NORDIC: New stars in the Nordic sky

NORDIC: New stars in the Nordic sky

NEWS NORDIC: Guide Michelin published its Nordic guide today, while changing the name from "Nordic Cities" to "Nordic Guide". As expected, this meant a detour or two from the big cities, awarding stars to more remote restaurants, while also for the first time handing out three stars to restaurants in Oslo and Copenhagen.

Previously ineligible, the quality of some restaurants outside urban areas could no longer be overlooked; some restaurants receiving a star were Daniel Berlin Krog in Skåne Tranås, Hotell Borgholm on Öland island and Kadeau on Bornholm island. Fäviken Magasinet, perhaps the most remote of the bunch, was awarded two stars while entering the guide for the first time. 

– Fäviken Magasinet offers a unique dining experience in the idyllic setting of a remote hunting estate. Cooking here is highly assured, and has its essence in the surrounding land, said Rebecca Burr, editor of the Nordic Guide. 


SWEDEN: Whisky at high altitude

SWEDEN: Whisky at high altitude

NEWS SWEDEN: The first whisky brand in Sweden, Mackmyra, has teamed up with mountain resort Lofsdalen to create a skybar that also houses the highest whisky storage in Europe.

While the altitude – 1125 meters above sea level – may be high, the building is not. The round two-story house is, however, nestled atop Hovärken mountain, with panoramic windows that provide a stunning view of the steep surroundings. How to get there? Via a six-seat chairlift, if the weather allows – otherwise an all-terrain vehicle will do the trick.

The storage on the ground floor has space for 700 30-litre barrels. A barrel may be purchased for 19,900 SEK (price does not include VAT, alcohol tax or bottling fee) – but at that price, you’ll also be a member of Club 1125, with free access to the skybar and invitations to exclusive events. All the while your whisky will be aging serenely at the top of the mountain. The bar will also be available for conferences and other events.

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DENMARK: Gourmet brewery and food hall to open in Copenhagen

DENMARK: Gourmet brewery and food hall to open in Copenhagen

NEWS DENMARK: Copenhagen is getting a new hot spot that celebrates the Danish craft of brewing, as well as a restaurant, bar and gourmet shop. Having operated as a nomad brewery for the last five years, To Øl (Two Beers) has now found a home, right across the street from where it all began for the two founders.

The men behind To Øl are Tore Gynther, Tobias Emil Jensen and Morten Bruun. The first two have history with one of the most renowned names in the beer industry today: Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, who later started Mikkeller, but back then was their physics teacher and companion to some experimenting with hops in the school kitchen after hours (this being Denmark, presumably no one batted an eye about it). Across the street from school – that would be Guldbergsgade – in the district of Nørrebro, they are going big. As in 750 square meters big (over 8.000 square feet). The giant space will house oak barrels, stainless steel tanks, a pub, restaurant and – of course – guests, and besides batches of beer there will be micro-production of quality soft drinks and sodas, tonics, kombucha, bottled cocktails and even mead. The third man behind To Øl, Morten Bruun, is the ‘cocktail and tonic master’ of the gang. He has a background as a chef and looks forward to planning the snack-sized menu that will seamlessly go together with the various beverages.

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SWEDEN: Fast food by famous chefs at Teatern

SWEDEN: Fast food by famous chefs at Teatern

NEWS SWEDEN: It’s premiere weekend for fabulous food court Teatern (the Theatre), where nine famous chefs and one confectioner have gathered to serve everything from high-quality hot dogs to Sweden’s first organic and vegan fast food.

Located in shopping mall Ringen in Stockholm’s Söder district, the venue is quite unlike most food courts. Shoppers (and those just plain hungry) will have a wide range of choices, all served up by chefs with considerable experience. Perhaps the one that stands out the most is Magnus Nilsson – the wonderchild from Jämtland who usually serves up uncompromisingly local and cutting-edge fare at his Fäviken Magasinet, ranked as the best restaurant in Sweden in the White Guide Nordic 2016. For his very first permanent venture outside of Jämtland, he has chosen Teatern where he will be serving – hot dogs. He has already been touring Sweden with a food truck this year, serving the beloved Swedish classic (which includes putting shrimp salad on the hot dog). His “Korvkiosken” means, literally, “The hot dog stand”.

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NORDIC: Japan wins the Global Sushi Challenge

NORDIC: Japan wins the Global Sushi Challenge

NEWS NORDIC: On November 25th, the Global Sushi Challenge was held in Tokyo. This largest-ever competition in sushi-making had two Nordic representatives: Magnus Wallin, of Rå Epok in Helsingborg, Sweden, and Mark Jayson Subia, of Alex Sushi in Oslo, Norway. The victory went to Jun Jibiki of Japan.

The competition was hosted by the World Sushi Skills Institute in collaboration with the Norwegian Seafood Council, with the intent to crown the world’s most skilled sushi chef. 14 competitors participated, each having already won the semi-final in their respective country. In the final, the competitors created Edomae and creative sushi with Norwegian salmon as the head ingredient.

