Restaurant Hâidan: A Taste of the Sea

Hâidan Restaurant is our new, in-house dining concept at The Audo. Led by Michelin-trained chef, Gabriele Rizzo, the restaurant unites Chinese and Scandinavian culinary traditions through seafood. Diners can expect inventive tasting menus with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, presented with characteristic New Nordic flair and attention to detail. 

We sat with Gabriele to discuss the concept and vision behind the new concept, as well as a taste of what guests can anticipate while dining at Hâidan.

 

Q. WHAT IS THE VISION BEHIND HÂIDAN?

A. Haidan, for me, is a step towards the future of dining — a vision born from years of work and research. In other words, a culinary experience that concentrates my background and knowledge on a single restaurant concept.

The story begins with a name. In Chinese, Haidan translates to “sea urchin,” which is also the meaning behind my last name, Rizzo in my native dialect. Aside from the name connection, I’ve always experienced a powerful connection to the sea, having been born and raised on the island of Sicily.

Having grown up surrounded by water, it was natural that I took an interest in seafood as a chef. It is through this relationship to the sea that I most closely resonate with Scandinavian cuisine and cultural traditions. Therefore, Hâidan serves as a means to interact with, and celebrate Chinese flavour, technique and ingredients through seafood.

Q. COMING FROM ITALY, YOUR CULINARY EXPERIENCES ARE ENTRENCHED IN MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE. HOW DO YOU FIND COMMON GROUND BETWEEN YOUR HOMELAND AND THE FLAVOURS OF SCANDINAVIA AND CHINA?

A: Regardless of where I am, my connection to my homeland will always present itself in my dishes, both in the standard of quality and gastronomic traditions of the Mediterranean region. Through the exchange of cultural traditions, we can share knowledge and culinary expertise. 

I moved to Scandinavia to explore Nordic cuisine, however, I never lost my interest in, and appreciation for, Asian cuisine. I imagine a triangle of sorts, connecting the three points from which I draw my inspiration in cooking: Scandinavia, Asia and my home, the Mediterranean. This imaginary triangle has helped me create a palette that celebrates a harmony of different cultures and flavours.

In a sense, our cuisine is still in the making. Somehow, despite all the years of experience and preparation, we haven’t quite fully discovered ourselves yet. But this, I believe, is the most exciting part — to see just how far we can go.

Q. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE OR APPROACH TO THE CULINARY ARTS?

A: To me, a great dish always begins with quality. I then move on to the purity of the ingredients. When creating food, I always want to honour the distinct attributes and flavours of each ingredient — ensuring that their quality is preserved. I like to use clean flavours in my cooking and try to avoid overcrowding a dish with too many different elements. The end goal is to create an elevated, yet precise, plate.

Q: IN WHAT WAYS WILL HÂIDAN COMPLEMENT OR SUPPORT THE SPIRIT OF THE AUDO?

A: I’ve always harboured an acute appreciation of aesthetics. When I saw The Audo for the first time, I knew that it was the perfect space to bring my concept to life. Working in a synergistic environment such as this allows my brand to grow and connect. To work in such a space, surrounded by beauty, is endlessly inspiring to me as a chef.

Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH READERS KNEW ABOUT YOU OR YOUR RESTAURANT CONCEPT?

A: I tend to avoid talking too much about myself or about the quality of Restaurant Hâidan. I want people to judge and experience the restaurant from their own point of view. What I will say, however, is that as a team we have poured a lot of dedication, energy and passion into what we do. Our concept is not a conventional fusion restaurant or a mixture of random cultures and ingredients — it is a point of view. Hâidan is the sum of my experiences, cultural background and a vision that my team has helped shape from the ground up.

Q: WILL YOU BE WORKING WITH ANY LOCAL PARTNERS OR SUPPLIERS?

A: We will always prioritize fresh, local ingredients and produce that has been sourced from our nearby surroundings. 

However, since our kitchen touches on flavours from around the world, including the Mediterranean and Asia, it is natural that we must source ingredients from outside of Denmark. As I said before, the exchange of information is what has birthed a lot of popular gastronomic cultures today, and I believe that this is something we should not forget. 

 

For reservations or to learn more, visit:

haidan.dk