Michelin Stars: Books by Top Nordic Chefs and Restaurants
Sep 22, 2023
The Nordic culinary scene has been making waves in recent years, garnering international recognition for its emphasis on simplicity, uncompromising quality, and unique ingredients. In this article, we will take you through the pages of books written by some of the top Nordic Michelin-starred chefs and restaurants. Join us as we explore their remarkable stories, signature styles, and the impact they have had on the Scandinavian gastronomic landscape.
1. Frantzen by Björn Frantzen
This exquisitely elegant book presents the remarkable creations of Chef Bjorn Frantzen, showcased at his renowned namesake restaurant in Stockholm. Frantzen is the only three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Sweden.
Frantzen unveils his confident creativity and profound appreciation for global traditions. A startling example is the "Hong Kong style" egg tart, featuring luscious black truffle, roasted yeast chantilly, and salted raisin toffee, drawing inspiration from the Portuguese delicacy, pasteis de nata. Grilled white asparagus finds harmonious companionship with young coconut, roasted coffee, and a velvety lemongrass velouté. A delicate vol-au-vent filled with mushroom miso explores the interplay of sake, juniper, and galangal root. While the Frantzen restaurant is adventurous in its use of ingredients from far and wide, almost always the centerpiece of the meal will be local food.
Every dish is captivatingly photographed and accompanied by the chef's insightful notes on its origins and sources of inspiration. Detailed recipes can be found in a separate section towards the end of the book, allowing readers to delve into the secrets behind Frantzen's masterful creations.
Dressed in a luxurious deep navy blue cloth binding, Frantzen bears its title elegantly stamped on the front cover in shimmering copper foil, complemented by a matching iridescent copper full-edge stain. Aspiring chefs would love to produce a book like this.
2. Noma 2.0: Vegetable, Forest, Ocean by René Redzepi, Mette Søberg, and Junichi Takahashi
The definitive Nordic restaurant Noma, in Copenhagen, Denmark, became famous for its technically precise innovation and dazzling presentation, elevating the enjoyment of exceptionally flavorful cuisine.
This generously sized book (9.75" x 13.5", 355 pages) is a collaboration by Chef René Redzepi with Mette Søberg, the head of research and development at the restaurant, and Junichi Takahashi, a skilled Noma chef since 2012. Their collective effort has resulted in a remarkable creation that will inspire chefs and professional cooks for years to come, even those working far from the Nordic region.
Noma 2.0 highlights the restaurant's exploration of vegetables, forest ingredients, and foods sourced from the ocean, showcasing their innovative techniques and creative dishes. What captivates the most about Noma 2.0 is not only the origin of its ingredients but also the ingenious manner in which they are utilized.
As it did consistently over the years, the restaurant explores the potential of a wide array of ingredients, ranging from garden-fresh vegetables and wild game to foraged greens and underappreciated parts of land and sea creatures. The dishes showcased encompass a diverse range, including rose hip sausage with quail egg, shrimp with dried fruits, celeriac shawarma, and lumpfish roe with elm seeds and grilled ramsons. Delicious desserts also grace the pages, such as a strawberry ceviche and crispy bee larvae with caramelized chocolate.
Each dish is presented in dramatic and meticulously captured photographs, accompanied by informative text. As the authors explain: "This text is not a recipe. The ingredient lists omit measurements because the focus lies on the ingredients themselves, their reflection of each season's flow—Vegetable, Forest, Ocean—and the creative perspective our team brings to them."
However, fear not, for a QR code grants online access to comprehensive recipes, complete with precise measurements and techniques. The book also provides recipes for fundamental components like oils, garums, and broths, which are employed throughout the seasons, ensuring a comprehensive experience.
This book speaks to anyone who wants to learn more about technically innovative recipes and the scientific exploration of using ingredients from their locality.
3. One Day at Geranium by Bent Christensen
While Noma may have gained international fame, Geranium—a restaurant that gained its three Michelin stars while Noma was still gaining renown—deserves recognition.
