I’m happy to report that ‘Winter’ is now available via PayPal over at CPH Meal. Our friends at Tres Bien in Malmo have also agreed to stock it in the store, which we’re really chuffed about. Here’s some more pics:
We made a publication. It folds out into a lovely poster and includes a veal heart recipe from a Noma chef, a terrific cocktail from one of the city’s best bartenders, and a personal essay from Relæ‘s Christian Puglisi detailing the challenges of his restaurant’s first winter.
It also features several exquisite illustrations from Sine Jensen. Sine works from photographic source material and has a delicate, almost ethereal line. She’s picking up regular commissions now and she deserves all the success that is sure to come her way.
I should also mention that we were hugely inspired by Simon Roche’s publication The Radio Post. So inspired in fact that when it came to layout and folding technique, there was only one man we wanted to work with. Thankfully he agreed and we’re so happy he did.
We printed 500 of these. I doubt we’ll sell more than a few dozen but that doesn’t worry us unduly. It’s a social object, I guess. We’ll sell some, give some away, and see where it leads us next.
If you’d like a copy and you’re in Copenhagen, you can pick it up at Ved Stranden 10. If you’re outside Denmark, we’ll be setting up PayPal over the weekend so please check in over at cphmeal.com over the next few days.
Our second film opens with us foraging on the beaches at Lammefjord and ends with some footage of the fifth meal. We would have liked to get more shots of the dishes themselves but it can get a bit hectic in the kitchen and we kept forgetting. We know for next time.
We really enjoyed working with chef Emil Glaser. He’s a massively talented young cook and we were proud to give him his first opportunity to express himself outside of his day job. He’s been at Noma for a couple of years now and I guess there’s no better place to learn your trade. It will be interesting to see how he develops from here.
Our amazing friend and colleague Hannibal Lang shot, edited and graded the piece and Chris and I directed.
Though we’d love to do more, Chris and I can only really handle arranging four or five CPH Meals a year. From the start, we tried to think of ways to complement those events; something that broadened the brand’s voice and scope and was still a natural fit with our values – original, entrepreneurial, a little quirky and deeply personal.
Initially we tried written profiles of various establishments around town that we held close to our hearts – usually fiercely independent and unique restaurants. But these also were very time-consuming and somehow lacked vitality.
We wanted to stick with the idea of profiling an establishment – giving a deeper insight into a place and the people behind it – and we settled on film, largely inspired by our burgeoning friendship with Hannibal Lang Jensen, a young film-maker with a wonderful touch when it comes to editing and grading.
The piece above is the first result. Filmed last month over the course of an evening at Paté Paté using a Canon 5D. Hope you enjoy it.
The little project I run with my friend Chris is humming along. We held another event last month (pics here) and we’ve been getting a little press. Lately, we’ve been asking ourselves how it can develop. We have a half-articulated vision – occasional food events backed by a more traditional presence, perhaps some consultancy for fledgling food and boutique enterprises, maybe some film. Doing the stuff we love to do everyday instead of occasionally. We’ll see.
The weather was underwhelming to say the least. I was in London briefly. Spent some time on the islands of Fanø and Langeland. Bobby grew in front of our eyes. Chris and I held another CPH Meal event. I finished a big project at work. Stuff.
Chris and I started CPH Meal last year with the goal of putting on occasional food events in the city. It’s been a lot of fun, and for two people that work in advertising, also a great learning experience. The purpose of this post is to share some personal reflections on the process of building our little brand.
Learn From Others – While almost by definition every new venture is unique, the experiences of others can serve as inspiration. I’ve watched closely as the guys at Inventory have built their brand from square one. In just a couple of years they’ve gone from being just another men’s style blog to a full-on player in the men’s fashion scene with their own magazine, online retail venture and, most recently, an actual shop.
Most impressively, they’ve not made any obvious missteps along the way. They’ve kept their visuals nice and clean, they’ve put their own personalities and vision at the core of the brand and they’ve been gracious. Put simply, they’ve been clear-sighted, dedicated and genuine.
I should also mention that Hugh MacLeod’s evolving thoughts on what he’s termed the ‘Global Microbrand‘ have also been an influence, as has Monocle magazine. Its consistent focus on small-scale enterprises undertaken with passion and verve is always a good reminder that it can be done. You just need to do it.
Define the Why – When we recently relaunched our site, the section that caused us most soul-searching was the About page. Chris and I had lots of conversations about what CPH Meal was all about. We both had our own ideas and our attempts to come up with a unified text led to a lot of over-intellectualization. But looking back, I think it was a necessary process – by defining what we weren’t, we started getting closer to what we were.
We went back to basics and set down some of the principles we shared and then Chris went away and wrote a text that nailed it. It taught us that coherency for a brand (even one as miniscule as ours) is not easy – you have to graft, you have to tweak and hone, and you have to be prepared to evolve.
Be Personable – This basically means be pleasant. It applies to most things in life and branding is no different. Chris and I are not trying to build a cult of our personalities (we’re far too straight-laced for that), but we’re trying to forge the brand in an open, honest and transparent way. What that means in practice is signing our names at the end of blog posts, linking to our own Twitter accounts on our bio page, and making sure that we host our events graciously.
Pay Attention to Detail – John Foster Dulles wrote that a man’s accomplishments in life are the cumulative effect of his attention to detail (thank you Google). This is so obvious, but so important. When you’re working with chefs of the level of Rob Martin and Ben Greeno, you know that the food is going to be something special. The job Chris and I have is to make sure that everything else is too. That means anything from making sure toilets are clean and fully stocked with paper and our menus are accurate, to checking that our punctuation is spot-on (still a work in progress).
I was hoping to make this a list of ten or five but these four seem to me to be a good start. It all comes down to doing something you believe in and doing it well.