Bon vivant banker Lars Seier Christensen shares his views on fine dining, socializing, culinary travel and favorite restaurants after returning from Dining Impossible in Lima earlier this year.

Text: Sofia Von, Photos: Lou Stejskal, Kristian Brask Thomsen, Shermay Lee.


DI: Dining Impossible. What makes it special, to you?

Lars: It is a very unique concept. Dining three consecutive days with new and old friends in some of the greatest restaurants in the world, allowing yourself to really concentrate on food, wine, great conversation and lots of fun for an extended period is a treat everyone should allow themselves at least once in their life.

DI: Which edition has been your favorite, and why?

Lars: It is very hard to isolate one of the DI-experiences as the very best, but if I have to I must say that the trip to San Sebastián was wonderful. It was a place I had missed out on in the past, and to see a whole town focused and proud of their gourmet chefs, is really great. I will be going back sometime soon!

DI: Great food and wines will always be the center of attention when attending a dinner party, but is it also what you hold dearest after a three-day eating extravaganza? If yes, why? If no, what is?

Lars: Obviously, the great food and wine is the key to why reason you go. But Kristian’s (Brask Thomsen. red) ability to put together very interesting and varied groups of people mean the company and the conversations throughout the whole extravaganza also become very important. From the first welcome cocktail to the last glass of champagne saying goodbye, you develop great friendships and new contacts.


“Family portrait”, Dining Impossible at Arzak in San Sebastián.


DI: Friendships you say? Have you created such or business through Dining Impossible? If so, where does these friends or business contacts live?

Lars: I have both brought along good friends and made new ones. Our range of interesting relationships, established or strengthened, from the DI-trips include people from Monaco, Austria, Colombia, USA, the UK and of course fellow Danes.

DI: What’s your favorite food memory? 

Lars: I find it always difficult to single out one over others, because I have been privileged to try some many fantastic and diverse restaurants. Diverxo in Madrid was terrific, Pavillon Ledoyen also, as well as the two big Chicago restaurants, Grace and Alinea (during Dining Impossible. red). And of course I fell in love with Geranium in Copenhagen years ago, and in the end went on buying the restaurant with my great partners, Chef Rasmus Kofoed and Director Søren Ledet.

DI: What has been your most unexpected meal memory? What happened?

Lars: Well, things does not have to be all Michelin. I once was recommended a small mama/papa restaurant in Tuscany for its Fiorentina Steak – I love a great steak. It was amazing and we went back three times in a week! I can’t even remember its name, but it was the best meat I ever had, I think. Talking of Florence and Tuscany, Enoteca Pinchiori, the oldest three-star restaurant in Italy is magical.


Getting the angle right at Astrid y Gastón during Dining Impossible, Lima.


DI: Some chefs creations are incredibly artful, so I have to ask, is food art?

Lars: I think you could say that. Great chefs are amazingly dedicated and persistent, the same way as great sports people and artists. I have deep respect for the work of great chefs. 

DI: You own a restaurant, 3*Michelin Geranium in Copenhagen. As a banker knowing your way around making money, why did you buy a gourmet restaurant when the industry isn’t exactly known to make big profits, if any?

Lars: Apart from Geranium actually doing quite well, then of course life is not all about profits, at least not for this banker. The joys of being involved with a world class restaurant are many, and just the positive impact when you take a client to a fantastic restaurant and it happens to be your own creates so much goodwill that this alone would ensure overall profitability. But really, it is about being part of something great, see our guests have magical experiences and leave happy and excited after their dinner.

DI: To you, what is the most interesting food city in the world?

Lars: I would have to say Barcelona and Copenhagen. These are the two most important food cities at this moment for the development of the contemporary cuisine and creation of new directions. It’s so amazing that my city of birth (Copenhagen) has achieved this place in the culinary world.


With Mrs. Yvonne at Dining Impossible, El Celler de Can Roca.


DI: And the most underrated?

Lars: I think most of the cities are getting recognition today, through Michelin or Top 50, but one that very few have visited is Baiersbronn. A 16,000 inhabitants village in the middle of The Black Forest that has two three-starred and a two-starred Michelin restaurant. One star per 2,000 inhabitants must easily be the world record and the restaurants are outstanding!

