Four Norwegian restaurants retained their Michelin stars when a new edition of the French guidebook was unveiled amidst traditional hyperbole on Thursday. All of them are in Oslo, none received any new stars and no new stars were awarded to any other restaurants either.
One high-profile Norwegian chef, Eyvind Hellstrøm, was also disappointed with a new Nordic guide published by Michelin. “I don’t think it’s especially Nordic,” Hellstrøm told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). He noted that it only contains two new cities and Michelin continued to concentrate on restaurants in the Nordic capitals, while many good restaurants are located in outlying areas. Among them, for example, is an inn and restaurant outside Bergen whose young chef just led the team that won the prestigious Bocuse dOr award this winter.
The restaurant business has become big business in Norway in recent years, while Norwegian chefs have won increasing numbers of international awards. Hellstrøm and other chefs had expected that more restaurants outside Oslo would attract some Michelin stars. Instead, Michelin went with the same restaurants it hailed last year.
Maaemo, which opened a few years ago in a newly redeveloped area next to the train tracks leading into Oslo’s central station, retained its two Michelin stars. The relatively new restaurant Fauna near Solli Plass in Oslo retained its single Michelin star as did the classic Statholdergaarden and Ylajali restaurants downtown. Ylajali recently announced plans to close by the end of year, however, because of restrictions at its current location and its owner’s desire for renewal.