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Norway – the most awarded country in Bocuse d'Or

Thanks to Filip August Bendi securing the silver medal at the Bocuse d'Or in 2023, Norway has strengthened its position as the country with the most medals in the competition's history.

Norway's Bocuse candidate, Filip August Bendi, and his team reached their goal of a podium finish at the 2023 Bocuse d'Or Grand Final in Lyon.

This means that Norway maintains its position as the country with the most medals in the competition’s history, even ahead of France.

This shows the extremely high level of Norwegian chefs and gastronomy. In addition to the silver medal win, Norway's Leon Haarberg Nilsen won The Best Commis Chef Prize.

A chef with a 'killer instinct'

Filip August Bendi has been described as a highly creative chef with a killer instinct and is an unusually competitive person. When he was just 20 years old, Bendi travelled to Copenhagen and knocked on the door of the renowned restaurant Noma, looking for work, which he promptly secured.

Bendi later headed to Stockholm in Sweden to work for Mathias Dahlgren, known as a 'chef's chef', before a stint at Daniel, in New York, which has two stars in the Michelin Guide.

Since returning home to Norway, Bendi has, among other things, served as creative developer for the venerable Hotel Bristol in Oslo and worked at Thon Hotels, his current employer.

Fun facts about chef Bendi

● His favourite ingredients are potatoes and onions.
● He has not had a kitchen in his own home for over half a year.
● One of the signature dishes he makes for friends and family is omelette (!).
● Filip is also interested in poetry, and has been writing poems since the age of 12.

Bocuse d´Or to be held in Trondheim in 2024

Next year, the Norwegian city of Trondheim will host the Bocuse d'Or Europe 2024. Trondheim and Trøndelag was European Region of Gastronomy 2022, and is considered Norway's premier food region.

The hosts have recently announced the main ingredients that will be featured in this year's competition.

"Skrei, scallops, and dried fish are mandatory ingredients for the thematic challenge called 'the barrel task'. Today, two additional ingredients were announced for the plate serving challenge: Reindeer meat and Lysholm LINIE Aquavit. We're looking forward to seeing these traditional Norwegian delicacies shine in the event, which is often referred to as the gastronomic equivalent of the Olympic games."

More extraordinary Norwegian chefs

Bendi is not the only Norwegian chef to have brought home multiple medals from the competition. In 2021, two-time Bocuse d’Or Europe winner Christian André Pettersensecured his second international bronze medal, making him one of the most awarded chefs in the history of the competition.

This makes Pettersen, a talented Norwegian from the small northern city of Bodø, one of the most extraordinary chefs on the planet.

A Nordic culinary wave

Bendi and Pettersen are only two among a wave of innovative and creative Norwegian master chefs leading the culinary revolution that has taken place in the Nordic countries in recent years.

Every second year, 24 of the most promising chefs in the world gather in Lyon to participate in the world’s most prestigious culinary competition. Since it was first held in 1987, Norway has won five gold, four silver, and four bronze medals at the international competition. Norway is now the country with the most international Bocuse d’Or awards.

Bent Stiansen was the first Norwegian to achieve the grand award in 1993. Since then, Norwegian chefs have been represented in the international final 16 out of 18 times.

There is something exciting cooking in the Nordics now, too – all three 2019 medallists and two of the 2021 and 2022 medallists are Scandinavian, making it a go-to region for food lovers. Two of the medallists in the 2023 world competition were from the Nordics. This means that the Nordic culinary wave is far from over.

Are you ready to come and taste its delicious and innovative flavours?

World-class cuisine

Many other Norwegian chefs have also gained an excellent international reputation. In addition, an increasing number of Norwegian restaurants have received stars in the Michelin guide in recent years.

And there is more. Norwegian cheeses have been securing plenty of medals at the World Cheese Awards. Norwegian ciders are now also considered among the finest in the world.

"Frisky, witty and unpretentious"

Some of the world’s top food writers are now exploring the fresh Norwegian food scene. “Egalitarian and sincere, Norway’s version of New Nordic cooking is frisky, witty and unpretentious,” writes Alexander Lombrano in The New York Times, who even labels it “relatively affordable”.

He writes that the growing appeal of the Norwegian culinary scene “... isn’t best defined by Michelin – where the dominant DNA is Gallic gastronomic refinement – but rather a delectable local food culture that’s based on the country’s spectacular seafood and produce, amped up by the brevity of its growing season.” We heartily agree!

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