Over the past two decades there has been a revolution in the quality and variety of local produce in Trøndelag. This grassroots movement has transformed the reputation of the region’s food scene, and Trondheim-Trøndelag has subsequently been rewarded with the title of European Region of Gastronomy 2022.
At Britannia Hotel, we celebrate local produce on every menu, every day.
Nowhere in the hotel’s collection of bars and restaurants is the passion for local produce more readily displayed than in the breakfast served in Palmehaven. Ever since reopening in 2019, Sous Chef Øivind Tiller has worked tirelessly to create and promote local products.
In the second of a series of articles delving into these collaborative products, we explore the relationship the hotel enjoys with its primary meat supplier, Røroskjøtt.
Bacon and Ham from Røroskjøtt
Britannia has relationships with suppliers the length and breadth of Trøndelag (and beyond). However, there's no denying that the mining town of Røros is disproportionately represented.
So, how has this tiny mountain town, with a population of a little over 5,000, established itself as such a haven for ecological food production and independent producers? There are many factors at play, but most agree that it’s the collaborative spirit and organisation amongst its local actors which have driven the food revolution.
“Rørosmat and its members are proud suppliers to Britannia Hotel's restaurants," explains Hilde Sorken, Director of Rørosmat, an organization of 26 food-loving producers in the region. "Being recognised as a supplier to a five-star hotel is a collaboration which inspires unity among our growers and strengthens our motto: Sammen om matglede ('united by the love of food'). It is a hallmark of quality for our organisation.”
“We were lucky enough to part of the team when Britannia reopened,” says Sten Thure Solli, Operations Manager at Røroskøtt. “We have a range of seasonal products, and also items which we deliver the whole year round. We pride ourselves on animal welfare and also in knowing our customers, and what they want. We have in fact developed quite a range of products with Britannia.”
Included in this range is Coppa ham, a pork neck joint which is carefully cured over time, with lots of salt, spices and herbs. It is vacuumed and lies in the fridge for four to six weeks, before being hung to dry for two to three months. The result is a cured ham which tastes delicious, not too salty, but full of spice and peppery hints.
Øivind has also just made a special new salami with seaweed which tastes like truffle from the ocean, picked just outside of town at Byneset. Another local and unique product to Britannia. “These products give our guests a taste of Trøndelag but also bring attention to the hotel and will hopefully win awards in the future,” explains the chef Øivind.
Røroskjøtt also delivers different hams and a thick cut smoked bacon, with much lower water content and not injected with salt. It is a standard setting product which is found on several of the breakfast dishes, including the liver paté, reminiscent of the finest five-star breakfasts on the continent.
“The most important thing for breakfast in general is good quality eggs, bacon and juice,” says Øivind. “So it was very important for us to have excellent bacon. We think you will agree!”
Breakfast in Palmehaven
Breakfast at Britannia is designed to stand out from traditional hotel offerings, with a greater emphasis on à la carte dishes, which are prepared to order, meaning fresher food and less waste (at no extra cost to the guest, as they are included in the price). Each and every item on the menu is carefully thought out, using only the finest ingredients, mostly local and often made specially for the hotel.
The à la carte menu is accompanied by a high-quality buffet and warm dishes from various chef stations, all served with Palmehaven’s traditional flair and service standards. This interaction allows guests the luxury of engaging with the chefs and waiters, who are proud to serve the local products which dominate the menu. However, as Øivind explains, it is the collaborative spirit of the local suppliers which is critical… and the taste:
“As long as the products are good quality and available we will happily work with them. I have some products from other areas of the country, for example we get our smoked salmon from Vega (in North Norway), because they were willing to let me work with them and create our own taste profile.”
“In Trøndelag we have a great number of incredible suppliers, who are equally satisfying to work with. My goal is for us to serve the best breakfast I can, to give our guests the best start to the day. These products are not just gimmicks, we are working to create the best flavour combinations and thankfully many of the best suppliers are on our doorstep.”
“I don’t like to be purely in the kitchen and just see and use food,” explains the chef. “I want to go out to our suppliers and see what they do, get some inspiration. That way I can learn how to make cheese, how a beer is brewed, see the process behind curing hams. Then I am inspired to make our own (Britannia) products with them. This provides something special for our guests to talk about.”
And talk about it they do. “The breakfast is insanely gorgeous and Scandinavian,” wrote Fodor’s Travel after visiting in 2020.
Article by Wil Lee-Wright, translated to Norwegian by HvabeHager. All photos by Wil Lee-Wright unless otherwise specified.