The entire food industry is getting ready for the party night in Stavanger Concert Hall on Monday. Then the Michelin stars will be awarded to restaurants in the Nordic countries.
– There are some surprises with Michelin every year. They always have some good cards hidden up their sleeves, says Anders Husa, who runs one of Scandinavia’s largest blogs about restaurants, food and travel.
New this year is that Michelin has pre-launched a list of restaurants included in the guide. But no one knows if they will get a star, the Bib Gourmand award, the sustainability brand green star, or just stand as a recommendation.
Among others, Avalon in Oslo, Boen Gård in Tveit, Jossa Mat & Drikke in Trondheim, Moon in Bergen and Sabi Enso in Stavanger are mentioned in the pre-launch.
– But none of these are “fine dining” restaurants, so I’m a little unsure if any of them will get a star. That’s why I think Michelin probably has a surprise in store, says Husa.
Seems more deserves one star
Husa believes Norway has several good candidates for new stars.
– I have long believed that À L’aise and Rest in Oslo should have had one star. It is also likely that Björn Svensson’s new restaurant Schlägergården will receive one star. Michelin loves to check out restaurants from former Michelin chefs, he says.
The newly opened Mon Oncle in Oslo, which is run by the same star chef as Maaemo, is also a candidate.
In addition, Husa believes that Lofoten Food Studio at Ballstad and Kvitnes Gård at Kvitnes are exciting names.
– These are not typical places Michelin finds its way to, but they would then see that there is fantastic good food there.
He is unsure whether anyone will be able to take the step from one to two stars, but mentions the Mirror Hall in Trondheim as an option.
The strongest card is in Stavanger
Maaemo in Oslo is the only Norwegian restaurant with three stars in the Michelin guide.
– They easily keep those stars. It is without a doubt one of the world’s best restaurants, on a par with anything in the world, says Husa.
– Do you think Norway can end up with more 3-star restaurants after the distribution on Monday?
– In that case, it must be Re-Naa in Stavanger. I think they are very close to 3 star level, if they are not already there. Personally, I think Michelin will wait a bit longer before they upgrade Re-Naa. They want to be absolutely sure that the restaurant delivers at a stable level over several years.
At the same time, Husa believes that the Michelin guide wants news that makes headlines.
– So she can. Re-Naa is my strongest card if I were to guess a new 3-star.
Think Trondheim can get 2-star
Husa believes no Norwegian restaurants will lose their stars this year. Restaurant reviewer Mathias Steinbru in VG is more uncertain about just that.
– You should not be too confident that you keep your stars. They have not been given forever, he says.
Steinbru thinks Lysverket in Bergen can get a star. And Credo in Trondheim can go from one to two stars.
– Credo is one of my favorites throughout the years. It is a cooking and a taste palette that I think is completely unique, he says.
Like Husa, he also highlights À L’aise in Oslo.
– They maintain a very high quality and are really worth a trip.
Steinbru is also excited about Re-Naa.
– They do a brilliant job, so you should not ignore that they get three stars.
In Stavanger, chef and restaurant owner Sven Erik Renaa has been most busy with the Gladmatfestivalen in recent days.
He has no faith that Michelin will hand out another star to him and the team this year.
– You have to keep the level for a long time. It is extremely rare to move up to three stars very quickly. But, of course, we had never been sorry for a third star.