DI: Name five places you would recommend as must-go-to eat and drink in your hometown?

Lars: Well, I live in a small villlage in Switzerland, and while I appreciate my neighbours, including the restaurants, I dont think I could justify enticing people to visit Schwarzenbach for the gourmet experience! So let me take my city of birth, Copenhagen, where the multiple times number one in the world, Noma, is of course a must. I would also recommend Denmark’s old classic restaurants Kong Hans and Søllerød Kro, where classic qualities meet modern techniques. New kid on the block Alchemist is also very exciting, with Rasmus Munks 45 dishes in three hours – and I have to unashamedly mention our own Geranium.


Mr. Seier Christensen’s own photo of the creation of Alinea’s iconic Jackson Pollock dessert during Dining Impossible in Chicago.


DI: Name five places you would recommend as must-go-to eat and drink in the world?

Lars: Le Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris, Diverxo in Madrid, Enoteca Pinchiori in Firenze, Alinea in Chicago, and Schwarzwaldstube in Baiersbronn. Phew, that was hard – now can I mention five more?

DI: In just two days you’ll dine your way through  the best establishments of Barcelona with Dining Impossible. What is it about the city that attracts you so much?

Lars: I have been a fan of Barcelona for many years. There is something about the atmosphere and the liveliness that makes it a lot of fun to take a walk around town whether day or night. I lived in South of Spain for a few years when I was young, but life is very different up here to the North.

DI: What restaurant(s) are you looking most forward to and why?

Lars: Most of all, I am looking forward to trying Disfrutar for the first time, as I have heard a lot of good things about it, not least from The Ambassador himself. Also, I look forward to yet another visit to Tickets; last time we were here was with the entire Geranium team to celebrate the first time we received three Michelin stars! A great and joyful night, where we had Tickets entirely to ourselves. And then of course, El Celler de Can Roca which is in a league of its own.

Mr. Seier Christensen alongside friend and 1996 Tour de France-winner Bjarne Riis during a DI-kitchen tour at Noma in Copenhagen.

DI: A lot have happened within the culinary within the past 10 years. Never have it been so much in vogue as now. One could say we live in the golden age of gastronomy. But besides the fact that we all have to eat and most take pleasure in doing so, how do you see gastronomy’s current and future role in the world? Can it make a difference in it

Lars: Food and wine is extraordinarily important for our wellbeing, our health and our enjoyment of life. It’s actually amazing that it has only risen to such prominence in the last few decades, considering the essential role it plays in human life. When I was a kid, it was more of a commodity and something taken for given, without much ado. Nowadays it has rightfully gained its deserved place in society – as an art form, a highly cherished part of our everyday lives – with respect for the ingredients, wonderful decors and following of the super star chefs. I think this importance will only grow and grow from here. We spend the best hours of our life eating and drinking – and it should not be a trivial affair, but cherished every time. And that’s actually what happens in places like Barcelona and San Sébastian.

DI: Where would do you want Dining Impossible to go in the future?

Lars: You know, one of the great things here is that Kristian decides the trips. I am not sure I would yet have made it to San Sebastian, and certainly not Lima, unless Dining Impossible had inspired me to do so. So I am very happy to sit back and wait in excitement for Kristian’s next great idea, and if my schedule allows it, I am guaranteed to participate!




Lars Seier Christensen is co-founder of Saxo Bank and founder of Seier Capital. From Copenhagen, Denmark – based in Schwarzenbach, Switzerland. Dining Impossible attendee in Copenhagen, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Chicago and Lima.

January 1st 2016 Lars Seier Christensen entered a new phase of his life. Since 1995 he has been co-CEO at Saxo Bank, but after 20 years he felt the time had come to try something else and founded Seier Capital. He is still a substantial shareholder of the bank he co-founded in 1992, and it remains by far his most important portfolio company.

A portfolio that also includes 3*Michelin restaurant Geranium, investment in contemporary artworks, fine wine collections and yachts amongst others.



Lars Seier Christensen at Geranium in Copenhagen.



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