McNally Robinson bookstore hosted Danish celebrity chef and author Trine Hahnemann on Nov. 23. She gave a talk not just on the Nordic diet but how to embrace the art of Hygge.
Pronounced “Hoo-ga”, rhymes with hula, as in hoop, it is a Danish word that has no direct translation into English yet it describes a Scandinavian lifestyle.
It may be loosely translated as conviviality, coziness or what the French would call joie d’ vivre. How to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, not just good food but sharing it with family and friends.
But Hygge is more than that. Imagine sitting in front of a nice log fire on a cold night, sipping a glass of wine, soft music playing, candles flickering as the family pet cuddles up to you.
You might call it romantic, the Danes call it Hygge.
Hahnemann has been cooking since childhood and has worked as a chef for 25 years. In 1995 she started a catering company for the stars.
Specializing in catering to touring rock musicians and film companies, she has prepared meals for such artists as Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Soundgarden, Tina Turner and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
As befits a celebrity chef she has now turned her talents to writing.
She has published ten cookbooks in her native Danish and five in English. Including her latest work: Scandinavian Comfort Food, Embracing the art of Hygge.
As winter sets in and the days get shorter and darker and the weather chills it can be a depressing time of year. Some people turn to comfort food but Trine will show you not just good nourishing food but Hygge to lift your spirits and soothe your soul.
She loves food and believes it should be prepared and enjoyed with respectful love and care. It is after all part of our culture.
And she claims that by cooking, eating and sharing stories we can make the world a better place. Her goal is for a decent daily meal for everyone on the planet.
This is the latest leg of her globetrotting book tour. She’s toured the U.S. before appearing on local television and was the head chef for the Royal Danish Embassy’s Christmas party in Washington D.C.
She came here direct from the U.K. where she was featured on TV and radio as a contributing writer for the Independent, Guardian and Observer newspapers and Sainsbury’s magazine.
The doyenne of Scandinavian cuisine, she has spoken at TedX events in Poland. Her latest book has more than 130 recipes and is available at McNally Robinson of course.
Remember, besides cooking she’ll also show you how to Hygge. And if you don’t, well you should.