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The 2007 Danish chef of the year Ronny Emborg knows where to eat in Copenhagen.
The 2007 Danish chef of the year Ronny Emborg knows where to eat in Copenhagen.

Food & Drink

Where chefs eat

In recent years, chefs have become one of the most highly sought-after Nordic exports. From New York to London, Berlin and San Francisco, Scandinavians are bringing their unique brand of gastronomy to some of the world’s best restaurants. Visit five cities with five different chef's as your gastronomic guide.


And who better to recommend restaurants than the people whose job it is to live and breathe good food? Scandinavian Traveler asked five experts to share their top tips on where to eat in their cities.

San Francisco

Chef Staffan Terje is a restauranteur in San Francicso.Name: Staffan Terje
From: Grew up on a farm outside Stockholm, Sweden
Lives: San Francisco
Works: Moved to Napa in 1986 after several years working at prestigious restaurants around Europe. Already passionate about Italian food, he joined Piatti in Napa Valley before opening his own restaurants, Perbacco and Barbacco Eno Trattoria in San Francisco.

Eats in San Francisco:


“Under chef Joshua Skenes, Saison has evolved from a great restaurant to a truly incredible experience. Last year, it earned its third Michelin star. It’s pricy but well worth it.”
178 Townsend St


“A casual, fun place where most dishes are not on the menu but presented at the table, dim sum style. Don’t miss the Statebird, fried quail, the pancake and toast section and World Peace for dessert.”
1529 Fillmore St

Shanghai House

“No decor, no alcohol (bring your own – there’s a liquor store next door), but really good, inexpensive Chinese food. Don’t miss the chicken wings, the fried pork knuckle and, my favorite, the beef brisket hand cut noodle soup.”

3641 Balboa St

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Rebecca Varjomaa is in charge of the kitchen at newly opened Björk in Milan.Name: Rebecca Varjomaa
From: Nora, Sweden
Lives: Milan
Works: Trained at the University of Culinary Arts in Grythyttan and worked at several prestigious restaurants in Stockholm before moving to Italy last year. In charge of the kitchen at newly opened Björk Swedish Brasserie in Milan.

Eats in Milan:

Al Pont de Ferr

“Beautiful place, amazing bread, fantastic food. Great attention to aesthetics, top-quality raw materials and an interesting wine list.”
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 55

Al Mercato

“A small restaurant with only 12 seats. Fun food and a nice fusion of Italian and international cuisine.”  
Via Sant’Eufemia, 16

Al Matarel

“Traditional food from Milan and Lombardy The ossobuco is to die for. Not too hip or trendy, just traditional food cooked and served with passion.”

Corso Garibaldi 75

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Danish chef Ronny Emborg works in Copenhagen.Name: Ronny Emborg
From: Jutland, Denmark
Lives: Copenhagen (but is about to move to New York)
Works: The 2007 Danish chef of the year’s résumé includes time at El Bulli and a job as the private chef for Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark. Just left Hotel d’Angleterre to take over the kitchen at two-Michelin-starred Atera in New York.

Eats in Copenhagen:


“High-end, experimental new Nordic cuisine, with a very technically talented chef and team.”
Havnegade 44

Restaurant Radio

“Great food, great atmosphere and high-quality produce. An unpretentious approach to quality.”
Julius Thomsens Gade 12

Toldbod Bodega

“A simple, easy place for lunch or dinner. A favorite among locals.”

Esplanaden 4


Nina Olsson is owner and head chef at Pappa Sven in Barcelona.Name: Nina Olsson
From: Karlskrona, Sweden
Lives: Barcelona
Works: Owner and head chef at Pappa Sven Swedish restaurant. Olsson worked at several top restaurants in Göteborg before moving to Barcelona in 2009. She opened Pappa Sven in 2010.

Eats in Barcelona:


“Good-quality, contemporary Peruvian cuisine. Nice to see the kitchen while you eat.”
Carrer de Còrsega, 235

Gresca Restaurant

“Modern Catalan food, fabulous wine list and a very affordable tasting menu. Lots of chefs eat here.”
Carrer de Provença, 230

Bar 68

“A hole in the wall with the best cocktails in town. Top-quality food and drinks.”

Carrer de Sant Pau, 68

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Text: Isabelle Kliger

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