Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Mezcal & Tacos in Oslo: Chef’s Night Out with Maaemo


I wanna know where we
act like drunk guys, because I’ve seen
some of the chef’s night out that are really
fucking boring. I just want to make
sure that this is one of the good ones. And it is-
It’s gonna be good. Okay, it’s gonna be good? My name is Esben Holmboe
Bang, I am the Head Chef and co-owner of Maaemo
Restaurant in Oslo, Norway. I cooked around the
restaurants in Oslo, and I felt that I wanted to
do something that had a more clear and
original identity. The thing I love
about this place, we are literally five
minutes from the central station, but we’re also ten minutes
from the forest. So you have this city
that is full energy that is growing, but
still you have this very close connection
to nature around it. We opened
the restaurant four and a half years ago. We started out three
guys in the kitchen, three guys in
the dining room. So, we’ve grown
a bit from there. This is a glazed
beets that we’ve glazed in chamomile. And this is a charred
onions with salted sheep and quail egg cooked in
roasted bone marrow. I came from a family
where we were very interested in
agriculture and nature. It was not until after
I decided to cook to make the link between
cooking and nature and agriculture. We start basically
from scratch every day. Like a normal day,
we start here around 8, 8:30 in the morning and produce has started
coming in, meat, vegetables and herbs,
some dessert and bread. So you start preparing
for the dinner service. Breaking stuff down and then in the evening
we 25 to 30 guests. We have a set menu so there’s 25 to 30 servings
of small things. This is like a three and
a half hour dinner. So, we tried to make
a black currant dessert that actually tasted of
the smell of the black currant bush, so that’s what we’re
gonna try to do. This is a sorbet made
out out the stems and leaves of the black
currant bush. Underneath here you
have a malt crumble. And then you have some
branches made with a little gel of nice
sour black current bush. My current favorite
ingredient, I don’t know, it changes all the time. I don’t know, and today I think it’s
aspirin, I think. It’s my favorite
ingredient. Yeah, so last night
we went out with some friends of mine. It was Danny Larsen,
Odd-Magnus Williamson, and Mark Vaughan. So we started out here,
had a few beers, and then we carried on
into the night. We’re at Teddy’s Bar and this is Mark’s
second home. Home away from home, so he really wanted
to go and say hi. This is one of
Oslo’s oldest bars. We were not that welcome
with the camera. Some of the regulars
at the bar didn’t like the camera so much. It’s a Fernet Branca
which is an Italian apertif which is somehow
become some very famous in Norway. But Norwegians love to
drink Fernet Branca. I’m in Norway.
I’m a super. Shouting is for gringos. I just had
a quick shop and then we went to
this taco place. So it’s really good. They use a lot of
really good produce. They do it as authentic
as they can in Norway. Taco Republica is
run by Henrick. He’s a really nice guy, and a really good
friend of mine. You never eaten here? Are you serious? I live in
the countryside. I live in the country. Oh yeah, that’s right. Where do you live? An hour away,
up in the forest. It’s like burning
virgins and all that in the forest. Yeah.
Yep, yep, yep. Yep, yep, yep. You know what’s
going on there. So what are we having? It’s a Mezcal, which is
a very hardcore Mezcal. It’s very un-polished. It’s kind of rough. Wow.
When we met, as I’m getting off to work this
morning and I had this mantra in my head
before I met you guys. Is that, I’m only gonna
have white wine tonight. I’m only gonna
have white wine. White wine? And now,
two mezcals later. Aw, come on, cheers. I think it was a bit
early in the evening to do that whole mescal
tasting, but it left its mark on the rest of
the evening, I would say. We had some really
nice tacos. All the sauces and the salsas was
fucking great too. We fired him. Organic hen. King of the pollo. Boiled with Chipotle,
tomatoes, onions. Go the green
sauce this one. And no lime I don’t
think. No lime? I don’t think you need it. No lime? How the fuck does
this happen? Okay thank you.
I’ve never been to Mexico. I imagine that’s roughly
how it is with like a little Norwegian twist
on it, but I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s
like it’s in Mexico, I just really like it. We had some really
nice tacos. There was one
with baby goat. Was amazing. Just cooked with
some ancho chile. Chile guadillo. Cinnamon some spices. Delicious. We’re getting way
too drunk this is the first stop. But it’s not like
my little pony It’s My Little Pinata. Hey, guys, you ready
to get some more food? Hey, Henrik, you come? Come and join us? Yeah, I’m joining you. We went to Arakataka,
which is a really nice restaurant and Ronny, who
is the head chef there, he cooks no fuss,
uncomplicated foods that just taste really,
really good. So, what are you
guys thinking? What are you thinking? I can do some
courses now. I think, yeah.
Just do whatever you wanna do. This is one of those
restaurants in Oslo that just serves
really fucking good, honest, straightforward,
really good cooking. This is roasted celery
with apples and lumpfish roe with fresh
horseradish on top of it. And I will have
some spaghetti with Swedish caviar. Yeah. Great man. It’s beautiful. Yeah!
I love the spaghetti! Yeah, yeah, yeah. What was it really
made of, the spaghetti? Noodles? Yeah, probably spaghetti. I think we have some
Jerusalem artichoke that you fried in blood,
which were really, really fucking good. Fantastic. Thank you very much. Thank you. Mm. That’s fucking good. Guys!
We’re gonna go up to. Amazing. Amazing. Wow, you killed it dude. Okay, we are gonna
go get some drinks. Come on, guys.
Where are we going? We’re going-
Number 19? Number 19.
That’s just up the street. Yep.
It’s all been planned out for you. You don’t have to
think about a thing. We left
the restaurant and we went to a really
nice bar called No 19. Anne who makes the drinks
there just in my opinion, one of the best
bartenders around and she made us some
killer drinks. There was aquavit and some of it’s beer
at some point. I’m not sure actually. I can’t remember. What’s the main item. It’s a very evil
potato liquor. Oh yes. Oh. Black Lavida. Shake it up with lime
juice, grapefruit juice. Homemade cinnamon syrup
and cardamon seed. Cheers!
Cheers! It tastes a bit
like Christmas. It tastes like Christmas. Suddenly it was Christmas
in mid-February. Getting you drunk? That was the plan, right? Yes. Okay, let’s go. Henrik and
Anna joined us. We lost somebody, right? Yeah, I think Odd-Magnus
just made like a ghost disappearance. He just went away. We came back to Maaemo
and there was a lot of the staff here and,
and a lot of friends. I think they’ve been
partying a little bit and then we joined. Yo!
Hey! I got had way too
much to drink. Okay, guys. We gonna need some
cook some food. Can you guys help
me with that? Can we glaze with beer? Yeah!
Glaze the beer. So, this is cabbage and the fat from
salted sheep. So we got
an audience tonight. So, we come after
a night out You need some salt,
some fat. This is what
you’re gonna do. So this is the ribs from
the side of salted sheep. Is this what they
call the ‘stick meat?’
Yep. Because we know we
had guys visiting, we want to make ribs. Hey guys!
Come on! It’s munchies time. Can also eat with
a knife and fork, but I prefer to eat
it with my hands. In the Norway region
we’ve been really good at a few things. Like we’re good at,
if you go way back, we were good at robbing,
raping and eating with our hands. Tonight we’re only gonna
eat with our hands. You have everything
on tape. I only remember 30% of
what went on last night so you know more
about it than I do. There’s nothing
more I can say. I can’t remember the last
time it was this bad. You brought out
the worst in us, I think. If I could pick one
thing to be written on my tombstone, you know
what that would be? I was supposed
to be cremated. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. Because of Dennis.

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