The Michelin Guide awarded stars to three restaurants in Malmö in February – Ambiance à Vindåkra, Vollmer and Bloom in the Park – in its first publication to include eateries in Nordic locations outside of the region's capital cities.
Now that the (star) dust has settled on the winning food spots, it has emerged that their top chefs and owners are all set to launch new projects in 2016, in a move set to further grow the city's gastronomic reputation.
Karim Khouani, 38, the head chef at Ambiance à Vindåkra, which describes itself as offering “a piece of France in Skåne” told The Local that his latest restaurant would be “very classic” and allow visitors to taste French cuisine “without breaking the bank”.
“It will be something like you could find in Lyon…to get a glass of wine or a small bite, some charcuterie or cheese…somewhere people will come often after work,” he said.
The chef, who is originally from Marseille, explained that the new venture would be called Bar à Vin and was set to open in January, after building work commenced a fortnight ago. He said that his plans were already under way before he received his accolade from Michelin, but confirmed that opportunities were growing in the city's food scene following the cluster of stars dished out by the French guidebook earlier this year.
“It has opened things up, yes,” he said.
“But we have also had people coming here who do not know what a Michelin star is. They think they are going to get 25 waiters around a table and we can't make a single mistake,” he added.
His current venue serves up a five course dinner for 650 kronor ($79) which Khouani notes may sound expensive but is “a third of the price you would pay in Copenhagen and Stockholm…and a lot of effort and research and stress goes into it”.
Malmö-based chef Karim Khouani. Photo: Karim Khouani
The Local has been unable contact the brothers behind Vollmer to confirm details of their new restaurant. But the much celebrated duo, Ebbe and Mats Vollmer, have told other Swedish media that their latest offering, which is inside a converted 14th century smoke house, will focus on selling smoked pork and hopes to become a popular location for families by offering a Sunday roast menu and a top quality dessert buffet.
In an interview with regional newspaper Sydsvenskan earlier this month, Ebba Vollmer said: “We wanted to create a really Scanian [traditional to the Skåne region] restaurant, but without copying an already existing concept such as 'gästgiverierna'.”
'Gästgiverier' are traditional Swedish inns, which often serve an array of increasingly gourmet pub food.
Meanwhile Igi Vidal, the owner of Bloom in the Park, the first Swedish restaurant with a Michelin star to boast a female head chef, told The Local that reports that he was seeking to score a licence for new premises were true, but said he did not want to go into any further details.
“Something will open in 2016… with a little bit of luck,” he said.
Malmö in southern Sweden is getting a reputation for fine food. Photo: Werner Nystrand/Image Bank Sweden
Malmö lies just over the famous Öresund bridge to Copenhagen, which has a dozen Michelin-starred restaurants and enjoys boasting that it is the culinary hub of Scandinavia.
The Swedish city's tourism office said in February that it was proud of the city's growing reputation as a rival destination for food and beverage fans.
“Malmö has in recent years become the home of more and more exciting food initiatives and restaurants, often unexpected and a bit quirky,” it wrote in a press statement.
“With three star restaurants in the Michelin Guide, we've put Malmö on the fine-dining map,” Johan Hermansson, director of tourism for the city, said in the same news release.