The MICHELIN Guide Nordic Countries 2020 was launched on Monday 17th February, at a Star Revelation event in Trondheim, Norway. It was hosted by the International Director of the MICHELIN Guides, Gwendal Poullennec.
New Two Stars
This year’s Nordic Countries Guide features four new Two Star restaurants, three of which have been promoted from One MICHELIN Star (Jordnær in Denmark, RE-NAA in Norway and Aloë in Sweden) – and Alchemist, in Denmark, which goes straight into the Guide with Two MICHELIN Stars.
Alchemist marks the return to the city of Copenhagen for Rasmus Munk; a Danish chef well-known for his ground-breaking creativity.
The original Alchemist, which had a 15 seat counter, closed its doors at the end of 2017. This new Alchemist is quite different, offering an immersive, intriguing and perfectly choreographed experience which combines food, art and theatre.
It is housed in a cavernous former shipbuilding warehouse in the redeveloped former docks. There’s no bell or sign – the huge doors offer the only clue that the restaurant is here, and these swing open slowly as if by magic.
The 50 courses – divided into five acts – are served at various locations. The highlight is when you dine at marble counters beneath a spectacular, planetarium-like dome.
An edible melt-in-the-mouth 'ticket' begins your evening. What follows is a multi-sensory journey through the mind of Rasmus Munk; fun, imaginative, stimulating – and sometimes shocking.
Dishes are technically complex and highly creative with intense flavours and dramatic contrasts. They often consist of a single bite and range from the recognisable – like French Onion Soup – to the more unusual, like Sunburnt Bikini, Pig Fix and Thinking Outside the Box.
Snowball is eaten with winter gloves, Tongue Kiss sees guests licking a realistic-looking tongue to taste what lies on top, and Udder involves sucking a teat to release the cream within.
Some of the dishes served at Alchemist make a statement about environmental issues, since Rasmus sees it as his mission to make people stop and think about how what they consume affects the planet.
For example, Plastic Fantastic addresses the issue of plastic pollution in the oceans, while Burnout Chicken is designed to make people consider the issue of overcrowding in chicken farms.
Things are not always what they seem, and you may be taken out of your comfort zone at times, but place your trust in the kitchen and you will be rewarded with a truly unique experience that will linger long in the memory.
There are more people working than dining at Alchemist and, from the moment you are welcomed through the doors to the moment you leave, the staff ensure you enjoy every moment of your experience. Rasmus himself is also very hands-on; he’s professional and focused on attention to detail but he’s also very personable.
When asked at the launch how he felt about winning Two MICHELIN Stars, Rasmus said he was proud and very thankful. He dedicated the award to his colleagues watching from the restaurant, telling them,