How Geranium Crafted A Unique, Meatless Menu

In 2021, the world-famous Eleven Madison Park – lauded by many to be the best restaurant in the world, with a former number one ranking on The World's 50 Best list — surprised many fine-dining lovers by announcing its decision to go (almost) fully vegan, per CBS. But, it wasn't the only internationally lauded establishment to give meat the ax.

Welcome to Copenhagen's three Michelin-starred restaurant, Geranium. Its towering eighth-floor location allows guests to overlook a scenic view of Fælledparken (Common Gardens) as they dine to, as Geranium puts it, "explore the area of tension between the urbane and the natural." In 2022, Geranium reached the internationally coveted number one spot on The World's 50 Best list, being named the Best Restaurant in the World. This is the same year that Geranium chef and co-owner Rasmus Kofoed first introduced the joint's totally pescatarian menu. Here's how Kofoed and Søren Ledet's Geranium made the move to go plant-based and still climbed to the top of the pack.

A shift toward natural ingredients

In 2021, when Geranium was ranked the 2nd Best Restaurant on the World's 50 Best list, co-owner Kofoed officially made the menu meat-free (per Robb Report) — five years after the chef personally adopted a vegetarian diet. At first, Geranium's meatless offerings started only during lunchtime, but expanded shortly thereafter to encompass the entire menu. Chef Kofoed took to Instagram to explain his decision. "My kitchen at Geranium has long been focused on vegetables, fish, and shellfish as the star on the plate, with small quantities of meat," Kofoed writes. "The menu is a reflection of me, of who I am, and how I am evolving as a chef and as a human being... ⁣I see it as a challenge to create new dishes."  

Along with the panoramic park view, the restaurant also features an open kitchen concept with visible chefs, open fireplaces, and a modern Scandinavian-inspired design, says The World's 50 Best. All dishes are served on earthy crockware. Here's what's on the innovative menu. 

... and creative freedom

Truly, Geranium's meatless menu is totally unique. Its menu offerings change seasonally and are sourced from local ingredients, says The World's 50 Best. A meal at Geranium (with roughly 20 courses) takes at least three hours to complete and runs for 3,200 Danish Krones (about $438 USD). Among the restaurant's creative plant-based dishes are smoked lumpfish roe with milk, kale, and apple; forest mushrooms with beer, smoked egg yolk, and pickled hops; butter beans with toasted pumpkin seeds; new potatoes with olives and pickled lemon; and toasted bread with seeds, caramelized onions, and herbs (via Robb Report).

From a creative standpoint, as well, Kofoed was looking for freedom from some of the very dishes that earned Geranium its fame. "I experience that the signature dishes lock me in a puzzle when creating a menu," the chef told Danish news outlet Berlingske (via Robb Report). "I feel like we need a clean slate," Kofoed says, per Food and Wine. "We are waving goodbye to our signature dishes and I think that is a big step."