SWEDEN: Arvid Rosengren is the world's best sommelier

SWEDEN: Arvid Rosengren is the world's best sommelier

NEWS SWEDEN: Swedish Arvid Rosengren took home the gold in yesterday’s prestigious Meilleur Sommelier du Monde competition, held in Argentina. He is thus both the reigning European and world champion.

Arvid Rosengren, educated in Swedish Grythyttan and having worked in Stockholm, London and Copenhagen, is currently living and working in New York, where he is sommelier at Soho restaurant Charlie Bird, as well as running King Street Sommeliers, a private wine service. Every Nordic country was represented in the competition, including another Swede, Robert Andersson, and the Dane Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen, who finished sixth. Making it all the way to the podium along with Rosengren were David Biraud, France, and Julie Dupoy-Young, hailing from France but representing Ireland.

The finalists were put through a wide variety of tests, such as geographical knowledge, food and wine pairing, blind tasting and decanting a magnum bottle of young Malbec. Rosengren emerged victorious, adding charisma to his impeccable service. This is Sweden’s second sommelier world champion title, since Andreas Larsson won in 2007.


NORDIC: Björn Frantzén takes Dubai

NORDIC: Björn Frantzén takes Dubai

NEWS NORDIC: The next chef to take the reins at Dubai restaurant Enigma is none other than Björn Frantzén, owner of Restaurant Frantzén in Stockholm, Sweden. Enigma will be hosted by four different chefs during 2016.

The first chef to settle in at the restaurant in January, located in luxury hotel Palazzo Versace, was Quique Dacosta, who normally delights guests at the three-star restaurant that bears his name in Valencia, Spain. His pop-up was named “Vanguard”. Björn Frantzéns concept will be named “Journey of a Nordic Chef” and run at Enigma from April 20th through June 30th. The next two chefs to take over Enigma are as-of-yet unnamed.

– I am very excited and at the same time humbled to bring my cuisine to Dubai, and I see this as an opportunity to show and introduce the flavours of the Nordic countries to Dubai's cosmopolitan residents and travellers. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with the professional team at Enigma, at the magnificent Palazzo Versace Dubai., says Frantzén in a statement.


NORDIC: Dan Barber is awarded the Global Gastronomy Award 2016

NORDIC: Dan Barber is awarded the Global Gastronomy Award 2016

NEWS NORDIC: Celebrated food philosopher, turning farm-to-table upside down – for the tenth year running, White Guide proudly presents the Global Gastronomy Award. The distinction is awarded to a chef or another gastronomical dignitary of international stature at the apex of his or her orbit, serving as a role model and inspiration within contemporary gastronomy, taking it forward – and beyond.

Global Gastronomy Award 2016 – in collaboration with Electrolux:
Dan Barber, Blue Hill, New York, USA

“For sharing his deep insights into the challenges we face regarding food sustainability and for his many initiatives to retrieve lost flavor treasures and conceive of new ones. Long celebrated as the father of the farm-to-table movement, he has realized that the current approach to local ecological sourcing is not enough to secure health and wellbeing – for us or our habitats. We need to rethink our entire approach to food, based on nature’s own laws and cycles. It is not about nostalgia – but strict science.”


SWEDEN: Top restaurants celebrated at the White Guide Gala

SWEDEN: Top restaurants celebrated at the White Guide Gala

NEWS SWEDEN: At the White Guide Gala, held today at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, awards in several categories were handed out in connection with the release of this year’s White Guide Sweden.

Extraordinary performances and achievements were celebrated, together with a special person: the restaurant guest. The latter by focusing on the overall experience – without diners, neither restaurants nor restaurant guides would be here.

Here is the list of this year’s winners and award recipients.


NORDIC: New stars in the Nordic sky

NORDIC: New stars in the Nordic sky

NEWS NORDIC: Guide Michelin published its Nordic guide today, while changing the name from "Nordic Cities" to "Nordic Guide". As expected, this meant a detour or two from the big cities, awarding stars to more remote restaurants, while also for the first time handing out three stars to restaurants in Oslo and Copenhagen.

Previously ineligible, the quality of some restaurants outside urban areas could no longer be overlooked; some restaurants receiving a star were Daniel Berlin Krog in Skåne Tranås, Hotell Borgholm on Öland island and Kadeau on Bornholm island. Fäviken Magasinet, perhaps the most remote of the bunch, was awarded two stars while entering the guide for the first time. 

– Fäviken Magasinet offers a unique dining experience in the idyllic setting of a remote hunting estate. Cooking here is highly assured, and has its essence in the surrounding land, said Rebecca Burr, editor of the Nordic Guide. 


SWEDEN: Whisky at high altitude

SWEDEN: Whisky at high altitude

NEWS SWEDEN: The first whisky brand in Sweden, Mackmyra, has teamed up with mountain resort Lofsdalen to create a skybar that also houses the highest whisky storage in Europe.

While the altitude – 1125 meters above sea level – may be high, the building is not. The round two-story house is, however, nestled atop Hovärken mountain, with panoramic windows that provide a stunning view of the steep surroundings. How to get there? Via a six-seat chairlift, if the weather allows – otherwise an all-terrain vehicle will do the trick.

