Henne Kirkeby Kro's head chef Paul Cunningham was born and bred in Essex, England, and has lived in Denmark since 1994. Over time, he has succeeded in adding all three Michelin stars to his chef's apron: first as head chef at Søllerød, later at The Paul, Tivoli, and, finally, last year, Henne Kirkeby Kro was awarded a star, too.
“I grew up in a working-class household, and I learnt to make food in a pub, so basically my culinary art is neither arty-farty nor particularly sophisticated. I like to make food from good, honest ingredients that respect the rhythm of nature itself. That's why the menu at Henne Kirkeby Kro changes according to the season, and I really enjoy serving something I've seen growing out there in the garden. But I also enjoy serving something that people didn't remotely expect, so they'll be pleasantly surprised. I have a close working relationship with Torben, our gardener, and with lots of local growers. It's an enormous privilege, and one of the main reasons why we';re constantly able to keep the kitchen on its toes, as regards both quality and the combination of flavours. I love to travel, and I do plenty of that during the months when the inn is closed. That way, I'm constantly gathering inspiration for new ways of preparing food, and new ingredients. I just love mixing the superb ingredients we have here in the local area with things I've discovered out in the big, wide world. I'm often asked what's the most delicious thing I've ever tasted, and my answer is always that it's when someone has taken the trouble to prepare a good, home-made meal for me. Like my mother-in- law. I love her food! It's that same feeling I want to give to our guests. They should be able to taste the good craftsmanship and the delicious ingredients, but without the distance you can sometimes feel when you're in a top restaurant. We were awarded a Michelin star last year, and of course we're thrilled and very proud of that. But, as I see it, there's a good reason why the first part of the word 'restaurant' is 'rest': our food is down-to- earth, and so are the people who prepare it. We have a laugh and listen to loud music in the kitchen, and shouting or being grumpy are a big no-no. Happy people make great food, and there's just no way you can be in a bad mood and make good food at the same time!
Edgar Madsen fiskeeksport og filetfabrik (fish export and fillet factory) www.edgarmadsen.dk
We get all our lovely fresh fish from Helga in Hvide Sande.
Varde Ådal Lam www.vardeaadallam.dk
Torben and Eva supply our lamb, boiling fowl and the eggs we serve for breakfast. They also have some fabulous pigs of an old Danish country breed. Everything is organic and they do their own slaughtering, so we avoid all those food miles that many other slaughter animals have had to endure.
Loklindt fruit and vegetables
Ejgil from Guldager, near Esbjerg, supplies all the vegetables we haven't got room to grow in our garden, or any that we haven't managed to grow successfully. For example, we get all our green asparagus from Ejgil.
Mester Christensen has been Paul Cunningham's go-to slaughterman throughout the 23 years Paul has been living in Denmark.
This little slaughterhouse on the island of Fyn supplies all our beef, veal and pork, sweetbreads and other offal.
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Endrup Andelsmejeri www.endrup-andelsmejeri.dk
The oldest cooperative dairy in Denmark, and an absolutely brilliant place. This is where we get our delicious breakfast cheese.
All our everyday dairy produce is sourced here. We make our own butter at the inn: three different kinds, into the bargain. A salted version for the breakfast table and a butter roulade with lemon, herbs and flowers from the garden for the evenings. For lunch, we make our own “ugly” butter from all the end-pieces we cut off the roulades before serving them. It tastes wonderful and it's a good example of how deceptive appearances can sometimes be. And it's a way of avoiding throwing out food, which we hate doing.
Flour from Forum www.melfraforum.dk
Every Wednesday, Michael Norman Larsen grinds flour from organic Øland wheat for us at his own mill. We bake bread every single day, and we can vouch for the fact that our warm, freshly baked bread with home-churned butter is among the most delicious you could ever eat.
Glyngøre Shellfish www.danishshellfish.com
Svend Bonde provides all our oysters, mussels and lobsters. They all come from Limfjorden, and in our opinion they're the most delicious you could find.