ISSUE 102  |  True North

Revived: The National Flatware of Denmark

December 09, 2013 6:00 PM

BY Margot Guralnick

The mention of a classic Danish modern flatware design being revived instantly got us salivating. Apparently, Matthew Orlando, until recently head chef at Noma, reacted the same way; the cutlery was immediately put to use at his new, and much celebrated, Copenhagen restaurant, Amass. And the staff at Monocle recently selected it for the Monocle Cafe in London. 

The streamlined flatware design dates to the 1930s and is the groundbreaking work of Kay Bojesen, who apprenticed as a silversmith at Georg Jensen before heading out on his own to create a lineup of modernist greatest hits, including the classic Danish teak Hanging Monkey. His silver flatware was awarded the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Milan in 1951 and was hailed as the national flatware of Denmark. It’s what you find at the Danish royal palace and at Danish embassies the world over.

Over the years, however, the design got watered down and ultimately went out of production. Now, Bojesen’s granddaughter Susanne Bojesen Roseqvist has launched Kay Bojesen, a new Copehagen company devoted to accurately reproducing every dip and turn in her grandfather’s famous flatware.

Above: The new Grand Prix is made in Japan of 18/8  stainless steel in matte and polished finishes. It’s sold by the piece, as well as by the set, by California-based Scandinavian design shop Fjorn, and is also available directly from Kay Bojesen. From Fjorn, the Kay Bojesen Grand Prix Matte Dinner Fork is $30, the Kay Bojesen Grand Prix Matte Dinner Knife is $35, and the Kay Bojesen Grand Prix Matte Dinner Spoon is $30. Many other pieces are also available, from fish forks to latte spoons to salad servers; see Fjorn.

Above: A Kay Bojesen Grand Prix Matte Four-Piece Place Setting comes in a canvas storage wrap; $120 from Fjorn. 

Above: On our wish list: the Kay Boejesen Grand Prix Matte 16-Piece Flatware Set; $485 from Fjorn.

Above: A Child’s Set 3 Parts–a canvas placemat with a fork, knife, and spoon–is €56.35 from Kay Bojensen. Fjorn offers the Kay Bojensen Grand Prix Matte Child’s 3-Piece Flatware Set for $82.50.

Above: The flatware in use at Amass, former Noma head chef Matthew Orlando’s new Copenhagen restaurant.

Above: Grand Prix is also at Monocle Magazine’s new Monocle Cafe in London. 

For more of our favorite cutlery, see 10 Easy Pieces: Architect-Designed Flatware and 10 Easy Pieces: Everyday Stainless Steel Flatware.