Geranium, located in Copenhagen, is helmed by Chef Rasmus Kofoed, who holds the distinction of being the first chef in the world to consecutively win bronze, silver, and gold at the prestigious Bocuse d'Or competition. Additionally, he has been honored as the Chef of the Year by the Danish Food Guide. Collaborating with Kofoed is Søren Ledet, initially a co-chef who transitioned into the roles of sommelier and manager. Geranium ranked as the No. 2 restaurant in the "World's 50 Best Restaurants" in 2021 and subsequently secured the No. 1 spot in 2022.
A fascinating aspect of Geranium lies in its open kitchen, where a seamless connection is forged between the chef, his skilled team, and the diners. This unique setup allows customers to witness the progression of dishes, culminating in plates that are not only satisfying but also intellectually stimulating, presenting a harmonious balance of flavors and careful preparations. With its minimalist and refined approach, this book serves as a gateway to the extraordinary world of Geranium, where both ingredients and techniques are prized.
In One Day at Geranium, readers will discover a collection of 19 meticulously crafted dishes, each accompanied by detailed recipes demonstrating the restaurant’s definitive approach. The gorgeous photography by Claes Bech-Poulsen further enriches the visual experience, capturing the essence of each dish with remarkable artistry.
4. Koks: Faroe Islands Flavor by Poul Andrias Ziska and Tim Ecott
Koks, one of the most remote Michelin-starred restaurants, wholeheartedly embraces the gastronomic treasures of the Faroe Islands. (The restaurant is currently operating in Greenland but planning to return to the Faroe Islands in 2024—please note that this book does not reflect this change.)
The book showcases the unique customs and flavors of the Faroe Islands, an archipelago located in the North Atlantic Ocean. It provides a thorough exploration of the food culture, ingredients, and techniques integral to Faroese cuisine.
Poul Andrias Ziska, a native of the Faroe Islands and the talented chef behind Koks, eloquently captures the essence of his homeland in his introduction, remarking:
"To be Faroese is to comprehend the challenges of survival in an isolated landscape for over a thousand years—a place devoid of trees, with meager soil and relentless winds that present daily hurdles to crop cultivation. We have always relied on the locally available flora, fauna, and fish that withstand these harsh conditions. The flavors I craft in the kitchen derive from this landscape; they can be raw and intense, and some ingredients, such as wild sea birds, may present a unique culinary experience."
Within the pages of this breathtaking book, Ziska, in collaboration with writer Tim Ecott and photographer Claes Bech-Poulsen, showcases his ingenuity and the irresistible beauty of the Faroe Islands. Each of the 18 islands is allotted a dedicated chapter, emphasizing the diversity within this compact ecosystem.
Koks: Faroe Islands Flavor unveils an array of recipes, one representing each island. While these dishes exemplify authentic Faroese gastronomy, those of us who reside in other regions and lack access to ingredients like fresh puffin will find this book immensely inspiring—a testament to the extraordinary creations that can be forged from the humblest of ingredients.
5. Next: Signature Creative Recipes by Danish Chefs by Bent Christensen
Next presents an extraordinary collection of the culinary talents driving the Danish food scene, showcasing the works of 22 emerging stars.
Through elegant and vibrant color photography, readers are treated to a visual banquet of creatively plated dishes. Detailed recipes are thoughtfully positioned on the adjacent pages, eliminating the need to flip to the back of the book to decipher ingredients or understand techniques, which is sometimes necessary in other chef showcase books.
This exceptional opportunity allows readers to immerse themselves in the forefront of Danish imagination, carefully curated by Bent Christensen—an esteemed authority who actively explores Denmark's dining landscape, visiting pivotal restaurants and identifying and ranking the names that demand attention.
The celebrated chefs included in this compilation are Jonathan Berntsen, Nicolai Ellitsgaard, Patrick Godborg, Wassim Hallal, Kasper Hasse, Mads Kongsted, Patrick Lieffroy, Mark Lundgaard, Brian Mark, Daniel Mcburnie, Jonas Mikkelsen, Rasmus Munk, Nicolaj Møller, Jakob De Neergaard, Thomas Pasfall, Lasse Paulsen, Daniel Ditman Pedersen, Morten Sandvej & Lars Eiskjær, Vivi Schou, Per Thøstesen, Eric Vildgaard, and Torsten Vildgaard.
