Bo Bech wants people to be less afraid of food. “It would solve a lot of issues,” he laughs.
He doesn’t mean issues in a restaurant—like Geist, the chef’s Copenhagen flagship—but at home, with only skillet and flame between them and their next meal.
“I would love if people down the line sometime attempted cooking something at home, or their friend’s house, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever, and they fucked it up. And they believed in the failure. And they decided, ‘I’m gonna change that.’ You need to eat. So if I could change one thing, it would be that people would reconcile with their fear of food as being the enemy,” says Bech.
It may sound like unexpected advice from someone whose livelihood depends on people coming into his restaurant, but cooking for one’s self, and the process of failure and experimentation inherent in turning raw ingredients into food, is the focus of his latest cookbook, In My Blood.
With 100 recipes divided among five different chapters, or Pillars—The Rage, The Tribute, The Introduction, The Reunion, and The Journey—Bech delivers his recipes with simplicity, both in ingredients (most have between three to five total) and direction. The goal? To show you and me and everyone we know that yes, we can cook like a Michelin-star chef, too.
“Would they eat less at a restaurant? Probably, yes. But when they came to the restaurant, could they demand better food and also service? Oh yes,” says Bech. “I think it would be a success for everyone.”
Grilled Quail with Rosemary, Thyme, and Lemon
- 4 quails
- 4 rosemary sprigs
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 lemon
- coarse salt
- olive oil
- Prepare the quails by cutting out the spine and removing the innards. Rinse and salt the quails with an amount of salt corresponding to five percent of their weight.
- Rinse off the salt and vacuum pack each quail with a sprig of rosemary, a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf, a slice of lemon and a spoonful of olive oil. Let marinate for three days.
- Remove the quails from the vacuum bags and transfer to a hot grill. Turn often, so that all surfaces colour evenly. Once done, let the quails rest for four minutes. Remove the thighs and arrange on plates.