The Entrepreneur

Tiffany Ng

I’m so exited to share this little project with you, and to present to you a very inspiring girl. She grew up in San Francisco, reads Time Magazine, Monocle and FOOL and prefers good filter coffee. She likes grapefruit, Hermès and is a great cook! This is Tiffany. 

 Photo by  Chris Tonnesen  

Photo by Chris Tonnesen 

Tiffany is probably one of the most inspiring people I know. Her ability to follow her ideas through, think big and keep going are things that I noticed about her in the very beginning of our collaboration. I met her when I had only lived in Copenhagen for a month. One of my colleagues recommended me when she needed staff for her very first event, and I became one of her gastronauts. Coming from a generation of entrepreneurs, she must have picked up a few tricks, but her drive is what I admire the most. In the beginning I felt a little intimidated by her, but it turned out she is just really focused (wish I could adopt a little of that).

She is doing a lot of different projects and exciting things, but I want to focus on Silver.Spoon as the whole idea is so fantastic! Silver.Spoon consists of three distinct concepts: Guerilla Dining, Wine&Grub and Street Corner Kitchen. They offer a very different way of dining than just going out to eat, and give you an experience as well as great food and wine. Silver.Spoon started as a pop-up restaurant, but over time has developed to be more concept-based dining, like art installations that will never happen again.

 Photo by  Chris Tonnesen

She executes Silver Spoon so well, leaving people with a great experience, and builds up the expectation with all the secrecy that comes with these events. Themes and menus are known ahead of time, and I think this adds an extra touch of something a bit exclusive. The business has changed a lot over time and the fact that it started off as a hobby meant that Tiffany had time to develop and do a bit of “soul reaching” for the project, and get to the core of what she wanted it to be. Tiffany’s creative background is something that really shines through in her work. She played classical piano and did all sorts of visual arts growing up. Her strong academic interest however brought her to study less artistic fields like formal policy, international law, but it’s always inside her. The events weren’t meant to be the big installations they are now, but that has been the part where the creativity has manifested itself.

 It was during an event at Fashion Week a few years back that she understood that her lack of experience and background in the industry made things a bit difficult and lessons were learned about executing the events. Maybe that weren’t her strongest side. She decided that if she was to continue doing these events, the creatively needed to be there. It had to be creatively interesting and stimulating for her, and not have her focus so much time on the practical things that came along with it. There is a great strength in knowing when you need to delegate responsibility to others, and focusing on what you do the best. Learning by doing and getting a good network has been essential to the growth of the business. 

 © Silver.Spoon

© Silver.Spoon

As mentioned before, Silver.Spoon has three different dinner concepts that are very different, working with both public and private customers. Street Corner Kitchen, which is loud, crowded and is all about teaching people in Copenhagen to eat foods that aren’t Nordic. Noma and the New Nordic food movement has pushed us high in the gastronomic fields, Tiffany says, but we just really want to teach people about good flavours that can be found in other cousins. People think they know what it is about, although they really don’t. Introducing regional specialities, good flavours and keeping the surrounding simple. You get your own drinks and the atmosphere is informal.

Wine&Grub on the other hand is a completely different concept, and one I think is brilliant. It’s social dining in intimate settings. And by intimate I mean a maximum of 16 people per seating, so that you will really get to meet and talk to everybody. It’s cosy, has good rustic food, and the menus are focused on the wine, so the food is paired with the wine and not the other way around. 

 Photo by  Alecfoy

Photo by Alecfoy

 Photo by  Lucas Wxyz

Photo by Lucas Wxyz

Guerilla Dining is bigger, more conceptual events with a WOW-factor. You should end up asking yourself “Where am I? How did this happen?” and you’re looking at things on your plate and you’re not sure whether or not you should eat them. 

 Photo by  Alecfoy

Photo by Alecfoy

 Photo by Morten Henckel Nielsen

Photo by Morten Henckel Nielsen

The events are interactive and are sometimes a bit too cerebral for some people. Tiffany underlines that there is a fine balance between what they want to do creatively and what people actually understand. It should have the effect of having you walk out thinking, “what just happened?” and you’ll be talking about it for a week or two, yet still feel like you got something out of it, and that is where the balance lies. 

