Heidi Bjerkan's Sustainable Norwegian Feast
Credo Restaurant, Norway
Written  by Kari Sundliy
DINE
Photography by Geir Mogen
C
redo’s philosophy is simple: locally grown food comes first, despite all costs. While incorporating anything #local into a business concept seems to multiply buzzworthiness infinitely, it’s the ideology and true grit behind the concept that not all chefs are willing to strive for.

 

For Heidi Bjerkan, this is a non-negotiable. She grew up in the green open space of Trondheim, and her love for the environment is exemplified in the skylit glass building she chose to relocate her famed Credo restaurant to earlier this year.
“I would never bother to work with materials that are expensively produced or grown poorly. No one knows what inorganic food does to us in the long run.”

Credo’s menu is fully dependent on the raw materials available day to day; so you can forget about á la carte. Last week it was fresh lobster from the coast of Trøndelag and today it’s reindeer from the island of Hitra. She says fresh commodities are the only reason why she’s a chef, adding, “I would never bother to work with materials that are expensively produced or grown poorly. No one knows what inorganic food does to us in the long run.”

 

Since its opening in 1998, Credo has shined bright as a Norwegian fine-dining gem. The prestigious White Guide Nordic 2016 honored Credo as the third best restaurant in Norway.

All food at Credo can be sourced back to its local suppliers, if not to Bjerkan herself, who often gathers flowers from the woods near her home to garnish dessert. She’s also made a habit of  weekly conversations with her pigs, lambs, cows and a stubborn bull to nourish the meat that will eventually end up on locally-made ceramic plates.

 

“I face challenges all the time,” she says, “especially in logistics, “I work to coordinate with multiple manufacturers, trying to collect all the materials in one place.”

 

In the long run, I hope we all will eat with the philosophy that everything we do influences the climate.”

Bjerkan started her career with very high stakes, preparing food for royalties at the Royal Palace in Oslo. After seven years she moved to Claridge’s in London, the Grand Hotel and then Bølgen & Moi in Oslo. Clearly a master at work, Bjerkan has earned her status as one of the most respected chefs in Norway.

Today she runs four restaurants simultaneously: the Food Trio, Jossa Food and Drink, Finnes Café and Credo, of course. She’s known for taking great care of the community both in and outside her restaurants. “In general, I think there will be a great focus on ethical food in the future,” she predicts. “In the long run, I hope we all will eat with the philosophy that everything we do influences the climate.”

By Published on Oct 30 2018