Cortsen Private Dining
Two of my favorite things about being a blogger are the exciting events I sometimes get invited to, and the awesome people I get to meet that are just as crazy about certain things as I am, and love sharing their passion with others.
So when those two things are combined, it’s basically like hitting jackpot.
Add some insanely delicious food on top, and I am pretty much in paradise!
I was a little preoccupied with vacation, so I haven’t had the time to share this amazing dinner with you yet, but in September, I was invited by foodie extraordinaire Anders Husa to participate in a private dining event with him, Hedda from Hedda over Heels, Rasmus alias feinschmeckeren.dk, and Peter from CopenhagenFoodie.
Anders and Hedda are Oslo-based, but travel to Copenhagen very often and have a dining schedule that I can only dream about, and it was Anders that was invited to put together a group of like-minded food afficionados to test-drive the new private dining project by Mads Cortsen in Helsinge in the northernmost part of Zealand (sjælland).
Mads Cortsen participated in the Danish version of the cooking show MasterChef in 2015 and finished second. After a few stints at top restaurants in Århus, he opened his Private Dining concept earlier this year, and has most recently moved to a beautiful farmhouse, Hemmingstrupgård, to expand the concept beyond classic private dining (i.e. the chef coming to cook the food at your own house). At Hemmingstrupgård, Mads is able to welcome small groups for an intimate, luxurious dinner experience.
The Danish late summer allowed us to start with a glass of champagne and snacks on the patio, surrounded by fields and the woods.
We soon moved inside, where dinner was served in an open kitchen, allowing us an unobstructed view into the magic that Mads and his co-chef, Jeppe From, were performing.
The team was completed by sommelier Thomas Lysgaard, who is one of the more eccentric of his craft and knows how to entertain – for example by comparing wines to pieces of music. His wine pairing was extravagant and really made me wish I didn’t have to drive home (alas, how else was I going to get home from Helsinge?!).
The menu consisted of more servings than I can count, many of which contained caviar and truffle – I honestly don’t think I’ve ever eaten a menu with more caviar in my entire life. Not that I mind, but in my humble opinion, some of the dishes didn’t really need it – they could have worked on their own. But hey, I’m not complaining!
I think the above was my favorite dish of the dinner – the flavors were subtle, but really well balanced, and that champagne sauce… heart eyes!
All dishes were beautifully presented, too.
Left: Smoked venison with fermented garlic; right: leg of quail with butternut squash and pomegranate reduction
Before desserts, we were treated to a goats cheese by Norwegian cheese maker Bo Jensen (yes, I totally looked his name up on Anders’ blog) and it was absolutely epic!
Of course, we were treated to Mads’ signature dessert: a sugar globe filled with exotic deliciousness. The sugar globe might not be the most spectacular gustatory experience (it is just sugar, after all), but it showcases enormous technical skill and finesse – plus, it’s super fun to eat, because you get to crack the little ball with your spoon to reveal all the deliciousness stuffed inside!
The Grand Finale: sugar globe filled with an exotic cocktail
In summary, this was an absolutely fantastic evening in great company and a truly extraordinary dinner.
If you’re interested in private dining for a small, exclusive event at your home or at Hemmingstrupgård, I can warmly recommend Mads. The signature menu costs DKK 1.250 per person, while the signature prestige menu will set you back DKK 2.100. Corresponding wine menus clock in at DKK 900 and DKK 1.900, respectively. Finally, there’s a special New Year’s menu available for DKK 995 – however, you will have to pick it up, heat, and serve it yourself.
Have you ever tried private dining?
Disclaimer: I was invited to participate in this private dining event. All opinions are my own.