Chef Daniel Burns: Food and Beer

Chef Daniel Burns has the first ever Michelin Star rated restaurant that doesn’t offer wine on the menu.  Yes, you read that correctly. Only beer is paired with food at Torst and Luksus.   And now you have the opportunity to prepare these award winning tastes of Torst and Luksus at home with Chef Daniel Burns and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso’s new cookbook- aptly titled Food & Beer.   Jeppe is the owner and sole proprietor of Evil Twin Brewing and is affectionately known as a gypsy brewer, or rather a contract brewer. Chef Burns creates each recipe, and Jeppe curates the beer to pair with each dish.  As Chef Daniel Burns says, “The number of beers with certain flavors is only limited by the imagination of the brewers.  You can add beet root, fennel seed and other ingredients at any stage of the brewing process.  Craft breweries are getting so good at creating balanced and nuanced flavors as the end result.”

Daniel Burns photo credit- tuukka koski

Daniel Burns photo credit- tuukka kooks’

With college degrees in math and philosophy, Chef Daniel Burns’ life trajectory changed as he pursued his passion of cooking in the kitchens of some of the world’s most famous restaurants, including Noma, (Chef Rene Redzepi wrote the foreword in Food & Beer) The Fat Duck, St. JOHN and Momufuku.  His versatility of being a pastry chef as well as a savory chef prepared him well to fulfill his dream of opening his own restaurants, Torst and Luksus.  Influenced by his time at Noma and living in Denmark, Chef Burns creates many recipes that are Danish inspired, and each recipe is meticulously handwritten in a notebook before going into a computer.  The designs of the restaurants exude natural and streamlined elegance with wood and marble, and the cover of the Food and Beer cookbook reflects that same understated sophistication.

The cover of Food & Beer cookbook

The cover of Food &
Beer cookbook

Below are three takeaway tips from Chef Daniel Burns and Jeppe:

  1. Pair beer with less prominent flavors of a dish.  For Chef Daniel Burns and Jeppe, the pairing of food and beer is indeed a curated process.  “It’s the same type of process a sommelier goes through, deciding if a wine is comparative or contrasting to the flavor of a dish,” Chef Daniel explains.  He and Jeppe will try at least four to five samples of beer before deciding the exact pairing.  By pairing beer with the less prominent ingredient of a dish, it keeps it interesting for the guest.
  2. Develop your own style of plating and mix the plates you use.  In addition to featuring the beautiful glazed Danish dishes of Kasper Wurtz, Chef Daniel also likes to purchase vintage plates at sales and auctions.  Here is a video on how Chef Daniel actually plates his dishes:  He takes an organic approach and is creating his own style.
  3. Embrace a variety of tastes.  Many of the chapters in his new cookbook Food & Beer are based on types of beer, i.e. Bitter, Funky, Sweet, Earthy, Sour, Smoky, Tart, Spicy, Fruity and Tasty.  Regarding pairings with Bitter beer, Chef Daniel and Jeppe have a philosophical approach: “We all try to spend our lives avoiding bitterness in life.  It’s important to embrace the bitterness.  It’s an important flavor overall.”


On a personal  note, my mother-in-law, Clarice, was Danish and she always prepared a delicious recipe for Ebleskivers each Christmas.  I will soon share Chef Daniel Burns savory recipe for Ebleskiver with Roasted Hay Gribiche and will use Clarice’s mother’s turn of the century Ebleskiver pan.

My mother-in-law's ebleskiver pan which belonged to her mother in Denmark

My mother-in-law’s ebleskiver pan which belonged to her mother in Denmark




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