THE ADDRESS Magazine Summer 2014 - Page 331

Vasalissa Chocolatier from the Finnish language and means Mother Earth. The Norwegian terroir has until now been a relatively unknown treasure of the international culinary world, but it is something that Esben Holmboe Bang, the Danish head chef, is passionate about. Esben was listed in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Chefs in the World in 2013. The cuisine uses 100% organic, biodynamic and wild produce, of which 95% comes from Norway, and 85% of which is sourced from within a radius of 100 kilometres from Oslo. Featuring local flora and fauna, Maaemo’s focus is on retaining all the natural flavour and quality of the raw ingredients. Waiters are schooled on the area, the supplier, and sometimes even the farm where the produce originates. Try the 10-course affair, which in fact consists of over 20 servings once the chef's extras are added. Pure Norwegian flavours are delivered with great precision. The exceptional tasting menu strips Norwegian food back to its bare essentials, before recomposing it in an entirely new manner. Flavours focus on letting the quality of the produce shine, and combine with Esben's characteristic use of acidic and sweet undertones that seem to intensify them. A meal at Maaemo will take guests on a breathtaking culinary tour of Norway, one that carries them from the temperate climes of the southerly Hvaler Islan ds, to the cold and pristine waters of the West Coast, and on to the expansive inland wilderness of Røros. The cooking is of the highest level, intelligent and sublime, original and intricate. Some meals comfort; others push the boundaries of the culinary arts in new and exciting directions. Maaemo succeeds in doing both. Appetisers may include frozen cow’s milk, salsify pickled in juniper, red cabbage gel with horseradish, a traditional porridge with reindeer heart and brown butter, a cornet of chicken liver cream with dried chanterelle gel, grilled cucumber and parsley, and an oyster emulsion served in a beautiful dish with oyster shells. Other dishes include reindeer with Jerusalem artichoke and Nordic muesli with Swedish truffle foam, blue cheese from Eggen Farm with black trumpet gel, buttermilk sorbet with mountain herbs, fried rye bread cream with a disc of mead gel, burnt marzipan and wheat beer vinegar, brown butter ice cream, birch macaroon, and brown cheese with last year’s strawberry. Do not miss one of the patented Maaemo classics, an utter thing of beauty: a beautiful bowl filled with branches of spruce with a thick and juicy langoustine from Føya placed on top. Before it is eaten, the waiter pours a pine infusion over dry ice in the bottom, creating a smoke that covers the table like an incredibly looking blanket that smells of pine. It is one of the most dramatic dishes we have ever experienced. Executed to perfection, the stunning presentation is breathtaking. The carefully curated wine pairings are some of the most imaginative anywhere. A wine is treated as a crucial part of the dish. Pontus Dahlström's talent is without doubt Vasalissa Chocolatier 331