In the heart of Copenhagen, a culinary revolution is taking place, led by Chef entrepreneurs, Aussie Jason Renwick and Britain, Brett Lavender.
Their brainchild, Ark restaurant, is rewriting the gastronomic rules with a seasonal, plant-based menu elevating vegetables and foraged greens to the center stage of fine dining. The result? An unforgettable Michelin Green Star dining experience challenging preconceived notions about vegan cuisine.
Source: ARK Instagram Founders Brett Lavender & Jason Renwick left
Jason Renwick's journey to the epicenter of this culinary movement began in 2005 when he arrived in Copenhagen. After establishing the vegan cafe Souls in 2016, Renwick joined forces with Brett Lavender, a seasoned chef with an illustrious career spanning luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants across Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Their collaboration birthed Ark in 2020, setting a new standard for vegan fine dining.
Source: ARK Instagram
The essence of Ark lies in surprise, with the daily menu presenting unexpected delights to eager diners. Signature dishes like barbecued blue oyster mushrooms and inventive combinations like turnip with apple and macadamia showcase the creative prowess of the culinary team. The use of foraged and wild grown ingredients enhance all their dishes.
This visionary enterprise has blossomed into the Ark Collection, comprising three Michelin Green star-holding restaurants: Ark, Bistro Lupa, and Beyla. Additionally, Funga Farm, an urban mushroom-growing operation, has emerged as a vital supplier of mushrooms to these culinary hubs and other esteemed restaurants in the Danish capital.
Source: ARK Instagram
When asked about their approach to plant-based cooking, Brett says we extract flavour and depth from minimal ingredients, when comparing it to the techniques used for animal meat. The focus remains on letting vegetables shine in each dish.
Sourcing ingredients sustainably and locally is a core principle at Ark. Brett and his team collaborate with nearby farms and, when needed, extend their reach to neighboring regions.
Source: ARK Instagram Jason Renwick
Even in the harsh Nordic winter, their creativity ensures a variety of flavours through preservation and fermentation techniques.
The allure of Scandinavian ingredients, especially the blue oyster mushroom and Japanese knotweed, is a testament to their commitment to innovation.
These carefully curated elements provide diners with an unmatched culinary experience, showcasing the immense potential of a plant-based diet.
Ark restaurant is not merely a dining establishment; it represents a movement, challenging the norms of fine dining and redefining the possibilities of plant-based gastronomy.
Jason Renwick and Brett Lavender are pioneers in this journey, showing vegan fine dining can be both innovative and indulgent, appealing to the most discerning palates.
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