Exploring a multisensory future of fine dining
A 50-course menu, five dining rooms, art installations and a research lab set the stage for Alchemist–Rasmus Munk’s recently reopened restaurant. By merging theatre, art, chemistry and gastronomy in a massive industrial warehouse on Refshaleoen, he explores new fine dining-territory.
Since 2015 when Alchemist first opened in Østerbro, the restaurant has sought to challenge the limits of the meal beyond “just” great food on the plate. Most prominently the vision was realised in a thought-provoking serving of raw lamb heart tartare laced with cherry juice alongside a leaflet encouraging diners to become organ donors.
Photo: Claes Bech Poulsen
Fast forward a few years, and the visions of 27-year-old head chef and owner Rasmus Munk are grander than the limited space at Østerbro could provide. Now, Alchemist 2.0 is up and running at Refshaleøen in a three-story, 26,600-square-foot building almost 25 times larger than the original restaurant. Munk’s ambition is to develop a field of ‘holistic cuisine’ that stimulates more than just the taste buds while exploring the future of fine dining.
“Holistic Cuisine represents a crossroad between the old and the new Alchemist.”
“Holistic cuisine is inspired by two major epiphanies that changed my way of thinking. One was on a trip to Japan, where I realised what skilful sourcing of quality ingredients truly means. The other one was when I was introduced to the world of art, which dazzled me completely. Holistic Cuisine represents a crossroad between the old and the new Alchemist. Now we know where we are heading,” explains Munk.
Nothing is business-as-usual at Alchemist, where art and theatre co-exist to expand and challenge the notion of dining experiences. One such piece was inspired by ‘Multiple Shadow House’, an interactive light installation by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Here the guests encounter a glass wall between the service kitchen and dining room covered by a film forming dynamic shadows that reflect the chef’s movements in the kitchen.
Prepare to expect the unexpected when dining at Alchemist, or, as Munk puts it: “We want to create magic at Alchemist. And I mean, who hasn’t dreamt of pulling a rabbit out of a hat during dinner?”
Tel: 31 71 61 61
A new chapter for east-Copenhagen
Recent development plans presented by The Government and the Copenhagen Municipality outline a brand new district connecting Refshaleøen and Nordhavn. Improved infrastructure and flood protection for the rest of Copenhagen is also on the map.
Photo: By og Havn
Copenhagen has become a city of islets. From Christianshavn, established in the 17th century, to newer districts like Islands Brygge, Kalvebod Brygge, and Nordhavn, Copenhagen has historically grown by leveraging and connecting islets to expand the city.
The new district—provisionally called ‘Lynetteholmen’—continues to use islets to address the growing need for homes and rocketing housing prices in Copenhagen. First presented in October 2018, the artificial island will be built in continuation of Refshaleøen, and when fully developed in 2070 Refshaleøen and Lynetteholmen will generate 50,000 homes to the new district, including 15,000 on Refshaleøen.
“Lynetteholmen will be something completely new and very familiar at the same time. It will be a real Copenhagen district with a beach, green areas and a big share of standard housing for people with normal incomes”
Frank Jensen, Copenhagen Mayor
Photo: By og Havn
On top of this, the project also serves an important secondary function. As our climate changes, rising sea levels are becoming an increasing threat to cities around the world—Copenhagen among them. Lynetteholmen will help to future-proof the older parts of the city, sheltering them from climate effects like storm surges and rising water levels.
Furthermore, enhanced infrastructure is a central premise to the project. A new eastern ring road from Nordhavn through Lynetteholmen and Refshaleøen will improve accessibility for future residents and commuters alike, as will the expansion of Copenhagen’s Metro to connect the new area.
Read the entire plan here (Danish)