Three Michelin stars were awarded to Maaemo on Wednesday, making it just one of two restaurants in the Nordics to receive the coveted distinction.
“This is just insanely huge,” Maaemo head waiter Benjamin Ausland told NTB after Wednesday's announcement was made in Copenhagen. “But what we need to do now is think about our guests tonight and the work we need to do to ensure that they have an unforgettable evening.”
He beams with pride with the chefs in the kitchen work in concentrated silence in the background. The photographers aim their cameras at them, but there are few smiles to be found – just focused looks and busy hands.
“I can assure you that there were many smiles and we toasted with champagne. But we will wait for the big celebration when Esben returns,” Ausland said.
Maaemo's head chef, Esben Holmboe-Bang, was in his native Denmark for the Michelin announcement on Wednesday.
Maaemo was given the top listing in Michelin's Nordic Guide 2016 with three stars. It is an honour that only a little over 100 restaurants in the world can claim.
“I have been a chef for 17 years now. I started in Denmark, moved around and then came to Oslo,” Holmboe-Bang said from Copenhagen.
Maaemo's online booking absolutely exploded when the stars were announced and now it is not possible to reserve a table for the next three months.
In the new Michelin guide, Oslo restaurant Konstrast and Stavanger's Re-Naa also each received one star.
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Food and Agriculture Minister Jon George Dale was delighted with Wednesday's awards.
“Congratulations to the Norwegian restaurants that received stars. A special congratulations to Maaemo as the first restaurant in the Nordics with three stars,” Dale said.
Maaemo actually joins Copenhagen restaurant Geranium as the only three-star restaurants in Scandinavia.