Our ZIPP 2 smart speakers are in use and on display at Copenhagen Zoo’s newest eateries. On our last visit, we met with the Zoo’s Head Chef Casper Sobcyzk for a chat.
Amongst the many animals at Copenhagen Zoo, our limited-edition Panda sleeves for our ZIPP 2 smart speaker are now also part of the attraction. Visitors can spot our ZIPP 2 in their natural habitat at three new dining offerings that have recently opened – Bistro Panpan, Folk and Botanika. Panpan also overlooks the home of the Zoo’s two pandas Mao Sun and Zing Er who arrived at the Zoo earlier this year.
Casper Sobczyk, a critically acclaimed chef, who is also a resident chef on Go' morgen Danmark is another new arrival. He recently joined the Zoo to head up their new dining destination. We took a tour of the new hot-spots and also found the time to ask Casper a few questions.
Casper, congratulations on the new offerings here at the Zoo. It looks like it has been an exciting time for you, so we would love to learn more about your background, and your current role?
Well about me, I am a 31-year old Bornholmer (a Danish island, in the Baltic Sea), who has been working in a kitchen for the last 17 years of my life. I was educated in Bornholm and once I finished my education, I then travelled around Denmark to work at some of the best restaurants within fish, seafood and also French gastronomy.
I was a member of the Danish national culinary team and have competed in countless competitions. In addition, I helped to build the restaurant Alchemist and have over the past five years, been working in restaurants and hotels such as Søren K (Copenhagen) and Hotel Marienlyst (Helsingor), where I was Head Chef before joining the Zoo.
Here, I am the executive head chef for the 3 restaurants, and I am also still a chef for the national morning television show Go’morgen Danmark.
It sounds like you have been busy! What inspired you to first become a chef?
I love food and the way that food can both touch people and at the same time bring people together. Food is a religion in itself, a positive one.
What does your daily routine look like?
I wake up with my 18-month-old daughter and enjoy the morning with her, I cook breakfast for her and then drop her off at the nursery. I then go to work and greet all my colleagues at the three restaurants. Once I have greeted them, I have a chat with my sous chefs and test a dish or two and then enjoy working with and around my employees for the day. But when I get home to my daughter, that is my favourite time of the day. I’m always working but I like to eat out to relax.
What do you have to consider with working in an environment such as a Zoo, rather than a stand-alone restaurant?
The fact that people need to buy a ticket to the Zoo to be able to come to my restaurant is something we are always mindful of. Another thing we need to consider when working in the Zoo is that we cannot use all food because we need to think about sustainability, the climate and the environment. So, for example food such as foie gras is out of the picture. We also need to think about families with children that come to our restaurant, instead of dates and couples.
Why do you think Copenhagen has become such a hub for culinary talent, including at attractions such as the Zoo?
One reason could be Noma, it may have attracted a lot of talent to Copenhagen. There also is a very high quality amongst the many cafes and restaurant, which could be because Copenhagen is such a small town, that to be able to compete, they need to really deliver the best.
Do you listen to music when cooking?
Always. I am always listening to music when I’m cooking – I like listening to Kiss, Kygo and I love Queen, Dire straits and electronic music too.
Outside of work, what is your favourite thing to cook for yourself and loved ones?
My daughter loves caviar straight from the can, and I love making family style Arabic food.
As a chef, is there anything you would like to tell our readers? Or any advice?
People need to invest in eating good food and purchasing good ingredients to get the most from food. Also have a good knife at home!
Finally, what is your favourite animal at the Zoo?
Definitely the Tasmanian devil.