IT’S DANISH FOR ‘SLOW FOOD MARATHON’

Lone Kofod of the Danish Cafe pronounces “Julefrokost” so you can go to Denmark and crash a corporate holiday party or two. Or just go to the one in Red Bank. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click here to play movie if the above doesn’t work.)

By JIM WILLIS

danish cafeWhen Piehole first heard that the Danish Café in Red Bank was hosting a ‘Julefrokost‘ event, we spent about a minute guessing at the meaning and pronunciation before turning to Google to learn that it’s a Danish word for a holiday food marathon of sorts celebrated around the holidays.

We’re not much for running marathons, but food marathons are right up our alley. So we quickly headed to the Galleria Red Bank to check in with Lone Kofod, who owns the café with her husband, Claudi, to get the details on the event.

“It’s a typical holiday thing in Denmark,” says Kofod. “A lot of business have Julefrokost for a Christmas dinner for their employees. They have that during the holidays as a company Christmas party. During the Christmas days, Danish families will also have Julefrokost meal.”

The Danish Cafe will be holding at least two Julefrokost meals at its comfortable Galleria space this season, on Saturday, November 30 and Friday, December 6.  “If we fill up those two dates, which we almost have, we will do a third event,” says Kofod.

The dinners are yet one more detail of the all-things-Danish approach at the Bridge Avenue eatery, where even the music is from a Sirius Radio channel in Kofod’s native language.

Their Julefrokost dinners will be the first at the restaurant, which opened in 2012, “but I’ve done it a lot of times back in Denmark for my family, and also we used to run a hotel in Denmark and had a Julefrokost for our guests,” Lone says. “Last year, a lot of customers asked if we could do a special Danish thing around Christmas, and of course a lot of Scandinavian people come in here and have been asking for it.”

Kofod says guests will enjoy a typical Danish meal of small dishes, cold and hot.

“It’s typically herring – we eat a lot of herring in Scandinavia,” she says. “A herring in wine sauce, a herring in curry sauce. We have shrimp and smoked salmon served cold. We have some hot dishes like pork tenderloin called Flaeskested –  a pork roast with crispy skin and red cabbage – and we’ll have meatballs.

“It’s a big meal, but not something you eat in 25 minutes. That’s what’s different in Denmark from America. We’ll sit 3-4 hours just passing dishes around.”

Kofod says she’s been telling customers who request a particular seating time that the meal goes from 6 to 9 p.m., and that they should expect three hours of “eating slowly and enjoying the food and conversation.”

The event is $38 per person and BYOB. Kofod recommends pairing the meal with beer. “We always have beer with Julefrokost in Denmark,” she says. And for those who enjoy that pairing a bit too much to drive home safely, the  café has arranged a deal with the Oyster Point Hotel.

Kofod says the best way to get a seat at the Julefrokost table is to email her ASAP at info@thedanishcafe.com.