Copenhagen Dining Diaries:
Set the Table with Yam

We catch up with British chef, Kai Semple, as he sets the table for an intimate, Caribbean dinner party with friends.

As the warm season approaches, residents in Copenhagen are increasingly drawn to the city’s effortlessly cool dining culture — where traditional white tablecloths and set menus are put aside in favor of eclectic table settings, al-fresco dining, and inventive sharing concepts. We met with three culinary creatives shaping the Danish capital’s food scene to explore the concepts, trends and influences steering the cultural tide.



London-born and raised chef, Kai Semple is the culinary creative behind Yam, a modern Caribbean concept. Deriving its name from Jamaican patois and meaning 'eat,’ the concept quickly a cult following in Copenhagen following its inception in 2019.

The premise behind Yam is simple: hearty and unpretentious Caribbean classics, executed with technical skill and brimming with complex flavors and personality. At its heart, Yam is more than just food — it’s a sense of community. Drawing people together, the concept is an expressive invitation to gather and partake in the communal act of dining, complete with a warm, inherently inviting atmosphere and soulful soundtrack, expertly curated by Kai.

We join Kai at Refugio, a creative collective located in Copenhagen’s Østerbro neighborhood, while he sets the table for a cozy, family-style meal using our Flow tableware series in black. R&B music drifts out from the kitchen as he arranges a colorful assortment of dishes before him, the air thick with the fragrant, spiced aroma of Jamaican jerk chicken — one of Kai’s signature dishes. The day’s menu also includes a chickpea and okra curry, rice and peas, and a fresh salad consisting of cucumber, radish and herbs. For the grand finale, Kai has prepared a meringue dessert topped with mango and passionfruit.



Showcasing familiar dishes from the islands of Jamaica and Trinidad, everything from the choice of food to the table’s casual styling can be traced back to Kai’s heritage and upbringing. “The memories of going to my nan’s home on a Sunday had a clear influence on my table. Each of the different sharing dishes, ranging in colors and tastes, reflect my upbringing and are a way for me to connect with my Caribbean heritage,” he muses.

According to Kai, the secret to creating great food lies in community. He goes on to explain: “My philosophy with food is rooted in a desire to bring people together. As a chef, I always link my food experiences to something we can all relate to and share together — whether it’s a specific memory or a period in time.”


When asked about his tips for hosting, Kai suggests keeping things simple. “Look at preparing dishes that can be shared around, whether it’s a rice-based dish or something even more casual like sandwiches. Aside from keeping the food and drinks flowing throughout the night, your main focus should always be on getting family and friends together,” he adds.

For a memorable meal, he recommends incorporating small—yet impactful details. “Simple, personal touches, like garnishes and the choice of serving dishes, can make a dramatic difference both visually and taste-wise. Everything from the tablecloth to the cutlery has an impact on the overall experience of the meal.”

And, as always with Kai’s cooking, storytelling is crucial to hosting an unforgettable dinner party. “My most memorable meals have always taken place when the chef has a story to tell, both about the dish itself and the ‘why’ behind its creation,” he shares.



Kai’s Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Coconut Curry

  2 tbsp curry powder
  1 tsp allspice berries
  2 sprigs of thyme
  1 stalk of coriander
  1 red chili (whole)
  1 onion, sliced
  3 cloves of garlic
  1 stick of ginger
  1 sweet potato
  1 pumpkin
  1 can of coconut milk

1.  1. In a pan, fry the curry powder and allspice in oil until fragrant and add your sliced onion, chili, coriander stalks, ginger and garlic. Let cool for 5 mins until soft.
2.  While waiting for this to cool, drizzle some oil on the pan and roast your sweet potato and pumpkin at 180 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown.
3.  Add your coconut to the curry mixture and cook down until you’ve achieved a sauce-like consistency.
4.  Add your roasted vegetables and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
5.   Serve with steamed rice and garnish with coriander.

Kai has styled the table using our Flow Tableware Series in Black. With it’s charming, perfectly ‘imperfect’ expression and unique glazing, Flow is the perfect sidekick for everyday dining and special occasions alike. Style it with pieces in the same color or look to Flow’s other colorways for a mix-and-match look.

Explore the Flow Series here.

Did you get a chance to explore our other Copenhagen Dining Diaries?