Guerilla Dining was just launched in Portugal, and the reception has been fantastic, and Tiffany emphasises that it is quite different than in Copenhagen, where people are a bit too closed minded for the project really to excel. “The kitchen team are essentially superstars down there now,” as she puts it. Vogue is doing a photoshoot, Elle is writing an article, and they were on the news on the two biggest TV-stations, with live filming.

 Photo by  Alecfoy

Photo by Alecfoy

Tiffany says that the people in Copenhagen are interested, no doubt, but the majority of people have preconceptions and they tend to think to know more than they do in terms of food and the hipster trend (local, organic, sustainable, hand picked) is not in what they do specifically. She expresses that they are not going to go for the trend, but focus on what serves the greatest purpose for the events. Working in this environment might be a challenge in itself. If you’re a small little thing doing it for the fun of it, it’s supported, but as soon as there is a framework established that allows for the business to grow, they think that they are commercial and here to stay. As her friend explained to her; Danes are not picky or difficult; they just know what they want. She disagrees with that and adds that she thinks they think they know what they want. The reception abroad has been great and they are better known abroad than here.

 Photo by  A  lecfoy

Photo by Alecfoy

The ideas for Guerilla Dining are original, and Tiffany says that many describe them as cutting edge, but explains that what is actually happening at their meetings is a bit more extreme. The ideas that make it to the final stages are actually the tamest ones. However, they are the ones that are logistically and financially possible to execute without charging people 4-5000dkk ahead. What they want to do is far from what they are actually doing at this point. The plan is to move in that direction, and if Guerilla Dining can be pushed up market where the prices are higher, more things will be possible to explore. 

 Photo by  Alecfoy

Photo by Alecfoy

When I asked where she gets inspiration for her projects she answered that, like an artist told her parents: “when he walks around, he doesn’t see the environment around him the same way that a normal person sees it. He actually sees it in the pallet of paint and brush strokes, and that also when I go about my daily life, if it’s travels or just walking around here, I’m always looking at places that could become the next venue.” Sometimes there is a shape or a colour that inspires her to put together with something in an idea from before, and they work a lot with throwing ideas back and forth and develop things that way.

 Photo by Veronica Fossa

Photo by Veronica Fossa

I really admire the strong business side of her, and the way she seems to view difficulties as challenges rather than obstacles. This combined with her background in arts makes a beautiful combination. The events are beautiful and creatively they are really put together. The concepts are clear, and she pairs wine, food, music, atmosphere and expression really well. Flying in chefs from around the world or using local chefs are both elements that I imagine give something extra to the event.

She’s a girl with a lot going on, and I have always been fascinated by her ability to keep on working with such high intensity. When I’m really busy I tend to end up uninspired, but she seems to like being busy. I asked her how she juggles relationships, her projects with doing her second masters degree, and she answered that she doesn’t get a lot of sleep. Reading books, cooking (although she haven’t really had time to cook or even go shopping for groceries the last couple of weeks), housework (no thinking required) seeing friends or enjoy a good glass of wine (she really knows great wines), or even better yet: a good tumbler of whiskey to unwind and relax.

 When you meet her, you would think that she is a morning person, just like myself, but it turns out she is quite the opposite. When I asked when she is most productive she answered 10-3, and of course I thought we were talking 10a.m., not p.m. but no. She says that she has grown to learn how to get up at 7.30, and doesn’t sleep in till past nine, but emphasizes that she is really not a morning person by nature. Today, she is preparing this weekend’s Wine&Grub, Italian Sellfish led by Antonio Fattruso. There are a few tickets left for Saturday and Sunday!  

 

Tiffany’s Copenhagen

Favourite Park: Frederiksberg Have

Favourite Restaurant: Amass

Favourite Cheap Eats: ISSA

Favourite Café: Maude’s or Chez Laurent

Favourite Chocolate: Chocolate & Love

Favourite Beer: Bøgedal

Fun past-times: Looking at the differently and beautifully designed houseboats on Holmen

Favourite Summer Activities: Bike ride north up the coast

Favourite Hidden Spot: Bispetorvet’s law study room