Culinary Surfer

Sandefjord – it’s a small town near one of southern Norway’s busiest airports (you can fly there from Poland for just 70 PLN return), one of the main transit points between Europe and
our Scandinavian neighbour. So, back to this town. I’d like to tell you about the market-restaurant Brygga 11.

The chef there is one of the most famous in Norway, and winner of the most prestigious cooking contest in the world, the “Bocuse d’or”. The restaurant is usually crowded from the beginning of April to the end of August, as well as during the Christmas party season from October till the end of December. So what’s going on at Brygga for the rest of the year then? The place is known first and foremost for its fish and seafood cuisine. Apart from the ever changing menu, beautiful views of the sea, and ferries mooring in the distance, you can buy the products made and the ingredients used in the restaurant.

And how does that work?
The idea is brilliant from a marketing and advertising point of view of. In a huge free standing building we have a restaurant, a fish processing plant (fish are taken directly from the line right before your eyes), and an elegant delicatessen, where part of that team are professional cooks working full time at the restaurant. The selection of fish, the wonderful smell of the sea and the professional service, make us reluctant to leave this place. Every single thing, every single detail is honed to perfection, and we have the impression that we are at a banquet in a five-star hotel. The prices encourage us to spend money, the assortment is divided into “quality” sections, i.e. the middle portion of a cod fillet will be more expensive than the tail section. This is a very honest and economical attitude – a person who is looking for a tasty fish for a soup will not have a dilemma. As I said earlier, the staff are very professional. They can tell you about their products in detail and will give hints as to how to use them properly – “culinary support” with a passion.

When you cross the threshold into the restaurant part, the chef Geir Skeie will take you for a culinary “tour” around Norway’s vast lakes, rivers and seas. He’s a person brimming with a love of the sea. He’s a kind of a culinary “surfer”, he wouldn’t hesitate to swim in even rough waters. He trained under the best chefs. And as I mentioned, he won „gold” in the most important cooking contest in the world, for which chefs spend years preparing, like athletes for the Olympic games. But in the kitchen, medals don’t matter. Here, every day is a new test, extending his liking for creating something new. The winner is the one who doesn’t see a finish line to success. You must come, see, try „the dish of the day” (usually at a very attractive price, this is a kind of chef’s bow towards guests), sit, enjoy some coffee…
Understand the atmosphere in this place, because these are the people who make this restaurant.

fot. Magda Wesołowska

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