Embracing culinary memories with Fagn in Norway
A visit to this Michelin starred restaurant will turn you into a lover of Nordic cuisine. Located in Trondheim, with a passion for native & seasonal ingredients, Fagn will give you a culinary experience you will remember for a long time. We caught up with Robert Kalstad, Head Sommelier to learn more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Fagn so we can learn a little bit more about the ethos of Fagn and the people behind it.
The word ‘Fagn’ stems from the ancient Norse word to welcome, embrace and offer food and lodging to weary travelers often given at rural farmhouses in the days gone by. The international team at Fagn, spearheaded by their head-chef Ådne Børseth Helgetun, very much inhabit and preserve this style of local
guest-management throughout the dining-experience. Each and every one of the team, from French chefs to local Sommeliers, let their culinary- and childhood memories shape the dishes and drinks served in the
intimate dining room.
What's been your biggest learning so far?
There are so many teachings and learnings in recent years that has helped me on the journey towards Fagn and others. But the guest-experience is still one of the most important aspects of my philosophy during service. Giving the guest as little to think about as possible, and being there for them with whatever they
might need is one of the most interesting and best parts of my day.
"Small experiences we remember from our childhood can become large aspects of a dish. Using drinks to complement and complete the experience, helps put the dishes into perspective"
Your menus have strong seasonal inspirations, is this important to you?
The seasonal aspect that inspires the food at Fagn is very important to both the kitchen and us in the Front of House. The reason for that is to show a maximum range of the local produce the Trøndelag-region has to offer. Using the seasons to define the menu also gives all of us a chance to work with even higher quality
ingredients, as picking the right time of the year to use them, shows the produce from the best possible angle.
How do you use food & drink to evoke strong childhood memories?
The dishes we serve at Fagn are mostly inspired by both childhood- and personal culinary memories from the entire team. Small experiences we remember from our childhood can become large aspects of a dish. Using drink to complement and complete the experience, helps put the dishes into perspective, and hopefully the
memories that inspired it even more in focus.
What's your favourite nordic ingredient to use at this time of the year?
I always think that Juniper-berries and Pine-shoots give of some amazing aromas and always gives a dish or juice a perfect Nordic twist.
What did you enjoy about drinking Ambijus Clearly Confused?
As mentioned, Juniper is a great flavour to add to drinks, and of course was one of my favourite aspects of Clearly Confused. However the perfect balance between the lightness of the drink together with the complex range of flavours are just stunning.
"A perfect companion, where both the dish and drink take inspirations from long journeys into the Norwegian forests and sea."
What dish would you pair with Ambijus Clearly Confused?
I think a good snack or starter would be perfect with the Clearly Confused. At the moment we have a tart made from mushrooms, filled with a tartar of tuna, mushroom mayo topped of with capers and flowers of ramson. A perfect companion, where both the dish and drink take inspirations from long journeys into the Norwegian forests and sea.
What exciting things are on the horizon at Fagn?
Thus far we have produced all of our own juices in-house, but are now starting to work with some select outside sources, like Ambijus, to expand and develop our alcohol-free pairing even further. As for the kitchen we now have a new head-chef that will continue the proud history we have here at Fagn to keep the focus on
our sources of inspiration and produce, all from the Trøndelag-region.