Next serves as a window into the vibrant and ever-evolving Danish food landscape, providing an exciting glimpse into the talents shaping the future of gastronomy.
6. PM & Vänner: Forest, Lake, Meadow by Per Bengtsson and Monica Carlsson
For enthusiasts of Fool magazine, the prospect of channeling its creative brilliance into a book about a single restaurant was a tempting idea. This ambitious fusion came to life with PM & Vänner, a renowned Michelin-starred establishment in Sweden, and this book chronicles the extraordinary outcome.
Through the exquisite lens of Per-Anders Jörgensen's photography, the pages of PM & Vänner unfold with mesmerizing visuals, capturing not only the exquisitely presented dishes but also the enchanting surrounding countryside, landscapes and the diverse individuals involved in supplying and preparing the restaurant's fare.
Unlike some restaurant books that indulge in verbose language that can be difficult to penetrate, PM & Vänner maintains a crisp and accessible writing style. It effortlessly navigates subjects ranging from the cultivation of apple varieties for cider production to the arduous process of discovering a reliable potato supplier and even the challenges and rewards of communicating with a forager operating on the outskirts of cellular reception.
While the absence of recipes may surprise some readers, it is a deliberate choice that aligns with the understanding that unless one is sourcing specific ingredients like roe deer or elk calf from southern Sweden, practical application of these recipes might prove challenging. Instead, PM & Vänner offers immersion into a unique philosophy, leaving readers with a fresh perspective on their own endeavors, regardless of what they may be.
Bound in luminous white full cloth, the book is striking, accentuated by its blind embossed covers and spines. Regrettably, the cover image does not fully capture the book's impactful essence, as its true magnificence is challenging to translate into a photograph.
7. North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gunnar Karl Gíslason & Jody Eddy
We conclude our journey with North, a book that offers a tantalizing glimpse into the flavors of Iceland.
Gunnar Karl Gíslason, an Icelandic chef, gained international recognition for his work at the Michelin-starred restaurant Dill in Reykjavik. He played a significant role in popularizing and redefining Icelandic cuisine, showcasing the country's unique ingredients. Co-author of North is Jody Eddy, a food writer and cookbook author known for her expertise in exploring food practices from around the world. She has collaborated with chefs and experts to document and share their recipes, techniques, and stories.
Dill has emerged as the Icelandic epicenter of the Nordic food revolution. In Gíslason & Eddy’s book, a thoughtfully curated assortment of recipes from Dill allows even those without birch trees in their backyard or nearby mossy cliffs to embrace this new style of cooking.
While the restaurant preparations can be labor-intensive, the ingredients needed for these dishes are readily available in the US. Imagine indulging in baby potatoes accompanied by angelica mayonnaise and pickled shallot powder or savoring the richness of sweetbreads alongside caramelized celery root and blood sausage. And for a delightful twist, explore the combination of kale and buttermilk spiced with smoked Arctic char.
This collection opens doors to the fascinating world of Icelandic cuisine, inviting readers to explore the flavors and techniques that define this movement. With these accessible recipes, you can embark on an adventure and experience the innovation and artistry of Dill's extraordinary dishes.
Learn from Michelin Star Nordic Chefs
The books authored by top Michelin-starred Nordic chefs and restaurants provide a window into the fascinating world of Nordic gastronomy. From the unwavering dedication to simplicity and quality to the reinvention of traditional flavors, the Nordic scene continues to delight the palates of food enthusiasts worldwide. By embracing the diversity and uniqueness of Nordic cuisine, we gain a deeper appreciation for the extraordinary talent and creativity of these remarkable chefs and restaurants.Explore our collection of books by professional chefs and restaurants, which explore flavors from around the world. If you can’t see what you’re looking for on the website, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our expert team will find the perfect book for you.