Head Chef Ellitsgaard - under

Published on March 30th, 2018

“Fresh ingredients and pure, naked flavors are of utmost importance to us. At the same time, we want to provide a gastronomic experience that ushers guests just beyond their current comfort zone – when it comes to new flavors”, says chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard.

“Just on the other side of our iconic window – the ocean is bursting with fresh delicacies from the sea, so the journey from the kitchen to the plate is minimal.” says Nicolai Ellitsgaard who is the head chef at the highly anticipated underwater restaurant. 

He has extensive experience from some of the best restaurants in Scandinavia, which is highly beneficial as he now plans the future gastronomic highlights of under.  He explains that creativity and delicate presentation are vital, but never at the expense of quality ingredients and exciting new tastes.  

Throughout the coming year, in anticipation of the restaurant´s opening, Ellitsgaard will experiment with local ingredients and different compositions so as to serve his guests a dining experience that will be hard to forget!

“We are so fortunate! Not only is the sea filled with a vast amount of delicious fish and countless types of shells, but the beaches here also offer plenty of exciting ingredients such as sea arrow grass, sea rocket and salty sea kale. Furthermore, the local area is known for its bountiful varieties of wild mushrooms and succulent berries”. 

“However”, he continues “due to the changing seasons, we will serve these local treasures in a variety of ways – everything from fermented, pickled, dried or otherwise preserved, if it doesn´t happen to be the season when they are best enjoyed - fresh”!

The restaurant experience
For guests dining at under, they will start their food experience in the mezzanine, where they will be served a sampling appetizer of what awaits. This could be a crispy seaweed bite shaped like a sea shell. This inspiration contains a natural truffle like taste with an emulsion of fresh handpicked limpets and sour pears for an intriguing starter. Complement this with an enticing beverage for a satisfying finish, says the chef.

After a short descent via the wooden staircase, the guests will continue their gastronomic experience in the one-of-a-kind dining room. A large, panoramic window will provide an exclusive view into subsea life. Guests can take in the view while they indulge in the delicacies that make up the dining experience that aims to both thrill and challenge their taste buds. 

“We will offer a set menu which will vary according to the seasonal ingredients we have at our fingertips. The menu will amount to around fifteen to eighteen servings, ranging from small gastronomic mouthfuls to larger more filling portions”. 

Chef Ellitsgaard won´t disclose all the secret ingredients in his kitchen. He does however, reveal that local, high-quality produce and tasty stock, are often key ingredients in his sauces. “It might very well be stock made of roses and white currant together with roasted buckwheat koji and organic cucumber” says the chef.

Carefully selected drinks

It is essential to Ellitsgaard that each dish is carefully paired with a complementing wine or non-alcoholic drink to create perfect harmony.

“Our sommelier will of course create a pairing menu to complete each course with various, fitting wines. But we will also offer a beautiful non-alcoholic option for those who would prefer that”.

Secret menu
Since the food is prepared and served below sea level, seafood will be the prominent star in many of the servings. However, we will also dish up delicacies featuring various seabirds and other meat, such as locally raised, wild sheep.

“We aim to serve a menu comprised of local resources – with a high commitment to always using the best ingredients possible”, he says.

That means that guests, who for the most part, will book a table half a year in advance, will not necessarily know what the menu will be upon booking - a mark of quality, according to head chef Ellitsgaard:

“We want to maintain the thrill and in some ways expand the expectations of the taste buds. This is part of why the dining experience at under will be a rare, exciting and wunderful experience”.

metres below sea level