About Hannah | Hannah

Facts:

  • Trained chef

  • Born in Denmark

  • Birthday: November 1. 1982

  • Lives in Copenhagen with her boyfriend and two dogs

  • Loves house plants

Random Facts:

  • Cooks on induction

  • has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in the rain season (Never again)

  • Spends at least 30 minutes a day checking in on her plants. 

  • Has done the Dakar Rally(as a chef)

  • Won a Daytime Emmy for
    Eat Race Win

  • Collects taxidermy birds

  • Also collects souvenir mugs

Childhood

I have always been drawn to creating memorable experiences and good times for people around me - Entertaining my family at all times with home cooked "contemporary" danish dishes and musical shows from the early morning until they told me it was enough.... - fair enough, my dad did work in the Theater, so the last thing he wanted to look at when he was off, was yet another hopefull performer.

Already as a child, I had the drive and need to be in a kitchen, playing around with flavors, ingredients, textures - trying out techniques and combinations (sometimes more palatable than others); the kitchen caught my attention and my heart from the very beginning. It came naturally, perhaps because I was equipped with the name of my late grand mother Hannah Grant - one of Britains first female head chefs - a true power woman.

High school

 

As most other young Danes in the 90's, I felt like there was only two options for life as a 14 year old about to finish 9 th. grade, either continue in the 10th grade or attend high school, since culinary school was not an option at this point. For me 10th grade was not an option so my mom made it pretty clear to me - high school it is and when you're 18 years old you can do what you want.
And thats pretty much what happened, in November in my third year of high school I turned 18 and dropped out and started working full time selling perfumes in a huge department store in Copenhagen -

 

Royal danish navy

 

In 2003 I joined the Royal Danish Navy because I needed a kick in the butt - that I could not give my self. I sailed on an Inspection ship in Greenland, Iceland and the Faero Islands and worked on the bridge as an action information solider. When I was not on my shift, I was hanging out in the galley with my good friend the chef, who one day gave me the task of seasoning 50 liters of bechamel. stirring the sauce with a giant wooden paddle. - For some reason this experience made me realize that I had always wanted to be a chef - and when I finished my 9 months in the navy - I joined the culinary institute of Copenhagen.

 

Culinary school

 

From 2003 - 2007 I busted my ass in the kitchens of my bosses.
First up, starting out in one of the big and very old school hotels in Copenhagen, where smoking was allowed in the kitchen and the butchers was slamming strong beers in the basement as he carved the half sides of beef coming in, telling us apprentices, that brushing our teeth was a waste of time - if humans was meant to brush their teeth they would have been born with a toothbrush on their finger. - This argument however was clearly not supported by his breath.

 

I worked in two other restaurants after the hotel experience and graduated in 2007, ready to take over the world with my new skills.

 

The restaurants

 

My years as a chef has taken me around the globe - exactly what I wanted from an education like this. I have crossed the south pacific on a kite boarding expedition boat, The offshore odyssey. I have worked at some of the highest-level restaurants in the world, amongst other places, restaurant Noma. It was at this very restaurant, I realized that I needed to get out of the industry kitchens and out into the world to explore and learn about something else than the service industry, and by chance I ended up at a professional cycling team.
If you feel the need to dig into all the other places I have worked, just check out my linkedin profile .

 

The cycling team

 

In 2011, I started as the team chef for the world pro tour team Saxo Bank Sungaard (later Saxo bank, Saxo-Tinkoff, and Team Tinkoff). This was an eye opener, a game changer and and by far one of the most intense periods in my professional life.

 

Surrounded by skinny men in lycra, I had to learn how they ate, how they trained, how they worked and how the races worked not to forget the unspoken rules and who did what at the teams. So many agendas, so many people all competing to be no. 1. This was where I understood, that If I wanted to make something extraordinary out of my life - I had to do something about it myself.

 

The Grand tour cookbook

 

The cycling team had big ambitions with their new chef, changing up dietary routines of the riders and I tell you that was not as easy as it could sound. Changing habits of riders with 10+ years of experience, you don't just do that over night. So with the wishes and demands from the management on the team and the hard working riders not very adaptable mentality, it took a while to find the "recipe" for success, but slowly the riders started to open up to the new flavors and ingredients.

 

A year and a half of cooking and changing and tweaking the servings and we had hit a good spot.
This was solidified in my first cookbook "The grand tour cookbook" that was first published in danish in 2013.

 

The English version was not as easy to give life, but with hard work and determination and a side comment from Bjarne Riis "why don't you start your own publisher"?
I landed an investor that was willing to take the chance on me and make the book come true in English in 2015. I am forever thankful for this, since this opened the doors to a lot of other interesting projects.

 

Eat. Race. Win. - the series

 

Back in 2016, the Grand tour cookbook ended up in the hands of an american producer, who in some miraculous way managed to pitch a mini series to Amazon Prime Video, based on the book and my work.
The show takes you through the 2017 Tour de France, following myself and my colleagues cooking for a pro team.
The show aired in July 2018 and was nominated for two daytime Emmys (best culinary show and best single camera editing). Again something spectacular happened and the show won one golden Emmy for single camera editing. Yeah I know, It wasn't voted the best culinary show, but hey it will forever have been nominated and me, I'm very happy with my commemorative production company statue in my kitchen.

 

EAT RACE WIN - the cookbook

 

The second cookbook, EAT RACE WIN, was written with my business partner Dr. Stacy Sims, a sports physiologist specializing in gender differences and thermoregulation (she is an expert in hydration in extreme environments) The book was published in July 2018 on the same date as the series aired. This time the book was not just about fuelling for the tour de France, but this time taking you through a full year of training and eating.

 

ERW active & My flight pack

 

I am not known to sit still and wait for things to happen by them selves, so in October 2018 I secured a pre-seed investment for a project that Dr. Stacy Sims and I had been planning for a while.
We started the project ERW, developing the travelers product "My flight pack".
My flight pack is a dietary supplement designed to keep you hydrated on you long haul flights and at the same time helping you sleep and wake up when needed. The idea came from working with athletes and their problematics, when flying to long haul to races down under and across the atlantic. But one thing we realized was, it's not only athletes that need to perform at arrival. Business travelers, artist and well, all types of frequent flyers experience the environment of the airplane, which means - they suffer as much as athletes.
My flight pack launched in October 2019 and you can read much more about this project on the website.
But why is it called ERW?
ERW is the abbreviation of EAT RACE WIN, the foundation of Dr. Stacy Sims and my work together, symbolizing our backgrounds within food and nutrition, making our past a part of our future. 

 

In the fall of 2020 we are launching ERW active - our product line for everyday use.

My motivation is fueled by changing the way we see food, nutrition and health, promoting a better living – making it fun and educational as well as tasty and easy to do.
Eating healthy should not be a punishment.

Enjoy the recipes and check out the cookbooks

Big hugs 

Hannah

copyright Hannah Grant 2020