H2O X TALENTS
We dropped by the talented head chef Jonas Franck, in a homey setting.
He created two homestyle dishes; mackerel with summer greens and homemade gnocchi.
About his cooking he told us, that he love the simple dishes. The preferred environment for him to cook in, is at a summer house where the tools are limited. “Cooking without any fancy kitchen tools forces you to be creative. I prefer to just use a simple knife and my hands – to me, that’s as honest as it gets.”
The key ingredients for the salad are tomatoes and peaches. “A much-overseen flavour that I think we are very cautious about in Denmark, is spice. We are most commonly looking for the umami, acidity, salt, bitterness and sweetness - for me, spice is also a thing – it can take the dishes to an extra level of taste."
Jonas used tomatoes, peaches, apricots, cherries and topped with a bit of spice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, purple basil and, salt and pepper.
The humble head chef appreciates simple expressions. "Everything in a dish must have a flavour or texture justification – it’s not just about the look. One of the worst things is overly decorated food that barely tastes of anything."
For the second dish Jonas Franck started off by peeling the peas for the gnocchi, an ingredient that we truly appreciate in Denmark during the summer.
"It’s pretty, it’s raw and it’s interactive. For many years, the focus has been on fast food, but a lot of people also appreciate when things take time. Like making pasta at home."
"You can make gnocchi in many different ways and forms. I simply just roll mine. I’m traditional trained but sometimes; food is just food. At the end of the day, there is no rules. That’s what I really enjoy about food."
The process of making gnocchi is exactly like making pasta.
Jonas told us, that he doesn't follow a specific recipe "There is a guideline, but not really a specific recipe, which is why I like to make it. Because it depends on the moist and size of the potatoes."
He then mashes the potatoes through a sieve in order to get a potato dough. You can’t just blend the potatoes because you will stretch it. When you make the gnocchi, it’s a dough you fold together and you don’t want to stretch it. Little by little you add flour to consistency.
”It’s a dish I use sometimes use to showcase and emphasise my belief in cooking. You must learn to understand by tasting and feeling, not just obey orders and follow a recipe. Recipes are guidelines.“
"If I should give three tips for home cooking it would be; Keep clean and organized, taste at all times and learn how to chop fast. That will probably save you 50% of your time and hopefully minimize your stress.“