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Robin Skjoldborg

Danish restaurants reap Michelin stars once again

The Michelin stars to Nordic restaurants has just been awarded in the capital of culture in Denmark, Aarhus. Danish restaurants took home 35 stars, which once again establishes Denmark’s position on the gastronomic world map.

The Concert Hall in the Danish city of Aarhus was buzzing with excitement yesterday, as the around 500 guests were attending the ‘Michelin Guide Nordic Countries 2019’. The awarding was, for the first time ever, held outside a Nordic capital, strengthening Aarhus’ position on the Danish map of gastronomy.

A total of 64 restaurants throughout the Nordic region were awarded a Michelin star, of which 28 Danish restaurants were awarded with a total of 35 Michelin stars.

New Nordic revolution

35 stars are quite a lot. Especially compared to Denmark and its cities’ relatively modest size. But Danish restaurants weren’t always internationally regarded as fine dining. In fact, Danish gastronomy were reputed to be quite boring up until the New Nordic Manifesto’s release to the world in 2004. In this, Nordic chefs sought to revive Nordic cuisine, emphasising the importance of locally sourced ingredients, healthy meals and innovation in cooking.

New Nordic restaurants like Noma, that has been named “world’s best restaurant” several times, has often been in the media spotlight. This is of course justified, but the Danish restaurant scene is huge, and Denmark has actually been posing Michelin stars since 1983: The restaurant Kong Hans Kælder (King Hans cellar) has been serving fine French cuisine since its beginning. You can see a list of all Danish Michelin-awarded restaurants here.

The history of Michelin

Not everyone knows, that the first Michelin guide in 1900 was a road guide for motorists, mapping out repair shops, replacement instructions and such – food didn’t play a big part in it until later. But as motorists travel throughout the country, they need to eat. And so, the Michelin guide began to rate and review restaurants, catering to those looking for a great meal. The idea spread throughout Europe and the world – the rest is history.

The Michelin guide rates restaurants from one to three stars. One is “A very good restaurant in its category”. Two stars is “Excellent cooking, worth a detour”. Three stars: “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”.