WHITE GUIDE NORDIC: Mountainous and narrow, with a deeply jagged coastline that stretches over 100,000 km – one of the world’s longest – Norway boasts a dramatic topography and challenging agricultural conditions that forced its scattered people to focus on survival rather than gastronomic finesse; their culinary mores were dictated by what the sea provided. Having endured both Danish and Swedish rule over the centuries, Norwegian identity was never a simple matter, and Norway’s self-esteem issues extended all the way to its cuisine. Not so much any longer.
After a good ten-year run, Magnus Nilsson closed his celebrated, starred restaurant in the hinterlands of Jämtland. Fäviken redefined Swedish gastronomy and won a spot on the culinary world map. White Guide’s Lars Peder Hedberg shares Nilsson’s last meal, he reflects upon what was and contemplates Fäviken’s influence on Swedish restaurant culture.
WHITE GUIDE NORDIC: Throughout history, Denmark has been a bridge between continental Europe and the Nordics. Many fads and trends from the south, food-related and other, were tested here before eventually spreading north. However, a decade and a half ago, the roles were reversed as the ground-breaking New Nordic Cuisine was conceptualized in Denmark through its legendary Manifesto 2004 inspiring innovative and locavore gastronomy worldwide...
WHITE GUIDE NORDIC: An oblong, slender sliver of land, Sweden stretches from the barren artic to the “Bay of Plenty” where a bridge connects the country with Denmark and the rest of Europe. Anchoring this southern region is Malmö, a vibrant city that keeps a lively dialogue with Copenhagen and offers a smattering of similarly sculpted, small-scale eateries tucked into formerly sallow – now straight-up swish – industrial sites where micro-trends are born and spread nationwide, and where the creative set sips natural wine...
WHITE GUIDE DENMARK: The four-month-old Copenhagen restaurant Alchemist rattled the Danish culinary establishment on Monday when White Guide Denmark unveiled this year's Master Level list and the 2020 guide at a gala in Kødbyen, Copenhagen. It is a very close run at the top; a total of four restaurants landed on 39 out of a possible 40 food points.
WHITE GUIDE NORDIC: Iceland is the cocky kid brother of the well-behaved Nordic family. Despite its population of a mere 360 000 people, it has attitude to match any of its Scandinavian peers and attractions that sometimes outshine the neighbors' offerings--not least when it comes to extraordinary hospitality experiences.
THE LONG READ: Almost one-third of all the negative impact on our living environment, including the deteriorating climate, originates from our food system. This is why gastronomy has to address issues beyond itself. The Nordics' most buzz-worthy restaurant, Alchemist in Copenhagen, raises some very relevant questions, loudly manifested in a 50-course extravaganza with plenty of hi-tech high-jinx and a fair amount of pranks.
WHITE GUIDE NORDIC: Don’t expect traditional porterage upon arrival or ritualistic turndown service at night. Don’t think extra fluff is standard issue, it isn’t, not even at top-notch hotels. Informal hospitality is practically a Nordic invention, reflecting the region’s egalitarian attitudes as well as its exorbitant staffing costs. What you can expect is smart design and clever functionalities that will reduce your need for token white-glove features while genuine assistance will be there when you really need it. If you ask Nordic people, today’s hospitality ideal is “staying with friends”. Of course this notion doesn’t always work out as anticipated, just like it doesn’t always do with friends either.
RESTAURANT NEWS: Noma and Geranium, both from Copenhagen, secure top positions – #2 and #5 respectively – on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list 2019. Noma is the fastest riser ever, after closing, relocating and reinventing itself as an urban farm. Further north, in Stockholm, Frantzén also made a hefty reentry at #21 - "back with a bang", having moved into a new, ultra-luxe space.
WHITE GUIDE NORDIC: If Finland was a bit slow to embrace the New Nordic food movement, it's mostly because its main beliefs were Old Testament here. By and large, Finnish gastronomy has always relied on locavore principles, and what was partly lost and forgotten in the other Scandinavian countries survived here. The proximity to Russia and more than a hundred years of tsarist rule has left its culinary traces, adding a somewhat unique dimension. Today Finland has a thriving food scene, offering a rich spectrum of innovative and traditional food experiences.