves is the term that I used to describe this group of chefs from all of Scandinavia, mainly from Sweden, Denmark and Norway. These chefs known for 3-4 years at international level have particularly been at the forefront over the past two years due to the recognition of New Nordic Cuisine and the emphasis on a cuisine close to nature and the local products. All this, without relying on the status attained by the restaurant Noma and Chef René Redzepi. But beyond fashions and trends of the moment, I discovered a high concentration of young chefs, innovative, creative, open to the world and all dedicated to their garden! To present the eight (8) chefs selected I decided to divide them into three little groups, not by country but by affinity.
This third block of Scandinavian chefs presents two young chefs that are very original, creative and totally dedicated at their cuisine: Thomas Herman (Herman) and Fredrik Andersson (Mistral).
Thomas Herman grew up in Southern Jutland (Denmark). Chef Herman’s restaurant located in the beautiful Hotel Nimb, in his kitchen, Thomas Herman reinterprets the traditional Danish cuisine with the best products on time and a decidedly French influence. Its content is all precision and flavors, its container is certainly always brilliant!
Q+A WITH THOMAS HERMAN (www.tivoli.dk/composite-8575.htm ):
1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics?
THerman– My cuisine is inspired and based on Danish traditions within cooking. The taste in all my dishes has a hint of these old traditions.
2-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?
THerman- I very rarely create my menu without shellfish, foie gras and thymus.
THerman- I am inspired by memories and different tastes from my childhood
4-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?
THerman- Indeed, the taste of summer. In particular, the traditional Danish homemade strawberries jelly as well as the sour cheese.
5-(Scoffier) What do you eat when you are at home?
THerman- Simple food…for example, fresh pasta or a crisp salad with freshly cut ingredients.
6-(Scoffier) Are you part of the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto initiated by Claus Meyer and René Redzepi (Noma)? If yes, are you as strict (just local products) that René Redzepi in your recipes?
THerman- No. If I believe an ingredient tastes better from Alsace in France rather than from Lammefjorden in Denmark, I will use it. The taste is my biggest priority, but privately I support Danish suppliers.
7-(Scoffier) I know that the chef Pascal Barbot (L’Astrance) take a lot of time choosing and picking his produces at the market. Do you spend as much of time to choose and pick your produces?
THerman- The wrong ingredients can spoil the food, so spend a lot of time finding the right ingredients to bring out the best taste that will surprise our guests.
8-(Scoffier) Do you use some elements from molecular gastronomy or from new technology in your cooking techniques?
THerman- We use many of the new techniques every day. It is important for me and everyone in the kitchen to be aware of these new developments in order for us to improve and create a product of the highest quality.
9-(Scoffier) Do you have the responsibility for others restaurants and cuisine in the Nimb Hotel?
THerman- No, I am only responsible for Restaurant Herman.
10-(Scoffier) What is the importance of wine pairings in your menu at Herman?
THerman- For me it is important that everything complements each other in order to get the most out of all the tastes which the guest in presented with. It is an important part of the whole experience.
11-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (to do) that is characterized the cuisine of Thomas Herman?
THerman- I can give you a simple one…for example Oysters with vinegar marmalade, smoked oil and a granité made from brandy from the Southern part of the Danish island Funen.
12-(Scoffier) What is your goal (ambitions) as a chef or for the restaurant? Do you think about write another book, a television show?
THerman- Time will tell! I have write two books. One book about the classic Danish food and one about the first year at Nimb.
RECIPE: Herman’s Danish Aebleskiver (Apple pastries)/NOTE: We don’t have a picture for the recipe below.
-80 g finely cut sharlotte onions, a bit of butter for the pan, 80 g smoked bacon in small dices, salt & pepper
-80 g butter
-150 g fresh cream
-A bit of nutmeg
-10 g salt
-150 g white flour
-120 g egg yolks
-1 portion of the bacon-onion mix (see above)
-200 g egg whites
-250 g Ghee butter (see below)
-20 g Maizena
-5 g vinegar powder
-2 ½ dl juice from pickled beetroots
-3 ½ g agar-agar
1. Melt the butter and fry the onions until they appear clear. Thoroughly drip the onions off in a siv, add salt and pepper, and sauter the onions together with the fresh bacon on a pan.
1. Melt the butter slowly in a pot, let it cool off and mix it with the cream, a bit of powdered nutmeg and salt.
2. Add the flour bit by bit while stirring. Add the egg yolks bit by bit until the dough appears soft and smooth.
3. Add the bacon-onion mix and mix thoroughly until the bacon-onion mix is evenly spread out in the dough.
4. Whip the egg whites until they are stiff and slowly mix it into the dough.
5. Cook the dough in a warm Aebleskive-pan by adding approximately two tablespoons of dough into each hole by using the Ghee butter to grease the pan (alternatively you can use a muffin pan a bake them in the oven on 225 degrees).
6. Before serving, sprinkle each Aebleskive with the Vinegar topping by using a siv.
1. Mix the ingredients and put into a siv.
1. Whip agar-agar and the beetroot juice in a pot and bring it to a boil for 30 seconds while constantly stirring.
2. Pour the mix in to a container through a siv. Let the mix cool off in the refrigerator until it sets to a jam/gel (approximately 1 hour).
3. Blend the jam/gel until it is smooth. Put the mix back in the container and let it cool off for one more hour.
4. Serve with the Aebleskive in a little bowl on the side.
1. Melt the butter and let it rest in the pot until the butter separates, leaving a clear surface.
2. Separate the clear butter in to a separate container. You do not need the sediment from the butter.
3. This clear butter is perfect to for all sorts of pan frying as it doesn’t burn when using a high temperature.
-Restaurant HERMAN/Chef Thomas Herman
1. Wall Paper Magazine, February 2009, http://www.wallpaper.com/interiors/Thomas-Herman/3081
2. High End Food Blog, March 2010, http://highendfood.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-cph-crawl-ii-herman/
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