The Oslo restaurant Maaemo gets back its three Michelin stars. They received three stars in 2016, but lost these in 2020 when they closed their doors to change premises.
After a challenging year with corona-closed restaurants and a halt in alcohol serving, Maaemo was the only Norwegian restaurant to be (re)awarded new stars during the Michelin award ceremony.
The restaurant has three stars – the most that can be achieved in the prestigious food guide. Michelin’s definition of three stars is “incredibly good kitchen, worth a trip of its own.”
Touching and emotional
The Nordic Michelin guide’s award ceremony was held digitally from the Stavanger Concert Hall, with actress Line Verndal leading the show.
Chef Esben Holmboe Bang was present during the ceremony.
“For me, three stars is the greatest honor you can achieve as a chef, as a team, as a restaurant. Having had three stars before and trying to get them again… It has been a very touching and emotional journey,” he said from the stage.
Losing the stars initially
There has been a lot of excitement about Holmboe Bang’s restaurant even before this year’s ceremony. The gourmet eatery in Oslo was the first Norwegian restaurant to boast three stars when they were awarded these back in 2016.
Last year, however, Maaemo lost its stars because the restaurant closed. The reason was moving to new premises, and Maaemo reopened in Bjørvika in Oslo in March 2020.
Maaemo has not only now gotten its stars back, but has also received a green star. This eco-friendly award is given to sustainable restaurants.
No Norwegian restaurants were awarded stars for the first time, but Henrik Dahl Jahnsen at Speilsalen in Trondheim received the sommelier award.
Needed time in Norway
Several predicted a modest distribution of Michelin stars this year, due to the corona pandemic and subsequently also the entry restrictions. Originally, the ceremony was to be held at the beginning of February, but it was ultimately postponed until this Monday. One of Norway’s biggest restaurant bloggers, Anders Husa, said that Norway’s government was the reason for the postponement.
“To my knowledge, the guide has been postponed until September precisely because the inspectors needed more time to visit Norway, which has been a very difficult country to get into due to entry restrictions in addition to many lockdowns,” he told the VG website godt.no before the ceremony.
In 2020, four Norwegian restaurants received their first star, spread over Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen, and Lindesnes. That was the first time that restaurants in Bergen and Lindesnes could boast the prestigious award. The Stavanger restaurant Re-Naa went from one to two stars.
The first Nordic Michelin guide came in 2015.
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