Dining with Chuck

I discovered Chuck’s blog through Luxeat, which I have mentioned here before. Chuck lives in California, is a sharp food critique and writes very thorough and honest reports about his eating experiences from all over the world. Read for example his El Poblet review from October 2007. In his descriptions he is very precise, and when discussing or arguing a place’s quality or the lack of it, he almost always links to other food knowledgeable people’s reports.


Now Chuck is planning a Copenhagen trip. At his blog people are discussing the fact that Chuck has chosen Copenhagen over Italy. I’m not sure, but it seems that Chuck has never reviewed any restaurants located in Italy. It might seem idiotic being Danish and saying this, but I fully understand Chuck’s prioritising my city over some Italian place. The reason why I say so is that even though I’ve dined in Italy an uncountable number of times, no meal has ever been extraordinarily memorable. My dinners were all “only” really classical and lovely, but didn’t require anything from me but enjoyment. This may be because of my own ignorance, but I have never ever eaten anything in Italy that challenged my eyes, nose and palate the same way that some Copenhagen restaurants are able to. If you search for innovation and ingenuity in eating out, Copenhagen/Denmark is the right choice over Italy.

Apart from his stunning food photos, I most admire Chuck for his way of conveying his messages on his blog as well as the way that he structures his content, his usability design and posts’ titles. I like the way that Chuck summarizes the best meals or dishes of the year, the best meals ever or the perfect meal for 2007. He guides the user by the hand and introduces new categories and explains to the reader how and why he changes the look of his site. Despite the fact that Chuck has posts dating back to April 2005, it’s fairly easy to get around his place and to overview whether or not he has written about any restaurant I was trying to track down. My new Epicure’s Itinerary page, where I keep track of all the greatest dining places I visit, is a result of Chuck’s affect on my blog.

Chuck is very fond of sushi. I wonder whether this passion of his includes Japanese food and what he would think of Umami in Copenhagen – Japanese with a French touch.

At an interview some weeks ago I was asked what other exemplary blogs I’m inspired by and I totally forgot to mention Chuckeats. I hope I have remedied that now.

17 Responses to “Dining with Chuck”

  • I’ll look out for your evaluation of Umami, then. With the lot of experience you have from authentic and original places I’m very curious to know what you think of the quality the offer. Have you seen the website? It’s a posh place.

    and thank you… 😉

  • I photograph my food when I’m visiting places I know I won’t be able to visit again for a very long time. And when I remember my camera. 🙂 I don’t do it often because I’m not a very good photographer, and my camera isn’t very good at focusing in low light.

    I’ll answer everything else via email.

  • Thanks for the explanation, JC! And what an entertaining read, when can I read about the rest of your trip? How did your interest in Denmark take of btw.?

    Jesse, I forgot to ask you, do you always photograph your food and why would you like to move to Denmark?

    Japan? I have wanted to go there for years. The film ‘Lost in Translation’ made that wish even bigger. Some day I will go there 🙂

  • Ramen is a kind of Japanese noodle soup. It’s considered working-man’s food, or the Japanese equivalent of fast food. But it’s a million times better than places like McDonald’s – I haven’t eaten at a McD’s in years, but I eat ramen once a week.

    Hopefully Umami has good sushi. It is so easy to get the wrong impression of sushi, because most sushi places can’t even get fish that is good enough for sushi. But good sushi can be sublime, perhaps good enough to make you put Japan on your itinerary. 😉

  • There are at least three things to keep in mind about Umami:
    – I am a total novice regarding Asian food
    – The quality seems superb and I like the creativity and innovation
    – The reputation of the service is not good

    What is ramen? (sorry)

  • I’ll try to give Umami a try when I visit – at least the sushi bar if nothing else. I have yet to eat at Urasawa in LA though (although I have had some very good sashimi and kaiseki in Japan), and am usually content to eat at more modest Japanese restaurants (my favorite Japanese food is ramen, seriously), so my opinion may not be as trustworthy as Chuck’s. 🙂

  • I’d love to! Wow 😀 Please write to verygoodfood at gmail dot com.

    Of course, the Hansens Gamle Familiehave would be nicer in the summer… but…

    Have you checked Kofoed’s website?

  • Thank you Trine for your hard work. I’ll have a look at it.

    BTW, first restaurant of my 2008 itinerary, Hertog Jan in Brugge/Belgium, was the perfect start for my gastronomic tour.
    Style, structure, palate and finesse of the dishes was comparable with In De Wulf and l’Air du Temps concept
    If you want to know more about it, just let me know and I’ll mail or post you menu and pictures.


