In 2014, Christian F. Puglisi went about setting up a gastronomic mecca in Nørrebro. Now, 5 years on, we take a look back at those early days.

Speaking to Politiken during construction on Guldbergsgade 29, Puglisi broke down the identities of each restaurant: “Relæ is vegetable-based, Manfreds focuses on a dish of the day, and this will be more of a playroom.” And playroom is has become, as the micro-dairy, butchery and bakery have become the heart of this operation.

5 years and a few extra grey hairs later, we’re still committed to nose-to-tail production, handcrafted charcuterie and fresh cheese. At the time of opening, Puglisi remarked that “99 percent of Danes have never tasted real, fresh mozzarella. I’m really looking forward to hearing what people say when they try it for the first time.” It’s fair to say the response was overwhelmingly positive and, while the cheese has stayed largely the same (why mess with perfection), the demand for it has increased dramatically.

BÆST and Mirabelle were always about mixing Italian craftsmanship with fresh Danish produce (usually from Farm of Ideas), while still putting a uniquely Relæ take on things. As Puglisi noted upon receiving 3rd place in the 50 Top Pizza awards: “We have never tried to make something authentic Neapolitan. We just want to make our own pizza in the best way possible.” Considering that most traditional Italian charcuterie is made with imported pork from Denmark, we’d argue BÆST’s – made with HindsholmGrisen‘s superior product – is closer to “authentic”… Since opening, we’ve proudly watched as an Italian food scene blossomed in Copenhagen and chefs have put their own spin on traditional classics.

Cast your mind back to a time before the charcuterie at BÆST or croissants at Mirabelle with this Politiken article.