During last year's Nordic Michelin awards ceremony in Aarhus in February, there was one Norwegian city in particular which was extremely excited and expectant. Could the rumours that Trondheim would finally get its first stars be true?
After many years of wondering why the world-famous guide had not visited the burgeoning food scene in Trøndelag, home to what many refer to as Norway's premier food city, this year the recognition finally came. The cheers could be heard echoing across Trondheim’s fjords and mountainous terrain, as the city brought home not one, but two stars. The first was awarded to the food-scene veteran, Credo, with Heidi Bjerkan's fantastic menu based on a sustainable food philosophy (which was also won the inaugural Sustainable Restaurant of the Year award) and the second went to the relatively fresh Fagn, led by Jonas Nåvik, with its more modern and playful menu.
For the food lovers and makers of Trondheim, this felt like the start of something bigger. The stars sparked the sort of international attention that the city has craved for many years, but what many did not know was that the city was already working strategically towards 2020 and bigger dreams. The team from Visit Trondheim and a separate working group, were pitching to get Trondheim as the host city for the Michelin Nordic Countries 2020 Star Revelation.
Hard work pays off, and in July last year it was announced that the next Nordic distribution will take place in Trondheim in February 2020.
The ceremony itself will take place in the Olavs Hall and award dinner will be held at the Britannia Hotel. Palmehaven, Britannia Hall and the hotel's beautiful common areas are being used to create a large food court, where the very best ingredients from the region will be presented to the world press, as well as new and experienced star chefs.
The event is expected to have over 120 accredited journalists and 100s of excited chefs who all hope to either keep or fulfill their dream of gaining a Michelin star(s). For many, it is an important and nerve-wrecking experience, as they navigate the merciless and legendary testing process, with Michelin’s notorious, secret inspectors.
Those in attendance carry with them some of the world’s best palettes, and so Britannia will have to be on to form to deliver an experience to match the prowess of the visiting food dignitaries. The pioneers of the star restaurants in the Nordic region and some of those who have put Scandinavia on the map with New Nordic Cuisine - Noma, Geranium, Frantzén, Fäviken and Maaemo - all receive selected ingredients from Trøndelag and will be no strangers to what the region has to offer.
Most of these previous winners serves seafood and shellfish from these shores, but also organic dairy products from Røros. Scallops, langoustine and crab are sent to not only the best restaurants in the Europe, but all over the world, a factor which turned the Michelin’s eyes and noses towards Trondheim.
One of the most talked about by press and experts for this year's awards is Britannia’s very own Christopher Davidsen. Speilsalen, his first signature restaurant, with a young and ambitious team is already receiving fantastic reception since opening in April. For Christopher himself, the Michelin star is the next natural target he has set himself to achieve within three years, after winning silver in the Bocuse d´Or in 2017 and gold in the Global Chef Challenge, the official World Culinary Championship in 2013.
An abundance of unique ingredients, combined with the many new and exciting restaurants in recent years, is as much of the reason why Trondheim was just chosen as the host city and highlighted as Norway's “food capital”. This has also helped lay the foundation for the new branding of the city under the slogan Home of Nordic Flavours.
Home of Nordic Flavours is a slogan that encompasses the many unique qualities of the region including the local food, tech and start-up community, education and research institutions, Viking history, etc. - the list is long. We strongly believe that Trondheim, Home of Nordic Flavours, is a place where wonderful local produce harvested from mountains, fjords and fertile hinterlands is combined with a diversity of arts, culture, nature and knowledge.Tanja Holmen, Visit Trondheim
It is one more reason for Britannia Hotel to get excited about this incredible event, and a big step forward for Trondheim in its long-term efforts to make its mark as the Home of Nordic Flavours. One thing is for sure; the future’s bright, the future is starry!