Oaxen restaurant in Stockholm. Photo: Oaxen
Two Stockholm restaurants and one in Gothenburg were given Michelin stars on Wednesday, taking Sweden's total of Michelin-starred restaurants to 13.
The Operakällaren and Oaxen restaurants in Stockholm were given the prestigious nod, as was the Bhoga restaurant in Gothenburg.
"There was a lot of happiness here, a lot of hugs. We haven't really grasped it yet," an ecstatic Magnus Ek, owner of Oaxen, told The Local.
While he says the award is "important of course", it has never been a goal of the team.
"Rather, we've always aimed to be one of Sweden's best restaurants," he explained.
And the secret to achieving that, he said, is great ingredients, a good kitchen, and excellent staff all the way down to the person washing the dishes.
Indeed, Oaxen, on the island of Djurgården in central Stockholm, prides itself on its local produce. All the raw materials used in its kitchen are sourced from Scandinavia, with the majority of the herbs and plants stemming from the restaurant's own garden.
Even the steak knives, porcelain, and the dining tables are made at the local shipyard just a few metres from the restaurant.
Elsewhere in the capital, Operakällaren's head chef Stefano Catenacci can add the stars to a growing resumé that includes cooking for the royal family at Princess Madeleine's wedding last year. He was The Local's Swede of the Week at the time
Operakällaren has been responsible for the food at official dinners, gala banquets and other dinners hosted by the royal family since 1961.
Bhoga restaurant, meanwhile, says it offers "an internationally flavoured kitchen" whose only limits are the seasons and the team's imagination.
Sweden can now boast 15 Michelin stars spread over 13 restaurants.
The two restaurants with two stars each are Mathias Dahlgren Matsalen and Frantzén, both in Stockholm. Those with one star include Stockholm's Esperanto, F12, Ekstedt, Gastrologik, and Gothenburg's Thörnströms Kök, 28, and Sjömagasinet.
No Swedish restaurant has received the highest, three-star mark from the prestigious restaurant guide.