The Michelin Guide Nordic Countries 2020 is about to launch. We are here in Olavshallen in Trondheim where the event is taking place tonight. Norway’s third-largest city is the host this year – the first time the award show will be held in Norway. Trondheim-Trøndelag was also awarded the European Region of Gastronomy 2022, so they are clearly putting a lot of effort into getting the city’s food scene on the map. The new international director of the Michelin Guide, Gwendal Poullennec, will be present on stage to personally hand out the new Michelin stars, and nervous chefs are present in the audience. You can check our predictions about tonight’s results here. Keep checking this story for updates as the evening progresses.
Last Minute Rumors & Predictions
We’ve been in Trondheim since Saturday and have spotted some chefs in town, which could indicate that their restaurants might be getting stars. Among them are Jonas Lagerström and Danny Falkeman from Etoile in Stockholm, Rasmus Munk from Alchemist, Øyvind Ellingsen from Bare in Bergen, as well as Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen and the team from Under in Lindesnes, which are all restaurants we have predicted will get a star tonight. (Update: They all got stars, as predicted!) However, Svein Trandem and Sara Johansson from Einer are also here, as well as Sebastian Myrhre from Stallen, and Vladimir Pak from Omakase. While it’s not unlikely that they get a star, there could be other reasons for their invitations. For example, the sustainability awards or simply a Michelin plate. Sadly, neither À L’aise nor Rest are in attendance, so it’s not looking good for them. Update: Omakase by Vladimir Pak got one star! Making Sabi Sushi the only restaurant group in Norway with two Michelin-starred restaurants in their portfolio. À L’aise and Rest, two of Oslo’s best restaurants, were sadly overlooked by the French guide this year. We can only hope that the Michelin inspectors give them their well-deserved stars next year.
Re-naa Finally Gets Two Stars
Finally, Michelin has recognized the high level of cooking at Stavanger’s top restaurant, Re-Naa. We’ve been saying for years that Chef Sven Erik Renaa deserved to be upgraded to the two-star tier, and our latest meal this December strongly confirmed this opinion. After their big move to the Eilert Smith Hotel, we saw improvements at every level of the restaurant – flavors, presentations, service, and ambiance. Chef Sven Erik Renaa and his wife Torill have enriched the food scene in Stavanger for a decade now, not only with their world-class restaurant Re-naa, but also with more casual spots like Renaa:Matbaren, Renaa Xpress, and the wine bar Lou Lou.
Alchemist Enters the Guide With Two Stars
To no surprise, restaurant Alchemist in Copenhagen by Chef Rasmus Munk entered the Michelin Guide with two stars. Only Maaemo and Fäviken have done that before in the Nordics. Alchemist got their two stars even faster, having been open only seven months. Other new two stars in the Nordics are Aloë in Stockholm and Jordnær outside Copenhagen. Watch the Youtube video from our meal at Alchemist here:
Newly-Opened Speilsalen Gets One Star!
The modern fine dining restaurant from Bocuse d’Or Chef Christopher Davidsen has stunning presentations and flavors to match. We returned to Speilsalen a few days ago (while in Trondheim for the Michelin events) and were very impressed. The restaurant has come a long way since our first visit in May!
Restaurant Bare Lands the First Star in Bergen!
I said it already in 2018, but finally Bare got their well-deserved Michelin star today – the very first in Bergen! Lysverket was long viewed as the most obvious Michelin star candidate in the city, but while Chef Haatuft has moved towards a more casual style of cooking, the guys at Bare have gone in the completely opposite direction.
One Star for Under – The World’s Largest Underwater Restaurant
Scandinavia’s newest destination restaurant, Under, is situated under the sea at the southernmost tip of Norway. Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen’s breathtaking restaurant is the largest underwater restaurant in the world and the first of its kind in Europe. Watch our Youtube video from the meal here:
Maaemo Removed From the Guide
Norway’s most esteemed restaurant, Maaemo, entered the Michelin guide with two stars in 2012 and received three stars in 2016. Chef Esben Holmboe Bang closed his restaurant at the end of December and will reopen Maaemo 2.0 in a new location next week. Why Michelin decided to remove the restaurant from the guide completely is not fully explained. To our understanding, the stars are awarded for the past year of service and not the coming year. This decision by Michelin is especially confusing since Re-Naa was in the same position last year. Despite being closed during the Michelin awards, with plans to reopen in a new location one month later, they were still in the guide with one star. Two other restaurants that actually did lose their stars this year were Studio (as predicted) and Era Ora in Copenhagen. The former was expected, due to a frequent change of head chef, and perhaps was the latter no surprise either (it was outdated).
There were no new three-star restaurants in the Nordics. Maaemo was removed from the guide since they are currently closed. This also means that Noma still did not get the third star.
- Aloë ⭐⭐
- Re-naa ⭐⭐
- Bare ⭐
- Under ⭐
- Etoile ⭐
- Inari ⭐
- Dill ⭐
- Barabba (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Nolla (Helsinki, Finland)
- Allegrine (Stockholm, Sweden)
- Speceriet (Stockholm, Sweden)
From the stage, Gwendal Poullennec announced that there are three special awards this year: service, sustainability, and chef mentor.
- The sustainability award this year went to Magnus Ek of Oaxen Krog and Slip in Stockholm for championing sustainable ingredients for years, and for caring about every aspect of the dining experience, including animal welfare and his employees.
- The service award went to Tina Kragh Vilgaard of Jordnær in Copenhagen.
- The chef mentor award went to Rasmus Kofoed of Geranium in Copenhagen.