Trondheim ready for new food pilgrims

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The Norwegian city of Trondheim has drawn pilgrims to its Nidaros Cathedral for centuries. Now food worshippers are likely to make pilgrimages as well, after two of its restaurants finally won Michelin stars Monday night.

Trondheim’s Nidarosdomen has drawn tourists and pilgrims for years, and now the city can boast new magnets for food lovers as well. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

They’re the first Michelin stars for the seaside city that’s surrounded by hills and farmland. They recognize what locals have known for years: Trondheim has some fabulous food temples as well as a cathedral from the Middle Ages.

Staff at restaurants Fagn and Credo were cheering, yelling and even crying with joy as the announcements from Michelin’s Nordic awards ceremony came from Aarhus in Denmark. The head chef at Credo, Heidi Bjerkan, also became the first female Norwegian chef to win a Michelin star.

“This feels great, and the finest thing is in fact the prize we won for being the most sustainable restaurant,” Bjerkan told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), which covered the entire awards ceremony live on Monday. Bjerkan said she was also glad Fagn won a star, and thinks it’s important for Trondheim. So do city officials, who think it can further boost tourism.

Credo had already been ranked as the best restaurant in the country last year by newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), known for its critical and creative restaurant reviews. Michelin’s recognition of Fagn came as more of a surprise, also for its founder and chef Jonas Nåvik.

“We’ve never been part of this (Michelin reviewing) before,”  Nåvik told NRK. “I have always felt that we have worked very correctly to create a good Trøndersk food experience,” he added, referring to the name of the central Norwegian region around Trondheim.

“Now we’ll have to set some new goals,” he said while praising his team and his family for their hard work and support. “We can’t rest on our laurels, we must continue to develop.”

Oslo restaurant Maaemo, manwhile, retained all three of its Michelin stars, while restaurants Galt, Kontrast and Statholdergaarden in Norway’s capital city kept their single stars as well. So did Stavanger restaurants Renaa and Sabi Omakase. Renaa was the first restaurant located outside Oslo to win a Michelin star, after criticism over how Michelin reviewers rarely failed to venture beyond the Nordic capitals.

The latest batch of Michelin awards Monday night left Norway as a whole with eight restaurants holding 10 stars in the Michelin Guide. All three Scandinavian capitals now have a three-star restaurant: Maaemo in Oslo, Frantzén in Stockholm and Geranium in Copenhagen.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund