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Copenhagen is a magnet for food lovers. In 2011 the annual Copenhagen Cooking food festival presented an enticing array of late summer culinary experiences. Increases in both the number of visitors and the amount of publicity surrounding the event underlined Copenhagen’s appeal as a gastronomic destination.

If there is one field in which Copenhagen is being praised and given awards for these days, it is gastronomy. With a restaurant scene boasting more Michelin stars than, for example Stockholm and Rome put together, along with Northern Europe’s largest food festival – Copenhagen Cooking – the Danish capital ranks highly on the list of the world’s leading culinary destinations.

Celebration of food
In August 2011 Copenhagen Cooking showcased the city’s dynamic food scene for the seventh year in a row with some 100 events. The festival featured everything from Nordic tastings in Kødbyen (the Meatpacking District), to gourmet restaurants at budget prices, to a multi-cultural street kitchen, ‘International Days – Taste the World’, on Nørrebro. For the first time there was also a winter edition of Copenhagen Cooking, part of the new winter festival, Wondercool, held in February 2012.

The 2011 food festival had both the largest ever number of visitors and generated the greatest amount of media attention – nationally and internationally. An analysis shows that the combined number of visitors to the August events was 75,000 people, of which 10,000 were non-local Danes and 2,900 foreigners. This equates to a tourist revenue of as much as DKK 13m.

Henrik Yde Andersen, owner of Michelin-starred restaurant Kiin Kiin, among other venues, has been part of the event since the start:

”What Copenhagen Cooking is good at is bringing great food to a wider public. We participate both in the street kitchen, ‘Taste the World’, and in ‘Taste of Copenhagen’, where we offer gourmet food at low prices. It is important to give everyone a chance to taste Michelin food and get rid of the impression of stuffy rooms and white tablecloths,” says Henrik Yde Andersen, adding: “Over the last five year an amazing amount has happened in the culinary field in Copenhagen. Every evening we have overseas guests at Kiin Kiin who have only come here to get a taste of Copenhagen’s restaurant scene.”

Visited by the world’s press
It wasn’t just the public attendance figures for this year’s Copenhagen Cooking which set new records, the international media’s interest exceeded that of previous years too. Countries which covered the festival included Brazil, China, the USA and Australia. And, among the international media which sent reporters to Copenhagen to cover Copenhagen Cooking were the BBC, the Observer, Die Welt, Time Magazine and Monocle.

Some of the international journalists were invited by Wonderful Copenhagen on a three-day press tour in which we showed them Copenhagen’s culinary scene, explained the history of the Danish capital as a food destination and, more broadly, explained its appeal as a destination for people who simply valued quality and pleasure.

Popular Copenhagen Cooking events 2011

MAD Foodcamp: a market place on Refshaleøen which took place in tandem with an international symposium for chefs, organised by René Redzepi and his team from Noma.
Nordic Taste: 30 Nordic restaurant offered tastings in Kødbyen. HRH Princess Marie opened the event.
International days -Taste the World: Street kitchen and street party on Nørrebro.

Source: Wonderful Copenhagen annual report 2011

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