The beauty of plant-powered food

TEXT: SIGNE HANSEN | PHOTOS © PLANT POWER FOOD

Serving nutritious and beautiful plant-based meals, Copenhagen’s new vegan venture, Plant Power Food, has made veggie food more tempting than ever. Run by two dedicated vegans, athlete Casper Bilton and chef Neel Engholm, the restaurant has become a hit with both loyal vegans and curious first-timers.

When professional handball player Casper Bilton decided to try to adhere to a more plant-based diet, four years ago, it was, literally, a game changer. Soon, the athlete started seeing improvements in not just his asthma but also in his performance on the court. The changes were also noticed by his coach and teammates, and gradually, Bilton became so convinced of the health benefits, that he decided to adopt a 100 per cent vegan diet. Three and a half years ago, Bilton met his partner Neel Engholm, a dedicated vegan chef, and last year, the two decided to start Plant Power Food in Copenhagen’s vibrant Nørrebro neighbourhood. “We wanted to show people how to do vegan food the right way. A lot of people are interested in the lifestyle, but they don’t really know how to get started, so they fumble around and end up eating way too many green leaves and not getting enough calories,” explains Bilton. “We want to show people how to do it properly – even though the food is beautifully presented, it’s easy to look into and see how it can be done at home.”

Everyday gourmet

Nominated as vegan athlete of the year twice, Bilton is, if anyone, a living example of the power of plant food. However, it is his girlfriend Neel, who is behind the recipes at Plant Power Food. “I have a passion for the nutritional aspect of vegan food, but I’m not the best chef, whereas Neel has great passion for, and lots of experience within, menu development. So it was sort of an obvious choice for us to start our own place together,” Bilton says.

Having previously worked as head chef and menu developer in numerous vegan venues in Copenhagen and Barcelona, Neel has created a menu that presents powerful plant food in a beautiful, yet simple way. “There are lots of vegan places in Copenhagen, but what we felt was missing was a place that fully embodied the possible health benefits of vegan food,” explains Bilton. “At the same time, we wanted to create a more aesthetic presentation of the food than we saw in other places − a menu full of nutritious, filling and beautiful meals; it’s an everyday gourmet experience.”

A plant-based mecca

Located in Nørrebro, Plant Power Food is right at the heart of a mounting plant-based movement in the Danish capital. “We chose Nørrebro for our location because we both love the place and its diversity. But also, we feel that it’s becoming a bit of a plant-based mecca in Copenhagen. There’s a lot of vegan alternatives shooting up in the area, and that’s a movement we want to be a part of,” says Bilton.

Since opening in November last year, Plant Power Food has gained a loyal following amongst dedicated vegans, but has also experienced many guests who drop in to try vegan food for the first time. The restaurant also offers beautifully presented food for events, something which is, says Bilton, popular with committed vegans who want to introduce vegan food to their friends and family. But, while Bilton and Neel are eager to spread the benefits of vegan food, guests do not have to fear being served a moral lecture with their dinner. “I feel the best way to promote vegan food is by promoting its health benefits,” says Bilton, and rounds off: “It’s a choice that you should make for your own sake; ultimately you have to take care of your own health before you can take care of anything else.”

In short:

Plant Power Food is owned by chef Neel Engholm and athlete Casper Bilton.

Casper Bilton has played many years of professional handball and also works as a personal trainer and dietician for other plant-based athletes.

In 2016 and 2017, Casper was nominated as vegan athlete of the year.

Neel Engholm has previously worked as head chef and menu developer in numerous vegan venues in Copenhagen and Barcelona including Simple Raw and Souls.

Plant Power Food is located in Fælledvej, a 15 minute walk from Nørreport Station.

Opening hours:

Mon – Sun: 10am – 10pm

Website: plantpowerfood.dk

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