Alan Bates – A Culinary Jedi Warrior
We are currently full of excitement at STUDIO. Wonder why? Michelin awards the best restaurants on the 17th of February. But whether STUDIO is awared stars or not, we – at The Standard – are just so proud of the amazing work our chef at STUDIO, Alan Bates ,does every day that we want to take the opportunity to talk a little more about what makes Alan and his food so very special.
It can be summed up in one word: taste. In a few more words, it can be summed up as: surprising flavor combinations, simplicity and a great focus on local produce combined with taste inspiration from distant countries. Currently, for example, winter cabbage, (forest) dove, kaffir lime and yuzu on the menu. The combination of local and distant – that’s Alan Bates’ style in a nutshell.
“It goes without saying that the kitchen is based on local ingredients. We have cultivated a really good relationship with our producers, so I can constantly develop the menu as the ingredients are at their best,” says 31- Year-old Alan Bates, a child of French cuisine with its great taste, focus on the craftsmanship and seasonal produce.
“I’m not limiting myself as regards taste. I get inspiration from all sorts of places, not least on my many trips in Asia. I have a whole back catalog of tastes that I have collected throughout my life, and I draw on them every time I create a new dish”.
It’s About the Food – Not About the Ego
For a year and a half, Alan Bates was souschef at Henne Kirkeby Kro, and Paul Cunningham describes him as a culinary Jedi warrior with a persona that you don’t often encounter.
The Jedi warriors in Star Wars are warriors and monks at the same time, and the comparison fits well with Alan Bates, for he combines his warm and humble nature with a fiery and perseverance worthy of a warrior when it comes to creating new, intense and surprising flavors on the plates. It is the food that drives him – not his own ego.
“My work requires that I constantly learn something new. It is super stimulating for me and because we follow the seasons so closely, we are constantly changing the menu and changing dishes. It will never be perfect, and I can always learn more, and that’s what keeps me going”, says Alan Bates, who also makes a virtue of making STUDIO a good workplace with a warm and nice environment in the kitchen and a relaxed atmosphere for the guests.
Creating Good Vibes
Alan Bates has, amongst other things, changed the number of opening days at a week at STUDIO, so that the restaurant today has four opening days a week while it previously had five. In this way he makes sure that the staff does not wear themselves down and that the guests experience a restaurant with the energy and enthusiasm for the good meal intact.
“If the staff has it miserable in the kitchen, it will spread to the guests, and then everyone can feel it. That’s not how it should be. We, for instance, play nice music and make sure to talk nicely to each other and take care of each other, so STUDIO is a lovely place for everyone to be, ”he says, adding that he sees it as his main goal to fill the restaurant with happy and relaxed guests.
“I want here to be a great atmosphere. Everything else is a bonus. Of course, a Michelin star would be a fantastic recognition, and I’m definitely both proud and grateful for good reviews, but it’s icing on the cake.”
A Loving Kick from Mom
Actually, a title as chef was not at the top of Alan Bates’ wish list when he got the offer from STUDIO eight months ago.
“I saw myself as a souschef a few more years. But my mother gave me a loving kick in the back and said I would regret it. Today I know she was right,”Alan laughs, and adds that he today sees STUDIO as his rescue and home in many ways.
When his father passed away 11 years ago, Alan dropped out of economics studies without any plans, and it wasn’t until he came to apprentice in some of the great gourmet kitchens in England like the Fat Duck and the two-star Michelin Pub The Hand & Flowers, that he found his right element and his energy and impatience gave direction and life a purpose.
We are very grateful that he has just chosen to unleash his potential here at STUDIO, and that we experience daily how his vision comes to fruition when guests receive great gastronomic experiences in a relaxed atmosphere in STUDIO’s small, intimate restaurant overlooking the inner harbor of Copenhagen.
More Details on Alan Bates
31-years old, from Cambridge in southern England, where he grew up on a farm with chickens, cattle and corn.
He has traveled across the globe and has, among other things, lived in Spain and Singapore.
Allan gets his inspiration from the classic French kitchen craft, but combines flavors, spices and dishes freely according to what, in his opinion, is the ultimate taste experience.