None of the Nordic competitors ended up on the winners' podium – but for Swedish competitor Magnus Wallin, having the chance to go to Japan for the first time was a prize in itself. He has been making sushi for ten years, and owns two sushi restaurants in the south of Sweden together with Daniel Joannou. In their restaurants, only sushi made from sustainable sources is served, and guests may find themselves eating local as well, for instance Swedish pike. Wallin got off to a tough start on the trip to Japan, when the arrival of his luggage containing both knives and delicacies was delayed for a day. Still, he wowed judges with his uramaki of dill-pickled cucumber, cured salmon, smoked mayonnaise and smoked salmon, topped by vendace roe and fresh dill.

Image: Magnus Wallin's winning creative sushi plate in the Swedish semifinal, courtesy of Global Sushi Challenge.


SWEDEN: Myllymäki moves to Kvarnbacken

SWEDEN: Myllymäki moves to Kvarnbacken

NEWS SWEDEN: Tommy Myllymäki has won the Swedish Chef of the Year competition and placed second and third in Bocuse D’Or on separate occasions. Now he is done with competing, and setting his sights on another prize: A new restaurant, located on the island of Djurgården in central Stockholm.

For Myllymäki, competitive as he is, ambitions are just as high as when he was going for gold in the Bocuse D’Or. In an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri, he said he was going to create “the world’s best restaurant”. It may have been said in jest – but with Myllymäki, who knows?

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DENMARK: Noma spawns new restaurant with broader appeal

DENMARK: Noma spawns new restaurant with broader appeal

NEWS DENMARK: Noma has revealed yet another surprise. The much-accoladed restaurant grabbed the top spot once again in the 2016 edition of White Guide Nordic, recently had a wildly successful pop-up in Tokyo, sold out all seats of the upcoming Sydney pop-up in under four minutes, and last but not least announced that the restaurant is closing and reopening as an urban farm in another location. And now: An entirely new restaurant, this time with a broader public appeal.

Located a stone’s throw from the current location, in fact on the same street, the yet unnamed restaurant on Strandgade 108 will be considerably bigger than Noma. This time, the new venture is not merely for culinary purposes. René Redzepi has said that despite being consistently fully booked, Noma in its current form is just not economically viable. In fact, the profit was a meagre 730.000 DKK last year.

The new restaurant will open in May 2016. Mr. Redzepi himself will not be running things, as he is focused on other Noma projects. Instead, Kristian Baumann will be responsible. He has formerly worked at Noma and Relæ.


NORDIC: Claus Meyer takes Manhattan

NORDIC: Claus Meyer takes Manhattan

NEWS NORDIC: Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma, is taking Nordic cooking across the Atlantic. In Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall, he will open a food hall and a brasserie in the spring of 2016.

The plan was approved in 2014, but the preparations have taken time. Grand Central Terminal, and Vanderbilt Hall with it, has landmark status, which means that the hall may not be permanently altered, and the food hall will be housed in movable pavilions and installations. Some New Yorkers have voiced doubts about the plan, citing the loss of Vanderbilt Hall as a flexible space for events, such as an annual squash tournament, and various exhibitions. Some also protested the serving of Nordic fare, instead of more classic New York dishes, in one of the city’s greatest landmarks. However, the eastern end of the hall will still be available for private events, and the popular holiday market will continue. As for Nordic food, Meyer says:

– Nordic cuisine is very much about capturing the local flavor. We’ll work closely with local growers and producers.

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SWEDEN: Jonas Åhman opens Tullhuset in Kalmar

SWEDEN: Jonas Åhman opens Tullhuset in Kalmar

NEWS SWEDEN: Jonas Åhman, the man behind critically acclaimed restaurant Trädgårdsgatan 26, is expanding across the Öland bridge. This spring, he will be moving into Tullhuset (The Toll House) on the mainland.

Jonas Åhman has a quite unique experience on his resumé. For three years, he managed the residence of Swedish Gen. Håkan Syrén, when Syrén held the post of Chairman of the European Union’s Military Committee (EUMC). In Brussels, Åhman organised and cooked luncheons, cocktails and dinners for delegations from more than 40 countries, among them USA, Russia and China.

– I wanted to showcase Swedish culture through food, of course. I would pack the car full of stuff when driving down to Brussels! But there was also so much to be inspired by in and around Brussels. French cooking, having Paris a little more than an hour away, and the districts of Champagne, Burgundy, Alsace…

Away from the hectic kitchen of his restaurant, spending long hours planning the next event, Åhman had time to think – about food, life and what to do next. When he and his family moved home to Sweden in 2012, a plan had formed.

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DENMARK: New restaurant in Aarhus has high ambitions

DENMARK: New restaurant in Aarhus has high ambitions

NEWS DENMARK: Recently opened restaurant Domestic has high ambitions and experienced staff. “We would like to be among the five best restaurants in Aarhus”, says Christian Neve, one of the four people behind Domestic.

Together with Christopher Norton, Morten Rasted and Ditte Susgaard, over 30 years of experience from places like Nordisk Spisehus, Molskroen and Substans has been assembled at Domestic, which opened on the 20th of October.

– The name refers to the fact that it must be relaxing to eat here. The menu will be gourmet, but people should feel welcome and at home. We value organic food, but not fanatically so. Things just taste better if they are produced with consideration for the environment and animal welfare. We will go all in from the start, says Christian Neve.

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