Q&A with Mikkel Karstad

Mikkel Karstad is a cook, food stylist and author of “Spis”, a cookbook with a unique take on Danish cuisine. Mikkel has previously worked a lot with famous Danish chef and entrepreneur Claus Meyer, both on TV, in book form and on his restaurants. He is also the father of four and a long time customer and supporter of Goods. Mikkel and his family is featured in the current Kinfolk issue.

What is your most important task in your life and in your work?

My most important task in life is to achieve sustainability, on many levels. It is to teach my kids about sustainability, both in regards to what we eat, how we live and how to treat other people.

When it comes to food I try to teach them about eating both seasonally and locally. We gather a lot of the things we eat ourselves and try to eat what is surrounding us. We’re not fanatics but try to use our common sense. At the moment we’re eating a lot of Danish apples and pears, not many berries, but a lot of cabbage and root vegetables and not so much corn and peas.

In regards to other people we teach our kids to experience the world, to respect other people and to treat them, as they would want to be treated. This might sound a bit over the top but it’s really just a matter of using your common sense and to think: Sustainability.

What is your most important source of inspiration in your work and in your life?

My greatest source of inspiration is my surroundings, my family and the people I meet in my everyday life.

I find inspiration by taking a walk in nature and really feeling the season or by moving through the city and listening to its sounds. I love nature but I can’t live without the city.

Of course travelling, eating in restaurants or shopping at the food markets in the greater European cities also inspires me. At the same time I also read a lot of cookbooks and magazines on fashion, lifestyle and food.

What is your favourite occupation at the moment?

At this time of year I always look forward to the start of the winter’s swimming season in open water. I go regularly throughout the winter, 3 to 5 times a week, evenings on weekdays and in the morning on the weekends. The cold water, the hot sauna and the quietness is the perfect start or end of a busy day.

What is your relation to Goods and Kasper owner of Goods?

Kasper has been so kind as to believe in my cookbook “Spis” and to carry it in his store, which means a lot to me. It’s important to me that the book is sold not only in traditional bookstores and I think that the atmosphere in the Goods space fits well with the book’s outlook and the kind of people that I wish to inspire with my cooking.

Apart from that I come by Goods frequently for inspiration, for a chat and for shopping.

What’s your favourite place in Copenhagen?

Ooh, I find it hard to point out one single location I Copenhagen. I’m very fond of living here and I think that every different part of the city has its own qualities.

You can always find a spot to relax, be it a park or by the water. It’s also a good place for partying if that’s what you’re looking for. There are nice stores, cafés, bars, anything you might want or wish for.

If I have to pick one spot I’d recommend Svanemøllehavn and Svanemølleværket on a cold winter morning when the sun rises. Go for a quick swim in the icy cold water. That always makes me happy!

Get Mikkel´s cookbook “Spis" at Goods on Østerbrogade or here

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