”The wildness in the national park, the western wind, and the old sailors is both great and original”
EMILIE QVIST KJÆRGAARD
On the no-bullshit jargon and unique life right next to the North Sea
March 25, 2022
Qvist Kjærgaard is born and raised on an organic farm by parents who have fought for the organic culture in Denmark since 1992. This, she says, affected her so much, so she started education to become a chef. However, before she had time to finish it, she got the opportunity to open up her own restaurant in the city of Hanstholm, located in the Thy district in Region Nordjylland (The North Jutland Region) in northern Denmark.
— The restaurant is called Medvind, which means tailwind, and that’s the support and vibes we’ve met doing the entire time up here in the north.
While Medvind opens for the season this Easter, Qvist Kjærgaard now has her head full planning for a very special night. Next Thursday, she’ll host the third edition of Vipp Supper Club, where the Danish design brand invites to a one night only dining experience with 24 seats at Vipp Pencil Factory in the heart of Copenhagen.
— I left Copenhagen two years ago — and I’ve never been happier. I like Copenhagen, but I don’t want to live there. I’ve ’seen the light’ in Thy, and I will do my best to convince anyone about how great it is up here. Far away from the rush, the noise, and the cars. Hosting this Supper Club is therefore a show-off of the best that Hanstholm and Thy have to offer where I will bring all the raw beauty from the industrial harbour in Hanstholm to the fine, designer space in the Pencil factory.
For someone who hasn’t been to North Jutland, how’d you describe it?
— The Wild West. Everything is possible — as long as you behave, talk politely, become a friend with the locals, and respect the area. It’s the wildness in the national park [Thy National Park, Denmark’s oldest, Ed’s note], the western wind, the old sailors, and everything about the culture which is great and original. nothing is put up as a facade here. Everyone is real, and what you see is what you get!
My favourite thing that makes me proud of North Jutland:
— The no-bullshit jargon. You can really trust people up here. If you make them a promise and you shake hands, not a single lawyer would be able to ruin that. Also, the entire area makes me proud; the fishermen, the farmers, the craftsmen and -women, and the spirit about ’doing it your own way’.
My favourite weekend routine:
— That’s a bit special for me, since I’m working every weekend, so my ’weekend’ is Monday-Wednesday, which, on the other hand, is great because everyone is available. Starting up a restaurant demands a lot of different people from different industries, and it is easier to reach them on the weekdays than at the weekends, so it is actually a great advantage to be off when everyone else is working.
My favourite cultural spot:
— I haven’t had time to go there yet, but the lighthouse in Hanstholm always has a lot of interesting exhibitions! I will go there as soon as I can.
My favourite place for a creative or business meeting:
— Mostly, my meetings are about the restaurant, so I like to use our own place with cheap coffee and always some snacks nearby, hehe. Otherwise, there is a great place in Vorupør called Silicon Ø, which is a community office where everyone can borrow a desk or host a meeting.
My favourite breakfast place:
— The Break Café, also in Vorupør, is a cute little place with good coffee and simple breakfast. It’s started by people who didn’t know anything about food or drinks but just wanted to gather their friends — I really like that mentality that everything is possible.
My favourite place for dining out:
— I have three friends who opened up a restaurant in the top of Denmark at Grenen, the year before we did. It’s called Blink and is definitely worth a visit — I love their ideas, passion, and simple way of cooking.
My favourite excursion:
— Bulbjerg klint is a beautiful beach and nature spot which is wild, unique, and has a beautiful location. It’s also good for a biking trip!
My favourite space for great design:
— I don’t own anything expensive and don’t really care about it. But there is a lot of great local artists and ceramics at the west coast, and some of them are super talented. I like to support local, or at least Danish, designers and artists.
My favourite example of tech innovation in North Jutland:
— Right now, the harbour is building a power-to-x system, which will supply all the boats and big ships with sustainable fuel in the future. I love that!
My favourite hotel for a staycation:
— Svinkløv Badehotel. Simple, high quality, wonderful food make it the perfect experience.
My favourite route for a run or walk:
— Bøgsted Rende is a part of the national park, and it contains all of the different types of nature that you can see in Denmark.
My favourite place for fashion:
— I rarely shop, I mostly buy or borrow leftover clothes from my twinsister. She buys a lot of clothes and I like the idea of reusing here old garments instead of just letting it be forgotten in her wardrobe.
My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:
— The tourist chef in Thy is called Mai Manaa and she is the reason why we are here… She opened up my eyes for Thy and showed me all the beauty in Hanstholm — underneath the bricks, beton, and trucks. She is always full of ideas and developing projects for the area and she always fills me with energy.
My favourite local media:
— The Instagram account HerligeHanstholm is really highlighting some of the beautiful and often hidden spots in the area. I often get inspired by it.
My favourite thing at home:
— My old car, which I inherited from my grandma. I love how it makes me feel free and independent. Whenever I want, I can travel — almost — wherever I want!