By Mia Borg-Asmussen, photos by Mai Würtz Pedersen
The first weekend of October marked the grand opening of Aarhus Central Food Market. Thousands of guests ventured to Skt. Knuds Torv to experience how the normally empty square had transformed into a potential food mecca.
Exemplar and diverse cuisine
Located in the middle of the pedestrian street, visitors were greeted by several food booths selling everything from wraps to ice cream. To set the standards of the market and as strictly required by the organisers, Frantz Longhi and chef Jesper Koch, all the food they sell is organic and of high quality.
During the opening speech, the organisers mentioned how special the food offer is in the 20 food stands, always keeping a fair relationship between price and quality.
While we strolled around, the food certainly looked delicious. However, it could be questioned whether, because of the high prices, the food market had forgotten one of their biggest target groups: the students. It’s safe to say it is worth trying to save up for a try!
Nevertheless, Longhi and Koch did have a point when they said they wished for the Food Market to have a wide range of delicacies: you can get anything from cheese to sushi, from beer to meat from Danish Crown. And, all of this can be enjoyed either on the benches outside or in the comfort of the hall, which offers 100 seating spots.
All our senses were taken care of
As soon as we reached the market we were met by the sweet smell of barbequed meat from Camp Gourmensch. But this was not the only smell around. Visitors were awed by many inviting smells that the surrounding booths released. Some were drawn by the goat sausage snack, others by delicious looking bread.
The booths appeared to have themes -such as the employees smoking a pipe while wearing woodchopper shirts. The Stenalt-booth brought two goats an amusement for people to pet. It all carried a very authentic market-feel.
Three areas of joy
The food market has cleverly been divided into three distinguishable parts: the first part is the section where they are going to sell, all year round, different food-related products such as strawberries or honey depending on the season.
This area is followed by Det Grønne Spot (The Green Spot) that serves as a small park within the market square. Here visitors can enjoy the meals they have purchased in the market in benches surrounded by plants, trees and other decorations. During the opening weekend, several musicians performed in this area entertaining the many guests, who seemed to be a pleased crowd of listeners.
The final part of the Food Market is Aarhus Hallen, which was clearly the main attraction during the weekend. Visitors started lining up in the entrance well before the opening possibly because only 100 people were going to be allowed in at a time. Once they entered, they were greeted by the Foodie Bar that was decorated with fairy lights creating a really nice atmosphere.
At the end of the hall, a stage had been set up, where famous chefs Anne Hjernøe, Thomas Laursen and Søren Dahl did some cooking in front of an interested audience. Their programme consisted of cooking with fairly bland ingredients such as mushrooms but also the incorporation of ingredients like ants. Later on, comedian Simon Jul joined the cooking on stage, while magician Steen Pegani did some magic tricks on Det Grønne Spot.
A fancy hit
Ultimately, the Aarhus Central Food Market is a nice touch to the city-life that will hopefully be a success. As the organisers said: “Don’t just come by today. Come by in the future as well!” making reference to the 20-year contract they had signed for the place. “We really hope we can meet your expectations. Many people have worked very hard for this,” they concluded.
Judging by the excited visitors, it certainly feels like Aarhus Central Food Market is going to be a hit.