Iconic barefoot luxury resort Soneva Fushi recently welcomed Mads Refslund to its private island in the Maldives, where he will be hosting a year-long restaurant pop-up. While Refslund originally shot to culinary stardom as a co-founder of Copenhagen’s world-famous Noma, since leaving the restaurant he has gone on to share his take on New Nordic cuisine with the world.
The culinary pop-up will be hosted in Soneva Fushi’s Fresh in the Garden restaurant which, from its prime treetop vantage point, overlooks the resort’s organic gardens. Guests can either enjoy a front-row seat to the action at a covered kitchen-side table, or dine under the stars on one of the open-air decked terraces that reach out into the forest canopy.
Showcasing Refslund’s signature ‘Fire and Ice’ concept, the menu focuses on locally sourced vegetables and seafood prepared simply yet beautifully in order to celebrate the purity of natural ingredients.
“I always find inspiration in nature, so to have the opportunity to cook among the treetops of Soneva Fushi is very inspiring,” says Chef Refslund. “The key focus of the pop-up concept at Fresh in the Garden is ‘Fire’ and ‘Ice’ – showcasing our natural instinct for how to work with nature’s bounty.”
“The menu is evenly split: in ‘Ice’ items are untouched by heat, allowing them to reveal the pure beauty that nature has provided; in the contrasting ‘Fire,’ cooking over live flame is used to enhance the ingredients,” the Danish chef continues. “Together, the two sides create harmony and balance.”
Highlights from the ‘Ice’ menu include a sustainably caught Maldivian tuna tartare with salted plum and hibiscus, while the ‘Fire’ portion features lemongrass prawns with velvet tamarind, and garden egg with black truffle. The menu also has a selection of inviting sharing options including a whole fish roasted in coconut husks, that nods to traditional Maldivian cuisine, as well as a plant-based hearts of palm with white truffle.
“We are delighted to welcome Chef Refslund to Soneva Fushi,” says Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and co-founder of Soneva. “Soneva has a long history of collaborating with world-renowned chefs to offer an exceptional gastronomic experience to our guests, whether through pop-ups such as this or our ongoing Soneva Stars calendar of visiting chefs and other experts from around the world.”
Refslund’s exclusive pop-up joins Soneva Fushi’s host of immersive dining offerings, including a fine-dining zipline experience, an ocean-front private culinary theatre and an intimate sushi counter, which all embody Soneva’s commitment to responsible luxury.