"Born in 1977 to a Muslim father and a Protestant mother, I was
a fidgety child who loved football. A strong work ethic saw me (and
my twin brother) take on 10 newspaper delivery rounds at the age of
nine. This diligence didn't extend to my studies, and at 15 I
followed a friend to restaurant school because I couldn't come up
with a better idea. I was hooked after two days."
"I'm now one of the world's most celebrated and influential
chefs but when my restaurant opened in 2003, it was received with
scorn, garnering nicknames such as Blubber Restaurant and the Whale
"My first cookbook calls for such ingredients as sea buckthorn,
skyr (a cultured dairy product) and birch sap, all indicative of my
focus on using the produce around me. I don't drive, I'm scared of
dogs and I avoid rollercoasters but I put myself on the line in
other ways: my innovations include founding the MAD food symposium
and relocating my Copenhagen restaurant for months at a time, first
to Tokyo, then to Sydney [and now to Tulum, Mexico]."