  • Roland, I have found another suggestion for you: Hansens Gamle Familiehave

    I’ve only been there once a long time ago, but liked it and have since then heard very nice things about the place. The wine list proves the interest in epicurean gastronomy and presents at the same time nice Danish traditional dishes.
    The restaurant is also mentioned in the Spiseguiden of Bent Christensen, who only mentions placed with good value.

    I assume it’s open on Sunday 17 February, but haven’t asked.

  • 🙁 Hmmm. Okay I’ll screen the scene!

  • 100% into Italian but Era Ora is closed for lunch on Sunday

  • I got hungry immediately, when I first read/saw Chuck’s review of El Poblet! Seems like I need to add Spain to my 2009 list. Good grief. 😀

    I don’t know what it is, but eating Rene Redzepi’s food really makes me happy. I must be a fine food addict.

    Impressive itinerary you’ve got for 2008!

    You know, I haven’t given up on that Sunday lunch!! How very unlucky that Søllerød Kro is closed exactly that weekend. Are you keen on tying out Italian fine dining?

  • thanks for the idea bebod – i’ll start researching the various restaurants you’ve listed for inclusion in my trip.

  • First I heard of Rene Redzepi was by Kobe Desramault, Chef from In de Wulf, somewhere mid last year who told me he had booked a table at Noma. In October, Noma featured in an article of a Belgian magazine about resto’s in CPH. Few weeks later, Noma was featured on Garcia Santos’ website http://www.lomejordelagastronomia.com. This is the guy who organises yearly the San Sebastian show with top notch chefs from all over the world.
    When Kobe told me about his visit to Noma, he claimed that it challenged with Quique Dacosta’s El Poblet. Been there in December 2006 and was the most extraordinary meal I’ve ever eaten (eaten is not the right word to describe the sensations that we experienced but hey, I’m no Shakespeare) So based on Kobe’s experience, we booked a table for 4 on Saturday February 16th nextcoming and can’t wait for January to pass

    Personal Itinerary for 2008 (besides monthly lunch at In de Wulf)
    January Hertog Jan * Brugge Belgium
    February Noma **
    March La Bouitte * St MArtin de Belleville France
    April Pastorale ** Reet Belgium
    May Spondi *Athens Greece
    June l’Air du Temps * Eghezee Belgium
    Still to book for 2nd half 2008 : Les sources de Caudalie/Bordeaux, De Jonkman*/Brugge, Librije***/Zwolle, l’Arnsbourg***/Strasbourg, l’Air du Temps * revisited and still in doubt between MArtin Berasategui***/San Sebastian or El Poblet**/Denia

  • Well, Chuck, thanks for speaking so nicely about me in your end 😀 I certainly realised the affect of being listed on your blog!

    I only link to blogs and sites I read frequently.

    Paris is a target for 2008. I just haven’t my plans settled yet, and until I have made reservations, Paris won’t appear at Epicure’s Itinerary 😉

    Roland, just out of curiosity, where or how did first hear about noma? What a wonderful dream job your wife has 🙂

  • I fully agree with your comments on the Italian/Danish gastronomy.

    My wife owns a travel agency and every year she organises a 5 day cultural/gastronomical trip for a limited group of people (max 18)
    2007 for example brought us to the Bilbao/San Sebastian region where we visited Mugaritz, MArques de Riscal, Ysios etc….
    Over the past 15 years she organised 3 trips to Italian regions and every time it was difficult to find restaurants which could bring extra value to the trip.
    With regards to the the standard for comparison, please take into account that we (in Belgium) are really well of when it comes to gastronomy Lucky me 🙂

    Chuck, saw you planned a trip to Dk, Holland and Belgium. (Thx Trin for link)
    After reading your comments on Chef Aduriz and Chef Dacosta, I’m convinced that In De Wulf and L’Air du Temps in Belgium are really worthwile a small detour in your travel arrangements
    In De Wulf would fit perfectly in between Hof van Cleve (Kruishoutem) and Paris (as Trin pointed out this was missing 🙂 )

  • wow – thanks – i try 🙂

    i would like to visit Italy but Noma, aside from visiting Japan and Roellinger, has to be a priority this year. The food looks too stunning to miss.

    i also appreciate you linking to my blog. i make an effort to link to other blogs/posts when i feel their quality warrants it and they are relevant to the discussion. i really dislike how the entrenched blogs (who shall remain nameless) are quite stingy w/ their links, mostly linking amongst themselves. the walled-garden/silo approach goes against the web.

    for others with blogs, and this might sound counter-intuitive, the best way to get traffic is to link – link away with abandon. other bloggers will begin linking to you and you will start to get new visitors. it’s been the #1 way for me to build my traffic.

    happy new year – and where’s Paris on your 2008 schedule? 🙂

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