I cook honest food for food lovers

Jesper Rais

I cook honest food for food lovers

The new head chef for Comwell in Holte is in the process of putting Comwell Holte on the gastronomic map. The recipe is sublimely flavorful dishes with a focus on greenery.

One day in the spring, a friend called chef Mikkel Espensen. The friend told him about a job advertisement he had come across: "Comwell in Holte is looking for a new head chef. If you apply, I'm 100% sure you'll get the job. It's just you," the friend said. Mikkel Espensen, who was employed as executive sous chef at the Marriott hotel in Copenhagen, had been thinking about becoming a head chef again for a long time. He had been one five years earlier at the exclusive Strandhotel in Blokhus. But it had to be the right place. After the conversation with his friend, Mikkel read the job posting closely. The friend was right. It was a good match. And he quickly wrote and sent his application.

Why we chose Mikkel

When hotel director Peter Gerløv Feddersen from Comwell in Holte had to choose his new head chef, there were many applicants. Some came in for an interview. But one in particular stood out: "I immediately felt that Mikkel had the will to make a difference. We wanted to go somewhere other than where we were. And Mikkel just came up with lots of ideas. We agreed to increase the focus on the good dining experience and cultivate the green agenda. And his heart is in the right place. He brings a holistic management ambition and he treats employees well. This is super crucial for us at Comwell," says Peter Gerløv Feddersen.

Green transition on the plates

Since Mikkel joined in June 2023, health and increased climate awareness has become the way forward in the kitchen. As a result, the restaurant now serves much more green and sustainable dishes with more vegetables and legumes, although there is still meat, fish and seafood on the menu.

A Nordic kitchen

The chef describes the restaurant as a basic Nordic cuisine with French preparation. "We make delicious food that is made from local Danish ingredients as far as possible. But the craftsmanship and techniques are taken from French cuisine. And it has to be tasty and honest - like what it is without too much decoration. We make honest food for food lovers - not just for the influencers on Instagram," says Mikkel.

Employees should feel good

Mikkel is - in his own words - a calm North Jutland native with a modern approach to management. And it shows in the kitchen. It's not about 'putting people in their place' with harsh words, but instead it's about creating team spirit, learning from each other and giving people responsibility. "It provides security, happy employees and room to make your own mark. You get twice as much in return," says Mikkel.

The employees who welcomed Mikkel when he started are still there: "They are all talented, ambitious and curious. They wear their "yes" hats and just go for it. So it couldn't be better," Mikkel concludes.

Big ambitions

In the old days, people came from far and wide to eat at Comwell in Holte. Mikkel believes that this is where the restaurant should go again. The kitchen team is therefore also working hard and passionately to get 'on the map' and be in people's minds when choosing where to eat. "By being some of the best and sharing our love of food with our guests, we will succeed," concludes Mikkel Espensen.

Briefly about the Green Chef program

Comwell has developed the GreenChef training in collaboration with external specialists. Here, Comwell's chefs and kitchen staff are trained to run a more green and sustainable kitchen - among other things, by minimizing food waste, introducing more plant-based diets and reducing CO2 emissions. An education that Head Chef Mikkel Espensen has also completed.

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