A truly unique Nordic culinary experience in the heart of Copenhagen. 
I am so excited to share with you my incredible cooking class with CPH Good Food, taught by Mia Irene Kristensen. It was one of the best cooking experiences I’ve had both at home in NYC and during my travels.

A Food Renaissance Woman

Mia is what I’d call a Food Renaissance Woman. She’s a food scientist, cookbook author, recipe developer, food stylist, food photographer, chef, foodie, food producer, ice cream maker, foodpreneur and food lover. Once upon a time she spent a month in a professional kitchen but realized the routine and hours weren’t for her. Instead she went and got her Masters in Food Science degree from the University of Copenhagen. She advocates for local and regional over corporate and mass. She has the most extensive vinegar collection I’ve ever seen. For being so smart and talented, she’s extremely personable and humble.Mia Irene Kristensen CPH Good Food butter
Mia’s love of food came early on as a child and only grew during her studies. When she realized a lot of people in her Masters program only wanted to learn the science behind the food and didn’t care for the food itself, she decided to bring food vitality, nourishment and love to the otherwise scientific program. Halfway through her studies she started her own business, offering cooking classes on Nordic cooking and food consulting. At one point she considered leaving the program, but knew if she wanted to change anything in the industry she needed to complete her education. I asked her what kind of change she was thinking, and after a few seconds she said, working with small local producers to make better products. At that point, I knew we would get along really well.

The Class

Starting off our six hour food immersion, we met at the gourmet food market, Torvehallerne, in the center of Copenhagen. As we walked through the market, Mia talked about the different stalls and introduced us to her favorite butchers, local producers and bakers. We also discussed our menu for the day and were able to choose what we wanted to make. My favorite stall was Omegn, whose focus is sustainability and selling products from local farms in the area. They carry hams, sausages, cheese, beer, wine and vegetables. After buying our ingredients at the market, we went back to her apartment to prepare our meal. The menu for the day consisted of:
  • Danish Rye Bread
  • Lightly Cured Salmon (Gravadlaks)
  • Fennel Salad with Herb Mayonnaise
  • Pearl Barley Salad with fresh greens and “Grandma” dressing
  • Tender Pork Cheeks with Apple Cider
  • Danish Pastries (kringle and spandauer) with Remonce filling
Mia didn’t hand out recipes during the class because she wanted us to focus on the food itself. This was something I never experienced before and fully appreciated it! She emailed them to us a few days after the class. Additionally, all the dishes were easy enough to make on a regular week night and tasted amazing. They just required the right preparation with fresh ingredients.
CPH Good Food salmon We cured our own salmon with salt, sugar, dill seeds, dill snaps, juniper berries and black peppercorn. It was extremely easy and only needed to sit in the fridge for about 3 hours.
CPH Good Food vinegar tastingWith her extensive vinegar collection, a tasting was a must.
CPH Good Food butter
For anyone that’s made croissants or pastries before, you know how much butter goes into making it perfectly flaky and crispy! Mia forages her own herbs in the local forest, as you can see in the picture on the right, which we crushed and added to the butter, marzipan and sugar filling. Needless to say, I was licking my fingers after mixing these together. It was pure fancy buttery goodness.
CPH Good Food pastry
CPH Good Food Pastries
So many steps! Folding, rolling, refrigerating, waiting…and repeat…x3.
CPH Good Food Pastries

The Meal

After a few fun hours of prepping and cooking, we sat around her lovely dinner table and enjoyed our freshly prepared meal like old friends, which we now were after cooking together for 6 hours.

We chatted about the relationship between diet and health in Denmark. She said the New Nordic diet is naturally nutritious with all the fresh fish consumption, but she attributes their healthy habits to eating together. Most Danish families cook their meals at home and when in community, you often try to cook better because you’re serving other people. Well, I was quite thankful for that mentality because our meal was DELICIOUS! Thanks, Mia!
CPH Good Food salmon
CPH Good Food salmon
CPH Good Food Pork Cheeks
CPH Good Food Pork Cheeks
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a big fan of Mia. It’s rare to meet someone who’s so smart and knowledgeable, and yet relatable. Her passion is evident but her food science background gives her so much more credibility. She knows how things are built and what will happen when different ingredients are combined. Her flavors are unique yet complementary.
I’ll definitely be bringing these Nordic dishes back to NYC with me. And I can’t wait for her new cookbook to come out later this year!

CPH Good Food pastries