I clearly remember when I walked into my first job in the restaurant business. I had just turned 13 and my sister was sick, so I filled in for her as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. It was a small kitchen full of chefs, a lot of noise, and steam everywhere. I guess I fell in love with all the activity and excitement. The owner was French and had four restaurants – The Plaza Hotel, Marie Louise, and 2 other excellent places; all with very disciplined kitchens and a truly “old school” approach. In a short amount of time, I quickly advanced and with the opening of a new restaurant in the north of Copenhagen, I was in charge of the bistro kitchen. This was before I had even attended Chef School. After that I worked for another French gentleman at a small 30 seat restaurant called Le Provence. I finally went to hotel and restaurant school for 4 1/2 years in Denmark; where I was born and raised. After just a month of training at Hotel & Restaurant School, I was selected to represent my town in the Danish championship for young Chefs. It was a great experience to compete against the best young Chefs across Denmark. After finishing school, I had the opportunity work in the beautiful Mont Blanc area of France twice and also in southern Spain.
I would have to say that my love of food started at a young age. I was very fortunate to have parents that took my sisters and me on many trips throughout Europe where we were exposed to all different types of food at a very early age. My parents loved food and to travel. In my father’s side of the family are all artists and my mother’s side of the family are all entrepreneurs. I guess a little bit of both rubbed off on me as I’m creative with food, but also interested in business. By now, I was flourishing in the restaurant industry and at the same time, the chocolate industry was going through a radical transformation. We had access to the best raw chocolate and incredibly fresh ingredients. This was heaven for a young creative chef and I absorbed it all. With my background in the savory kitchen, I loved to experiment with sweet & savory flavors and I continued to do so with chocolate. At that time, I moved to the USA as a private chef cooking for the rich & famous. After which I was sponsored by a French restaurant in New York. People were truly stunned when they tasted the infusions of chocolate and spices. They thought I was crazy, but as they tasted the chocolates, they soon realized that these combinations were true matches in heaven. It felt good to be a pioneer in the modern chocolate making and bring new spicy sweet experiences to people.