World-renowned Heidi Bjerkan comes to Tasting Australia from Norway, where her restaurant Credo holds both a Michelin star and a Michelin Green Star for its commitment to sustainability. Diners covet Bjerkan's creative and delicately balanced dishes, with all ingredients traceable and used to their full potential. Portraits of cows that supply milk to the kitchen adorn the restaurant walls - a way for diners to share a farm experience.
In our Q&A with Heidi, she shares her most memorable meal, what she is most looking forward to about Tasting Australia, and why the ethos around minimising food waste is so important.
Tell us three things about yourself.
I am always curious and love discovering and trying new things.
I love when people are positive about new experiences.
Cows are my favorite animal!
What are you most looking forward to about Tasting Australia?
I'm really looking forward to revisiting Australia (I was there 30 years ago!). I'm looking forward to testing the raw local produce and feeling the Australian food DNA. I'm also looking forward to meeting people I’ve met before through events such as Parabere Forum, as well as meeting a lot of new people.
Can you give us a taste of what to expect at your Town Square Kitchen Dinner – Alive?
I look forward to digging into the Australian and local produce and exploring tastes and combinations from the sea.
You’re involved in our Town Square Kitchen Dinner – Wasted. Why is this ethos around minimising food waste so important to you?
I hope this will be more important to all people, as well as restaurants. If everyone reduces their food waste, we have enough food for everyone in the world, and we’ll take care of our planet in a more sustainable way.
What is your signature dish to make?
When being in this industry for so long you get a lot of signature dishes, which vary from season to season. But I have to say - I love making seafood dishes. Here in Norway, the seafood is really amazing in the wintertime.
What is your favorite seasonal ingredient: spring/summer/fall/winter
I truly enjoy the variety of raw produce that every season has. But I have to say it’s always extra special with the first greens of the spring. What treasures the forest has to offer each autumn are also amazing.
Who would you love to dine with?
Such a tough question! But dining with people who can share their knowledge, and that in their own way can contribute to a wiser and better world - those are the people I love to dine with.
Your dream restaurant booking?
Restaurants that have a circular way of thinking and practicing. I enjoy places where they view the whole restaurant as a whole experience and have a purpose with everything they do. I also love when restaurants apply new exciting techniques - especially combined with traditional raw produce and dishes, to present them in new ways.
The most memorable meal you’ve had?
I have been quite lucky to enjoy so many amazing meals on so many different occasions. A memorable food moment for me that I keep close to the heart - although not really a meal per se - was when we made sour cream at Fannremsgården. We took milk from each of the dairy cows to make their own special sour cream, and curiously tested the variations in taste from each cow. It makes you appreciate the produce provided by the animals even more when you know what each of them brings to the table.
Where you'll find Heidi at Tasting Australia
- Town Square Kitchen Brunch - Alive: This Town Square Kitchen brunch is set to explore all things alive. Its dishes will feature ingredients started months ago and nurtured just for the occasion: kimchi, ferments and krauts are among the treasures that await.
- Town Square Kitchen Dinner - Wasted: Wasted unites three trailblazers who consider the impacts of their work at every turn. Expect a menu laden with South Australian produce, delicious surprises and the chance to discover how food and climate change intersect.
- Storytellers - Heidi Bjerkan: Behind every special eating and drinking experience there's a story. Be inspired by masters of their craft as they share captivating tales from the kitchen and beyond.
Photo: Leikny Havik Skjærseth, Visit Norway