Copenhagen has undergone a food renaissance over the last decade. New Nordic hit the scene and everything else followed, allowing for a cornucopia of foods from countries and cultures all over the world. And thank goodness, because although we like a good fiske filet smørrebrød as much as the next person, choice is key.
There have been a few attempts at “American” food, the most successful of these being pie at American Pie Company, drive-in style burgers at Gasoline Grill, the BBQ at Mikkeller-founded WarPigs and a few diner-style cafes dotted around the city. Given the fanfare of these spots, is Copenhagen finally ready for American Southern food?
Chef Amanda Yee thinks so. That’s why she’s launching The Blues Woman, a restaurant and community space that’s creating a bridge between fine and casual dining. It’s unpretentious, creative and, above all, delicious food that pays respect to the cooking and culture of African American women while seeking to evolve the palate of those in Copenhagen.
Originally from Oakland, California, Amanda honed her skills as a classically-trained chef in San Francisco after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in North Carolina, all locations that have inspired her cooking. Working with renown chef Bryant Terry on his cookbook Afro Vegan, she became a true multi-hyphenate, adding food writing, styling and recipe development to her roster of experience.
Now living in Copenhagen, Yee is eager to bring her considerable skills to the people. The Blues Woman is about food, of course, but it’s also about how what we eat and how we eat it tells the stories of our lives. “Food is a conduit for creating community,” Amanda explains, “and I believe people should feel full when they leave. Not just in their stomachs – although, certainly that – but holistically full.”
The Blues Woman menu, which is open for lunch, dinner and brunch on Sundays, will include classics such as fried chicken, grilled oysters and duck confit gumbo while making sure to include both vegetarian and vegan options. “It’s so important for me that The Blues Woman is an inclusive space,” Amanda says. “There’s no reason that if you’re vegetarian or vegan you can’t eat with your community.”
Mixologist Damiano Pezzi will also be on-hand, creating world-class cocktails that focus on American liquors like bourbon and rye. It will be possible to grab a drink at the bar or enjoy a multi-course meal; whatever you’re in the mood for.
And if you’re in the mood for actual blues, you’re in luck. The Blues Woman will host live-music events as well as have a DJ spinning on the weekends.
Amanda’s approach to food is one with open arms and open eyes. She’s ready to offer Copenhagen something special, something that is based in cooking and eating but also goes beyond it to ensure that the experience of The Blues Woman is open to all. The proof? She’s already sharing recipes (and they’re damn good).
Make Amanda Yee’s Watermelon Salad for yourself:
- 1/2 large watermelon, cubed
- 3 limes, halved
- 200 g of de-stoned kalamata olives, halved
- 100 g of fresh mint, torn into small – medium pieces
- 150g of shaved ricotta Salata
- 4 large strawberries, chopped
- Aleppo chilies & sea salt to taste
Mix together first four ingredients. Squeezing lime juice into mixture and discarding rind. Top with ricotta salata, and sprinkle with Aleppo chili flakes & sea salt to taste.
Find out more about The Blues Woman and book a seat for her pop-up, running until the end of 2018.