Wine & Dine

More Michelin stars to Nordic restaurants in 2019 – report from the award show

For fans and lovers of the Nordic gastronomic scene, and chefs as well, the yearly Michelin awards are awaited with a mixture of anticipation and anxiety.  The good news was in command as new stars were gained.

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Pictures and text by Inger Stokkink

The pungent smell of cheese, tørfisk being beaten with hammers – not a usual sight (or smell) for the music venue, Musikhuset, in Aarhus.

The night is a special night: the Michelin stars for 2019 are going to be revealed for the Nordic countries. It is also special because it is the first time that Aarhus hosts the event. Previously it was always Copenhagen doing the honours.

Aarhus has been reaching for the culinary stars – and successfully so – since 2015, and now boasts four Michelin starred restaurants: Frederikshøj, Gastromé, Substans and Domestic.

Two restaurants received a ’bib’, a mention for giving good value for money: Pondus and Hærværk. And all of them managed again this year to maintain the high Michelin standard.

But enough about Aarhus. These are the new restaurants in the Nordic Michelin Guide 2019 who won their first star:

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Fagn in Trondheim – with a special mention for their potato tagliatelle
Credo in Trondheim – owned by Heidi Bjerkan, who also won the Michelin Sustainability Award 2019

Alouette in Copenhagen – their sauces deeply impressed the Michelin inspector

Palace in Helsinki – got back the star they were awarded in 1987!

Two Michelin stars have been awarded to Gastrologik in Stockholm, Sweden, Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Koks in the Faeroe Islands.

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Chef Poul Andrias Ziska from Koks has also won the Young Chef Award 2019. It blows your mind that the 28-year-old chef runs a two starred restaurant on the faraway Faeroe Islands. And according to the inspectors, he is the Chef of Flavour – and really outstanding.

No new restaurants were awarded with three stars, but those who had them already kept theirs as they had been able to keep the exceptional standard required of a three starred restaurant; Maaemo in Oslo, Norway, Frantzén in Stockholm, Sweden, and Geranium in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Then something unexpected happens: Geranium chef Rasmus Kofoed explains that his daughter Camilla, who has accompanied him, celebrates her 7th birthday today, and as she joins him on stage, Michelin produces a gift for her (a Michelin backpack in red, just like her dress) and the audience bursts out singing the Danish version of Happy Birthday to her – a sweet gesture.

After the ceremony all 500 guests and chefs stream out to the lobby, where they can sample offerings of gastronomic dishes. Happy chefs in white jackets, with big smiles and starry eyes, talking into their phones, pace the floor.

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Double award winner Heidi Kjerkan immediately gets to work after the awards ceremony. She pulls wisps of cod flakes apart, dropping them in little bowls with home-churned butter and a drizzle of salt crystals.

” A Norwegian snack,” she says.

All the while, colleagues and fellow-Norwegians are stopping by to congratulate her, but she never stops working – nor talking, switching from English to Norwegian and back again.

Her restaurant Credo in Trondheim is already fully booked until June, and they just started on a new location. She has a close collaboration with two farms, which supply her with local produce of meats and vegetables. Sustainability and sustainable agriculture are the basis on which her cuisine is founded.

“I enjoy that our restaurant is getting more attention now. I think that all chefs should take responsibility for sustainable cooking.”

A little flash of pride lightens up her eyes when I remark that she is the only woman in this company of chefs.

“But I am first and foremost a chef. I don’t think about being a woman,” she says.

Her advice to a beginning cook is to work the earth: ” Start growing things!”

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The 2019 Michelin Nordic Guide is something like the Oscars to chefs around the Nordic area. In the past years  a range of new restaurants gained their first star, something which has really benefited not only them but also their local suppliers.

One star means that it is a really good restaurant in its category, two stars means it is worth the detour, and three stars that it is worth the journey. A ’bib’, is a mention for giving good value for money, and several restaurants were awarded a new bib.

In addition to Trondheim in Norway appearing in the guide for the first time, Aalborg and Rønde in Denmark, Grindavik in Iceland, and Kosta in Sweden all make their debuts in 2019. Overall 30 restaurants have been added to the Nordic Michelin Guide 2019.

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If you are looking for outstanding meals around Denmark find here the 2019 selection:

3 stars:

Geranium (Copenhagen)

2 stars:

New Noma, Copenhagen

Restaurant AOC, Copenhagen
Henne Kirkeby Kro (South Jutland – located in Henne just 30 minutes from Esbjerg)
Kadeau, Copenhagen

The Faraoe Islands:
Koks, Thorshavn

1 star:

Copenhagen area
New Alouette, Copenhagen
Jordnær, Gentofte
Formel B
Kiin Kiin
Kong Hans Kælder
D’Angleterre – Marchal
Søllerød Kro (outside Copenhagen in Søllerød)
Studio at the Standard

Kadeau (located in Åkirkeby )

South Jutland:
MeMu, Vejle
Ti Trin Ned,Fredericia

Hotel Frederiksminde (located in Præstø)
Slotskøkkenet located in Hørve/Dragsholm Slot



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Or go for the restaurants with a Bib Gourmand

New Selma
New Moment (Rønde on Bornholm)
Anarki ‘
Frederiks Have
Kødbyens Fiskebar’
Marv & Ben’
Musling Bistro’
Hærværk (Aarhus)’
Pondus (Aarhus)’