He wears more than one hat, and he wears them all well. He is partner and active on the floor of the well known JAH Izakaya in Copenhagen, he was instrumental on the existence of the creative exhibition space Eclaire in Berlin; he now runs the exhibition space Cucina using his broad network of artist from Berlin; is the wine director of the Cofoco group that dons a portfolio of beautiful designed restaurants and the popular Coco Hotel, and dons the title father of toddler twins.
Jonathan: Father of twins, Gallery owner, Wine director & partner at Jah Izakaya. Do I need to add any more titles?
Sigurd Kjeldgaard: Nah its already enough ;)
Jonathan: Let’s start with your most important title…pops. How busy is that job? How big a champ is your partner in life?
Sigurd Kjeldgaard: Woaah! New levels of admiration and respect for my partner - wouldn’t know what to do without her. And life with kids is busy but I’m not complaining - quite the opposite :) Wouldn’t know what to do without them either. Being blessed with twins has forced my partner and I to handle extreme situations in our everyday life - emotions, egos, practical stuff, love, frustrations etc. - and it has really made us strong.
Jonathan: Tell us a bit about the Cucina? When did it start? How? who etc. Were you Berlin based at one point or were you on your way? What is your favourite peace of art and what has been your best viewing at Cucina?
Sigurd Kjeldgaard: Calling Cucina a gallery might be pushing it a tat ha. But we've been doing a small exhibition space for a few years. The space is not financially motivated (far from) but a space that allows us to work with some people we really admire and respect. Before Cucina I did an exhibition space in Berlin for 3 years, Eclair, with two very good friends (one of them also the main part of Cucina now). In Berlin we got a lot of contacts from the international art scene - contacts we use to make interesting shows here in Cph. Regarding favourites… I’m not really good with choosing. But favourite artwork is my first artwork… A painting by the danish painter Magnus Andersen and for shows - maybe our collaboration with the American artist, Jared Madere that manifested itself across different venues.
Jonathan: Jah Izakaya is a popular place to visit in Copenhagen. Tell us a little bit about this place and what it means to you. And the most insane story you have about it (no need to name names).
Sigurd Kjeldgaard: Jah is about mainly two things; authentic Japanese food and atmosphere. As much focus we have on food we have on making Jah a well-functioning social space. It’s a vibe. We’re lucky enough to have an amazing staff that helps creating this. Feel very thankful about that. And concerning stories… What happens at Jah stays at Jah - come see for urself ;)
Jonathan: You are also the Wine director for the Cofoco group in Copenhagen. How does that work with all of the other responsibilities you have in life?
Sigurd Kjeldgaard: I’m lucky enough to be busy with things I like to do - makes everything easier. This job has quite a lot of perks to it if you enjoy wine - I get to talk about it, choose it, buy it, drink it, travel for it - so I make it work :) The last year it has had some consequences for my involvement in Cucina - I wish it wasn’t so but I know it’s the right choice.
Jonathan: As the wine director for Cofoco you have also been instrumental in the Collaboration between Domaine VSN x Delphine for two years straight. How will the latest collaboration take form/shape?
Sigurd Kjeldgaard: I’m super excited the new collaboration. I think Delphine and VSN shares, besides guests/customers, many views on how to make a collab fun and alive. Instead of just producing more of the same wine and labels we do a new wine with its own story, its own look and its own launch. A collaboration needs to be fun and re-affirmed every once in while - otherwise it becomes static and without meaning. Also the wine is super chuggable and I’m sure it will be a summer-banger and Aleta is cute as … Thanks to Jodi Barton.
That’s it for now. Thank you for your time Sigurd!