The Michelin Guide has announced its 2021 selection for the Nordic countries and there are two new three-star restaurants: Noma in Copenhagen and Maaemo in Oslo.
Rene Redzepi’s Copenhagen temple of Nordic cuisine, Noma, was finally awarded a third Michelin star at a ceremony streamed from the Stavanger Concert Hall in Norway.
Noma has rested on two Michelin stars for over a decade, even when it had been at the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2010 and 2011. Redzepi closed Noma to move it to an urban farm in a new location just outside Copenhagen. The restaurant opened in 2018 after a year-long hiatus.
Having reopened over the summer after a period of enforced lockdown, and even a rebranding to a wine and burger bar for locals, Noma has returned to full operation as one of the most innovative restaurants in the world, intimately connected with nature and endlessly inventive with seasonal and foraged produce as well as it’s fermentation practices.
"Wow. I don’t know what to say, I’m completely flabbergasted…”, said Redzepi at the ceremony. “I’m completely surprised, I feel something I haven’t felt before, I don’t know what to express right now. I’m really, really, really, completely blown away. I’m so happy to have a few of my team members here to be in this special moment. We’ve had two stars, since I think it’s 2007, this is 14 years of waiting, we have patience. At one point you also think maybe it’s never going to happen."
"I can’t believe we’re going to have to draw up another star on our plaque. Oh - you’ll send a new plaque of course?" added the chef, dryly.
Redzepi was also the recipient of the Michelin Chef Mentor Award in recognition of the huge influence he has had on the many chefs who have passed through his world-famous kitchen.
The return of Noma to three-star status was anticipated, but the return to three-star status of Oslo restaurant Maaemo was more unexpected. Previously in possession of the three-star accolade, the stars were rescinded when chef-owner Esben Holmboe Bang closed the restaurant to move to another location.
Kong Hans Kælder, where chef Mark Lundgaard riffs on French cuisine, was promoted from one star to two. The Oslo restaurant was also awarded the Michelin Green Star for sustainability. The Michelin Guide continues its admiration of the Nordic region with this edition, bringing the total of starred restaurants in the area to 65, including 49 one-star, 12 two-star, and four three-star restaurants.
Nine restaurants are recognised with a Green Star for sustainability. Newly awarded are: in Finland, Grön, Helsinki; in Norway, Maaemo, Oslo; in Sweden, ÄNG, Tvååker; in Denmark, Domestic in Aarhus, Henne Kirkby Kro in Henne, LYST in Vejle and Ark, Brace and Tèrra in Copenhagen.
Now a three-Michelin-star restaurant, Noma has changed, but not necessarily on the plate. According to Kenneth Foong, it's all about the way the team works, which is closer to a tech company than a traditional restaurant. Read our exclusive interview with Noma's head chef.
The Michelin Guide has published its listing for Washington D.C., with one new two-star and four new one-star restaurants. The Inn at Little Washington is the capital's only three-star restaurant. Take a look.