Carnegie Investment Bank,
Carnegie Investment Bank,
While visiting Copenhagen, a friend told me about an investment bank serving what might be the country’s best staff meal. So I went and ate with the bankers, and talked with Carnegie Investment Bank's chef Christian Fangholm Bak about the staff meal. I wound up sharing one, and it lived up to its glowing reputation.
Eight years ago, I was offered the opportunity to work at Carnegie Investment Bank. To create a new kitchen and new style of canteen for the staff. I had been working at a top French restaurant in Copenhagen, Le Sommelier. The hours there were long, up to 14 a day, six days a week. My kids were getting older, I had fulfilled my dreams of working at the top in this industry ~ and I wanted to change my work-life balance.
At my prior restaurant, we gave really good and intimate staff meals; which helped improve team morale and tighten the group. Here, my dream was to do what we had done there ~ but for 100 people a day. I wanted to create an open kitchen, to communicate and interact with the staff members. I wanted the staff to know who made their lunch and the feeling of the proud chef behind the food being served. I now know everyone’s name who works here, and all their food preferences.
When I moved to this job, Carnegie gave me the exciting task of creating the best staff restaurant in the city. I was making plans, but it was 2008 and a couple of months later the financial crisis came, so plans for expansion were put on hold. The old kitchen was in a tiny room, very tough to work in. And we had a buffet in the hallway, with a waiter. I was not so keen on the buffet style, of so many kinds of food ~ which is not efficient for your body to process. I wanted to put one together with love, and give everyone a more normal and really thoughtful style of meal.
As the economy bounced back, the vision to create my dream kitchen was realized. We have now been working in it for just over a year. People here have a highly demanding work day, so the staff meal is very important. It was very stressful changing things initially, but now everyone loves it. It has become the highlight of the day for a lot us and one of the main benefits to working here. People have cried when they leave, because they will miss the staff meal. When we hire people, they know about the lunch deal; the company uses it as a benefit of working here. This gives my job value. Also, since we moved away from the buffet, we have improved on wastage and saved the company around 35% on food costs.
Two days a week, we also offer the staff prepackaged dinners, to take home, so they don’t need to think about shopping and can have more time with their family. We prepare food, seal the beef, add other ingredients and dressings, and they let us know how many they will be feeding and we pack it and leave it the fridge here with their name on it.
An organization of food companies and farmers nominate workplace canteens for this award. They select around 15, and visit each on a random day and ask questions; look at kitchens pantry etc, and then make a decision.
This is the second time we have been nominated for best canteen. The first time, we were third, but that was before the new kitchen. Last year’s winner even nominated me, so I cross my fingers and think we have a good chance to win this year!
Christian Fangholm Bak - Head Chef
Morten Hansen - Chef
Jörg Oertel - Chef
Anne Skytte Thorsen - Chef
Marlene Strunge -Waiter
Whole fried plaice with beurre noisette and haricot vert
cous cous salad
fresh peas with salsiccia and mint
wild mushrooms on toast
Cold cut of organic pork with Rødkål
Juice of the day: wild elderflower with citrus
Dessert: the first cherries from Denmark
Find them here
Thanks to Colin Goedecke, The story developer