Apparently, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Maaemo in Oslo was on BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals in UK yesterday (December 21st 2016). I know, because I noticed a major spike in my traffic last night coming mainly from this article from my Maaemo visit in February, just before they got the third star, and this report from an event with Maaemo at restaurant Studio in Copenhagen in October. Most of the traffic could be attributed to organic searches on Google or other search engines (are there any others that even matter at this point?).
The Brits are Googling “Irish Chef Maaemo” Like Mad
The most popular search terms by far were: “Irish chef Maaemo Oslo,” “Maaemo sous chef,” and “Irish sous chef Halaigh .” I guess the Brits are going mad over the Irish sous chef at Maaemo: Halaigh Whelan-MacManus. The talented chef, who’s also funny and with a boyish charm, obviously captured the viewers’ interest in particular. He can be seen in this video I shot back in February, which, by the way, has more than 100.000 views on Facebook alone, and an estimated 300.000 views if you add Matkanalen to the calculation.
Three small teasers from the show
I don’t have access to BBC Two. Hell, I don’t even have a TV. However, I did manage to locate some clips from the series on Masterchef UK’s Facebook page. It seems the show is shot on location in Oslo, inside restaurant Maaemo. In one clip the co-founder and owner, chef Esben Holmboe-Bang is demonstrating how he plates a course of strawberries, cream, and roses from the garden. The second clip shows Esben giving words of praise to a dish of mahogany clams marinated in pickled dill and served with wilted gooseberries, created by one of the contestants named Gary.
Lastly, we get a sense of the systematic chaos and stress of a high-level restaurant, as another contestant, Matt, gets to plate one of the dishes that goes out to a table of nine. That means they were actually cooking during service! The course the chefs are plating is the scallops, apples, and celeriac that I enjoyed last winter.
If you are reading this from the UK and you watched the episode, feel free to leave a comment and tell me more about what happened in the series. Especially what Halaigh did to impress the audience that much!