They call themselves I’m a Kombo. Because that is what they are. Two guys with each their competencies and interests but also with a common denominator- food. Chefs and entrepreneurs. Caterers and consultants. Lasse and Bo, friends and colleagues. Cool and really nice. The latter being my personal opinion after I met them at one of their latest events under the umbrella of the The Social Act.
The Social Act is a number of events these guys have created to channel all their creativity and energy into a happening within their own framework of rules and regulations. Who needs a menu, a bunch of waiters and the daily grind of restaurant routine (which contains as much frustration, crushed hopes and bad management as any other job) if you can make pop-up dining events once in a while and do tons of other things in between?!
The evening started out in their office in the Meatpacking District in Copenhagen where we were greeted with a snack and a beer. We then moved to the kitchen where the guys gave us a short intro to who they are and what they stand for, of course accompanied by food and beverages: pre-bottled (by them) Negroni, beetroot flavoured popcorn and a parmesan cracker with cream of smoked cod roe. A fantastic start which only made me more curious!
Back in the office the tables had been set and we were placed all together at two tables each with a shelf in the middle that was hanging from the ceiling and dividing us on the two sides. On the shelf a lot of different remedies had been placed, clearly marked with a colour code according to the sequence of dishes. Herbs, napkins, cutlery, scissors. We started with avocado halves stuffed with chicken liver where the stone used to sit. They fooled me!
After that we had a small pita bread with poached halibut and help-yourself-herbs from the shelf in front of us (hence the scissors).
What followed was some cold vichyssoise in a plastic cup like you would get at Starbucks when you order a frappe-something. Instead of whipped cream and caramel sauce the top had a separate section with fried kale and potato slices to snack in between the slurps of soup. Wonderful!
The main dish was well hidden in a neat package made of thin slices of kohlrabi. Even though Lasse and Bo had explained the dish and the content of the package, not really seeing what you were eating was perfectly strange and made you wonder: ” They said beef and caramelized onion. But is it like a steak I should cut through?” Then: ” No, it’s braised and actually cut in slices”. Deep flavours, warmth and comfort. Topped with truffles. Aaah…
All the while we were serving ourselves from a bag-in-box of Spanish natural red wine (clearly marked as belonging to the main dish with a dot). In came dessert and dessert wine.
Apples with a crust of lemon verbena and malt. Clean and crisp.
Even though I did not feel like having anymore room for food, the next dessert also went down nicely. It was one more real comfort food element, a chocolate pie, but with a twist. Fist of all it had no bottom (Which made it undoubtedly lighter. I trick I should start using). In the crispy shell with an intense cocoa taste there was a filling of thinly sliced and pickled zucchini topped with an endlessly delicious dollop of whipped cream with passionfruit. All very light, not overly sweet and mouthwatering just by the thought of it now!
We ended the event with coffee, tea and some digestive like any other typical Danish dinner. But wait, nothing is common with I’m a Kombo and here came another challenge: the student Diego Virgen used his “critical plate ware” on us to see how we would react and interact if, let’s say, your cup has a hole and is formed so you cannot put it aside without spilling the content Or if your cup is connected with someone at the other end of the table with some coloured string. It was fun and for the first time that evening I spoke to the guy at the opposite end of the table.
On the way out Lasse and Bo handed us a little goodie bag that had been assorted by their designer Anne Brandhøj. It was filled with coffee, chocolate and liquorice and by sharing this we should spread the good vibes of the evening. Thanks, I did!
The chefs and all their really cool helpers made this a fantastic experience! If you want to participate in a Social Act make sure to sign up for their newsletter! It seems you do not even have to come to Denmark (but you should) as they are planning an event in London as well.