COPENHAGEN: Christian Puglisi, chef and owner of Copenhagen restaurants Relae, Manfreds, Baest, Mirabelle Bakery and Mirabelle restaurant among other initiatives has announced he is closing two restaurants Reale and Manfreds at the end of the year.
This is the second major announcement coming from the Danish capital in the past week. Last week Kristian Baumann and René Redzepi announced the closure of the highly acclaimed Restaurant 108.
The chef of Italian origin who made a huge impact on the Danish scene with his sustainable approach announced the decision to close the two restaurants at the end of this year.
“We came, we saw (we didn’t use tweezers) and we conquered,” he said.
“In 10 years, Reale and Manfreds have changed a neighbourhood, made an impact on the global culinary scene and fought to take organic agriculture seriously. We created countless memories, emotions and unforgettable experiences for myself, visiting guests and staff alike,” he said.
“I can proudly say that now its time. Relae and Manfreds have grown up and it is time to move on,” he said
The Italian chef said that what Relae stands for will stand the test of time, whatever crisis, whatever trends and tendencies there will be in the next few years. “But just because you can doesn’t mean that you have to. Or that you should.”
He said that opening Relae and Manfreds was a quest for freedom. “I created a space where my curiosity could be free to discover the restaurant of my dreams and my heart. My dreams came true and I proudly managed to achieve it all while picking every fight to keep my independence. Only in this last year have I realised that, that while my drive and need for independence have not dwindled, fighting for my freedom today means doing less.”
Christian said that while this particular decision called for all the courage in the world, “I am prouder than ever to write the epilogue and final chapter of Relae and Manfreds with the same freedom as when I was dreaming of the very first one. I have therefore decided to close by the end of the year.”
He said he and his team were not leaving the race, they were just crossing the line. “This calls for celebrations so come and see us in the next months,” he said.
Earlier this week, Christian won the sustainability award for his pizza place Baest in the 50 Top Pizza list. Last year, the Italian chef hit at Michelin saying that their sustainability awards were nothing more than greenwashing.
The Italian chef has accused the guide of just picking the phone to determine whether a restaurant is sustainable or not. “It is disrespectful towards the ones in this industry taking the current issues seriously. It is hurting the credibility of our restaurant scene to announce leaders to be ‘setting the standard for the rest of the world to follow”.
He is also author of the book Relae, a Book of Ideas. The chef opened Relae in 2010 on a rough, run down stretch of one of Copenhagen’s most crime-ridden streets. His goal was that of serving impeccable, intelligent, sustainable, plant centric food of the highest quality in a setting that was devoid of the retention and frills of conventional high end restaurant dining. It was an immediate hit. Today the Jægersborggade—where Relæ and its more casual sister restaurant, Manfreds, are located—is one of Copenhagen’s most vibrant and exciting streets. And Puglisi continues to excite and surprise diners with his genre-defying, wildly inventive cooking.