Copenhagen has become synonymous with Noma for many food lovers, but one alum of the famous restaurant is hoping to add his own place to the city’s must-try category. Matthew Orlando was head chef at René Redzepi’s food mecca for more than two years, and now is almost ready to open his new eatery, Amass. As he puts it, "I think there comes a point in every chef’s career where they want to express themselves. You cook other people’s food and you organize other people’s kitchen, and you never know what it really is like until you do it yourself."
He thinks the restaurant’s space will be an exciting part of the experience for diners. "The initial impression when you walk into the restaurant is very different than 90 percent of the restaurants right now, due to the level in which you walk into the restaurant," he says. "It’s not like you walk into the restaurant and it’s in front of you.... The building itself was a tool depot for the ship builders. So it’s very rough, rustic, industrial building. So it’s basically been stripped down, it’s a loft type space, two levels. They’re separated by only the actual level of the floors, no walls. So there’s actually multiple levels in the same room, it’s really interesting... You do not enter on the ground floor. You get a perspective of the restaurant that you normally don’t see of a restaurant."
Orlando is also is aiming to have a menu that is not quite as structured as other restaurant’s he has worked at, but with a few unique twists. "There will be a lot of stuff that you share, but there will be composed courses as well," he says. "You’ll get anywhere from eight to 10 servings, depending on what’s coming in. The products are going to determine everything; the menu is going to change often. There are some dishes you will share, some dishes you will not share. At some point maybe the diner will be forced to leave the table and then come back. Because we will have a 500-square-meter garden outside, we plan to take full advantage of it not only for the vegetables coming out of it but for the guests to experience."
And while he is not yet willing to share specific menu items, he gives hints for those who have dined with him before that "there are some dishes that I definitely know that I want to do that I have done in the past when I’ve done my own guest dinners."
For more, watch the video above, and get ready for Amass to open this coming July!