GANNI GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD
Introducing our monthly series of everyday inspiration from our GANNI Girl community
ASTA OLIVIA NORDENHOF, AUTHOR
For chapter 2 of GANNI GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD, we got nerdy with #GANNIGirl and all-around literary icon Asta Olivia Nordenhof. We caught up with Asta at Forfatterskolen (The Danish Academy of Creative Writing) where she studied and now teaches, to talk about all things books, Bjork and why most of the time, writing can be hell. Watch our film to see which writer she’s most influenced by, and read her Q&A below to find out why she prayed at an altar to the Icelandic alt-rock icon.
Q&A WITH ASTA OLIVIA NORDENHOF
CAN YOU SHARE YOUR STORY OF YOUR JOURNEY INTO WRITING?
I've been writing ever since I was able to put a sentence together. I started out writing this long ass novel about two ponies and a girl. They went through all kinds of trouble and danger. The girl was quite the hero, and I of course identified very strongly with her.
WHAT IS “PENGE PÅ LOMMEN (MONEY TO BURN)” INSPIRED BY?
Money to Burn is based on an event that took place in 1990. A Danish passenger ship was set on fire, and 159 people died. The case is still unsolved, but it has been speculated that the owners of the ship arranged the fire as part of an insurance scam. To gain money, simply put. There's so many things pointing in that direction, that the Danish parliament recently agreed to let a group of experts go through the case again.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WRITING?
I'm not sure I can say that I love writing. It might sound corny, but it feels more like a calling, something I have to do even though most of the time it's hell. But I guess the hellish aspect is the same reason I keep doing it: It's a way of being with my fears and sorrows, not neglecting them, it's a way to force myself to keep being alert and imaginative. And then suddenly it can also become very joyful, that's when the writing becomes a place for transformation.
IS YOUR STYLE SIMILAR TO YOUR WRITING STYLE?
I haven’t thought about this before, but I guess I like my clothes to be rather simple with just a notion of odd, which is also what I'm often drawn towards in literature.
CAN YOU SHARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR OF ALL TIME?
Pasolini is the artist that has been influencing me the most. Both as a writer, as a movie maker, and as an intellectual and communist. I highly recommend reading his poetry and his essays. But if reading is not your thing then see his movie The Gospel According to St.Matthew, in which he depicts Jesus as a radical revolutionary, a fierce, strange, otherworldly human, who makes his mother cry by sacrificing himself.
This February, we hung out with chef and #GANNIGirl Anne Knepper @anneats chef at Copenhagen restaurant @admiralgade26 and rising talent on the Copenhagen food scene. Filmed at Copenhagen bakery and restaurant, Flere Fugle, we asked Anne to share her tips on hosting and how to make the most of your meals. Watch our film where she tells us how to make her all-time favourite recipe; Çılbır – Turkish eggs and read her Q&A below to find out how she got started in the world of food.
Q&A WITH ANNE KNEPPER
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m Anne, 26, working and living in Copenhagen as a chef. Currently I am working at Admiralgade 26, a beautiful space and restaurant in inner Copenhagen. We love to play with seasonal veggies and add a little Japanese touch to our dishes every now and then. I first moved to Copenhagen two years ago for an internship. I immediately fell in love with the city and decided to stay. The food scene inspires me on a daily basis and I am grateful to be in this environment, growing as a chef.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR PASSION FOR FOOD?
As children, my brother and I would always help out our mom when cooking. There was a great importance around preparing fresh meals everyday– and that is something that I carry with me still today. While finishing my bachelor degree I started a job in the kitchen and I remember exactly how I felt so complete from day one. The kitchen is a magical place to me, it’s my comfort zone.
YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT @ANNEATS IS BEAUTIFUL. DO YOU THINK GETTING DRESSED IS SIMILAR TO PLATING A DISH?
Thank you. I have had the profile for 7 years now and I love to scroll through it every now and then. From hobby chef to chef, I love to see what I made back in the day. Transforming my passion into my profession changed the way I plate and present food a lot. I am always going for simplicity and I care a lot about little details. And I think that’s exactly the way I dress. Simple, but always making sure that there is one or more detail that catches the eye.
CAN YOU SHARE YOUR TIPS FOR HOSTING AND COOKING FOR FRIENDS?
I love hosting dinner parties. Having your friends over and all gathered around the table makes me the happiest. One tip for a fun and smooth night, I really enjoy making something together where everyone gets involved. Sharing some recipes, some flavors or techniques, it’s a beautiful opportunity to spend some quality time and create something together.
CAN YOU SHARE ANY TIPS ON HOW TO WASTE LESS FOOD
Try to think a little further ahead before throwing something out. If I have some veggies left over that I am not using, I love to pickle them. It is such a nice condiment to have around. When peeling veggies, keep the trimmings and gather them in a bag in the freezer. Whenever you need a vegetable broth just boil the mix of trimmings in some water and you have your wonderful homemade vegetable broth.
WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD?
I find peace in the kitchen, it gives me time to reflect. Eating something that you made yourself is so rewarding. And the most special moment for me is serving your food to friends or clients at the restaurant. For you, it might be something fairly easy but to them it might be something extraordinary. To be able to create this experience satisfies me every time again.