Christian Puglisi (Photo by P.A. Jorgensen)

COPENHAGEN: Christian Puglisi, chef and owner of restaurants Relae, Manfreds, Baest, Mirabelle Bakery and Mirabelle Restaurant had different plans for the closure of Reale which he announced earlier this year. He was definitely not expecting a lockdown to stop him from serving a last supper at the restaurant.

The chef of Italian origin made a huge impact on the Danish scene with his sustainable approach.

“We were writing the last chapter of the history of Relae as old friends were coming by for one last meal before we shut our doors for good.”

“Unfortunately this year has one more surprise for us with a second Danish lockdown ripping out the last two weeks of our calendar,” the restaurant said on its Instagram account.

“It is causing us great disappointment that we cannot celebrate the final day in the way we were planning to, but we fully understand the need for such desperate measures. We are still in the middle of a pandemic threatening the health and lives of millions of people. In light of that, nothing else really matters.”

Restaurants in Denmark were closed earlier this week as COVID cases were on the increase in the past weeks.

The team at both Relae and Manfreds said that they are proud to have played the hand that was delivered to them this year even though it was a miserable one and an unbelievable year. But they managed to play smart and with courage, with intelligence and plenty of guts.

Relae thanked their staff, guests and producers for the 10 years and said that while they will serve no more dishes Relae will live for ever.

Puglisi said that “In 10 years, Reale and Manfreds have changed a neighbourhood, made an impact on the global culinary scene and fought to take organic agriculture seriously. We created countless memories, emotions and unforgettable experiences for myself, visiting guests and staff alike.”

He said that opening Relae and Manfreds was a quest for freedom. “I created a space where my curiosity could be free to discover the restaurant of my dreams and my heart. My dreams came true and I proudly managed to achieve it all while picking every fight to keep my independence. Only in this last year have I realised that, that while my drive and need for independence have not dwindled, fighting for my freedom today means doing less.”

He is also author of the book Relae, a Book of Ideas. The chef opened Relae in 2010 on a rough, run down stretch of one of Copenhagen’s most crime-ridden streets. His goal was that of serving impeccable, intelligent, sustainable, plant centric food of the highest quality in a setting that was devoid of the retention and frills of conventional high end restaurant dining. It was an immediate hit. Today the Jægersborggade—where Relæ and its more casual sister restaurant, Manfreds, are located—is one of Copenhagen’s most vibrant and exciting streets.

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