I recently attended the launch of Norwegian Air’s nonstop flight from Oakland to Copenhagen, Denmark at a chef’s tasting prepared by Andreas Bagh, Executive Chef at Copenhagen’s Michelin starred Marchal restaurant at the Hotel d’Angleterre. The event was hosted at the Cookhouse in North Beach, a lovely, intimate venue in a space next to the legendary Vesuvio Cafe in San Francisco.
The evening was well attended by local journalists and editors from Zagat and AFAR magazine and it was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about Norwegian, Denmark and of course the cuisine!
Norwegian’s direct flight service to Copenhagen, joins its existing service to Oslo and Stockholm in the Scandinavian region. The addition of Copenhagen is really a major accomplishment for the development of the Oakland International Airport as it now offers important access between the Bay Area and Scandinavia for both tourism as well as business. Norwegian’s strategy is continued expansion into the U.S. market and beginning June will also offer nonstop service to Barcelona from the Bay Area! One thing to note is that the airline’s growth really reflects the trend in low-cost air travel.
So why Copenhagen?? Well for one, Denmark’s capital, is home to the famous Tivoli Gardens – a 19th century amusement park and the picture-perfect Nyhavn featuring colorful 17th & 18th century townhouses on a canal with wooden ships. For Danish history and culture, check out the 18th century National Museum of Denmark or Rosenborg Castle – a Renaissance palace & gardens including a museum housing the crown jewels! Denmark is not just home to the lovely city of Copenhagen – it also boasts about 400 islands! Some 70 of them are populated and offer a perfect weekend escape to experience an off-the-beaten path adventure. And let’s not forget the cuisine. My first introduction to the Nordics was Sweden last year and I was blown away by the cuisine and I realized this region is more than capable of wooing the palette with artfully prepared foods inspired from old traditions but fused with modern interpretations.
Take for example this evening’s five course tasting prepared by Andreas Bagh and his crew. We started off with delicious scallops and green strawberries from Denmark with a smattering of almonds, followed by the squid with hazelnut milk and Danish caviar. I didn’t even know we had green strawberries or would never have considered squid in hazelnut milk as a combination! The white asparagus with lard was delicious and so very different from the thin, green asparagus we get here in the States. The main course was the San Francisco pigeon surrounded by dark red, succulent cherries and was the perfect masterpiece to showcase the Danish culinary traditions. A week in Copenhagen followed by a few days on a lovely island? Sounds like the perfect recipe for a relaxed escape to the Nordics on a nonstop low-cost flight via Norwegian airlines. So what are you waiting for?! See you in Denmark!