Some of the best chefs in the Nordics were gathered in Oslo last month. The occasion was the signature dinner of KokkeKarlas Legat – a legacy fund that raises money to support young, female chefs. This annual dinner is held in memory of Karla Siverts, the former head chef of restaurant Smalhans in Oslo who passed away to cancer in 2016 – only 29 years old. On September 23rd this year, the dinner was held at the one-Michelin-starred restaurant Kontrast and the line-up was more amazing than ever before. Additionally, over twenty restaurants in Norway arranged Ett Bord for Karla – one table for Karla – the same evening, where all proceedings were donated to the legacy fund as well.
Every year, KokkeKarlas Legat hands out a scholarship of NOK 50.000 to a young and promising female chef in order to support women who pursue a career in cooking. Last year, Eline Haugan Bordvik was the first recipient of this great honor, and this year, it was Live Krangnes Edvardsen who works at restaurant Credo in Trondheim. Edvardsen had been asked to assist her head chef, Heidi Bjerkan, at the event and was unaware of the prize she was about to receive.
The legacy fund also offers economical support to young people who are struggling economically due to a serious disease or illness – much like Karla Siverts and her husband Thorleif Linhave Bamle did when Siverts experienced cancer recurrence. If you missed the dinner, but still want to support this cause, you can always donate money directly to Norwegian bank account 1503.87.14128 or by using Vipps 104236.
Signature Dinner at Kontrast (2018)
A sixteen-course tasting menu with wine pairings provided by NonDos and VinJohn awaited the lucky guests at restaurant Kontrast this evening. Eight Nordic top chefs cooked one signature dish and one snack each. Halvor Digernes from Fuglen mixed drinks, Solfinn Danielsen from Rødder & Vin had flown in from Copenhagen to help wait tables, and Kristin Nielsen from Håndplukk contributed with foraged herbs and flowers. Priced at NOK 5.000 per person (that had to be pre-paid), including apéritif and coffee, it was not a cheap meal. However, considering that the money went to such a good cause, and the line up of chefs, it was easily worth it for me.
Swedish chef Mikael Svensson hosted the event. He was joined by fellow Oslo restaurateur Esben Holmboe Bang from the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Maaemo. From Copenhagen came Rosio Sanchez from restaurant Sanchez and Hija de Sánchez and Matt Orlando from Amass. Helsinki-based chef Sasu Laukonnen from the one-Michelin-starred restaurant ORA contributed, as well as Trondheim restaurateurs Heidi Bjerkan (restaurant Credo) and Reneé Fagerhøi (Bula Bistro). Finally, Eline Haugan Bordvik – the first recipient of the legacy fund money – who is Norwegian, but cooks at restaurant Koks on the Faroe Islands (also holding one Michelin-star). Each and every one of them offered their time and service for free.
This is not a meal to review, but some of the highlights for me included Rosio Sanchez’s cod skin taco, Matt Orlando’s almond & mussel bouillon, and Mikael’s bone marrow ice cream. I hope next year’s dinner will be equally exciting and feature more top chefs from our great food region!
Did you attend the Signature dinner or Ett Bord for Karla? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.