The storage on the ground floor has space for 700 30-litre barrels. A barrel may be purchased for 19,900 SEK (price does not include VAT, alcohol tax or bottling fee) – but at that price, you’ll also be a member of Club 1125, with free access to the skybar and invitations to exclusive events. All the while your whisky will be aging serenely at the top of the mountain. The bar will also be available for conferences and other events.

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DENMARK: Gourmet brewery and food hall to open in Copenhagen

DENMARK: Gourmet brewery and food hall to open in Copenhagen

NEWS DENMARK: Copenhagen is getting a new hot spot that celebrates the Danish craft of brewing, as well as a restaurant, bar and gourmet shop. Having operated as a nomad brewery for the last five years, To Øl (Two Beers) has now found a home, right across the street from where it all began for the two founders.

The men behind To Øl are Tore Gynther, Tobias Emil Jensen and Morten Bruun. The first two have history with one of the most renowned names in the beer industry today: Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, who later started Mikkeller, but back then was their physics teacher and companion to some experimenting with hops in the school kitchen after hours (this being Denmark, presumably no one batted an eye about it). Across the street from school – that would be Guldbergsgade – in the district of Nørrebro, they are going big. As in 750 square meters big (over 8.000 square feet). The giant space will house oak barrels, stainless steel tanks, a pub, restaurant and – of course – guests, and besides batches of beer there will be micro-production of quality soft drinks and sodas, tonics, kombucha, bottled cocktails and even mead. The third man behind To Øl, Morten Bruun, is the ‘cocktail and tonic master’ of the gang. He has a background as a chef and looks forward to planning the snack-sized menu that will seamlessly go together with the various beverages.

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SWEDEN: Fast food by famous chefs at Teatern

SWEDEN: Fast food by famous chefs at Teatern

NEWS SWEDEN: It’s premiere weekend for fabulous food court Teatern (the Theatre), where nine famous chefs and one confectioner have gathered to serve everything from high-quality hot dogs to Sweden’s first organic and vegan fast food.

Located in shopping mall Ringen in Stockholm’s Söder district, the venue is quite unlike most food courts. Shoppers (and those just plain hungry) will have a wide range of choices, all served up by chefs with considerable experience. Perhaps the one that stands out the most is Magnus Nilsson – the wonderchild from Jämtland who usually serves up uncompromisingly local and cutting-edge fare at his Fäviken Magasinet, ranked as the best restaurant in Sweden in the White Guide Nordic 2016. For his very first permanent venture outside of Jämtland, he has chosen Teatern where he will be serving – hot dogs. He has already been touring Sweden with a food truck this year, serving the beloved Swedish classic (which includes putting shrimp salad on the hot dog). His “Korvkiosken” means, literally, “The hot dog stand”.

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NORDIC: Japan wins the Global Sushi Challenge

NORDIC: Japan wins the Global Sushi Challenge

NEWS NORDIC: On November 25th, the Global Sushi Challenge was held in Tokyo. This largest-ever competition in sushi-making had two Nordic representatives: Magnus Wallin, of Rå Epok in Helsingborg, Sweden, and Mark Jayson Subia, of Alex Sushi in Oslo, Norway. The victory went to Jun Jibiki of Japan.

The competition was hosted by the World Sushi Skills Institute in collaboration with the Norwegian Seafood Council, with the intent to crown the world’s most skilled sushi chef. 14 competitors participated, each having already won the semi-final in their respective country. In the final, the competitors created Edomae and creative sushi with Norwegian salmon as the head ingredient.

None of the Nordic competitors ended up on the winners' podium – but for Swedish competitor Magnus Wallin, having the chance to go to Japan for the first time was a prize in itself. He has been making sushi for ten years, and owns two sushi restaurants in the south of Sweden together with Daniel Joannou. In their restaurants, only sushi made from sustainable sources is served, and guests may find themselves eating local as well, for instance Swedish pike. Wallin got off to a tough start on the trip to Japan, when the arrival of his luggage containing both knives and delicacies was delayed for a day. Still, he wowed judges with his uramaki of dill-pickled cucumber, cured salmon, smoked mayonnaise and smoked salmon, topped by vendace roe and fresh dill.

Image: Magnus Wallin's winning creative sushi plate in the Swedish semifinal, courtesy of Global Sushi Challenge.


SWEDEN: Myllymäki moves to Kvarnbacken

SWEDEN: Myllymäki moves to Kvarnbacken

NEWS SWEDEN: Tommy Myllymäki has won the Swedish Chef of the Year competition and placed second and third in Bocuse D’Or on separate occasions. Now he is done with competing, and setting his sights on another prize: A new restaurant, located on the island of Djurgården in central Stockholm.

For Myllymäki, competitive as he is, ambitions are just as high as when he was going for gold in the Bocuse D’Or. In an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri, he said he was going to create “the world’s best restaurant”. It may have been said in jest – but with Myllymäki, who knows?

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