The winners of the postponed Nordic Food Awards Embla 2021 were announced in Oslo on June 20, 2022. The awards are divided into seven different categories that celebrate Nordic food and highlight all the talented people behind it.
Embla celebrates many aspects of the Nordic kitchen
So, what does Embla mean? The name Embla is taken from Norse mythology. Embla was the first woman made by the gods from a tree.
The previous award ceremonies were held in 2017 and 2019. Due to Covid-19, Embla’s 2021 ceremony was postponed, but now in 2022, the talented and innovative award winners have finally been revealed!
The Nordic kitchen, with its clean flavours and use of local ingredients, is already loved far and wide. Nordic food has almost reached fashion status, but it’s so much more than just a buzzword or trend. For this reason, Embla has a varied range of categories that celebrate different aspects and qualities of Nordic gastronomy.
Who is the Embla jury?
Embla is an award with an open nomination system. Everyone can nominate an individual, organization or company for one of the categories. You can even nominate yourself, your colleague, your company or the business you work for.
The national Embla jury consists of 3 members from each of the Nordic countries. Jury members select a representative who will be responsible for each category in each country. To make everything as fair as possible, the members of the jury can’t vote for candidates from their own countries.
When the jury members meet to select the award winners, they consider the following criteria: sustainability, inspiration, originality and honesty.
Here are the Embla categories
In 2022 Embla has chosen prize winners from nominees in the following seven categories:
Nordic food producer: These nominees are fishermen, farmers, hunters or collectors who use, produce, catch or collect raw nordic ingredients of high quality.
Nordic food entrepreneur This award is given to a person, organization or company that has used a food artisan tradition to build a new method that has a broad appeal among consumers.
Nordic food artisan Goes to a person or company that has created a unique food product based on Nordic raw ingredients and with roots in artisan traditions.
Nordic food communicator An award that celebrates a storyteller, media or concept that shares knowledge about Nordic food.
Nordic food for many Given to either a person or an organization that made an extraordinary effort to encourage high-quality and Nordic food culture in public meals.
Nordic food destination To be considered for this award a society, community or institution must have lifted a geographic destination via food culture, cooperation and unity.
Nordic food for children and youth Celebrates a developer of an idea or concept that has significantly helped children and youth gain skills and knowledge related to Nordic food culture.
From forest wine to fermented fish chips — previous Embla winners
There’s so much good to celebrate about what’s happening with food and food knowledge in the Nordic countries. More and more is happening, and we have lots to look forward to.
Thanks to all the talented people behind this development, the future looks bright, more sustainable and very delicious!
The award-winning product ideas from Embla 2017 and 2019 include everything from vegetables grown in harsh climates to high-quality wine made with wild berries and handmade fermented fish chips.
Sustainable distribution of local ingredients and teaching kids how to grow and cook food were also among the award-winning concepts.
Here are the Embla 2021 winners
Nordic Food Producer 2021: Fredriksdals Kirsebærvin, Denmark Producer of cherry wine made from locally grown cherries. The wine is made at Frederiksdal estate in southern Denmark. Frederiksdal’s winemaker uses an artisanal technique, employing wild fermentation. The wine is then stored in big glass balloons, and placed outside where the local weather gives it a unique flavour.
Nordic Food Entrepreneur 2021: Andreas Sundgren, Brännlands Cider, Sweden Brännland Ciders produces different kinds of ice cider made from Swedish apples. The ciders are sold both in Sweden and internationally, and some are even served in Michelin restaurants in several locations globally.
Nordic Food Artisan 2021: Undredal stølsysteri, Norway At Undredal Stølsysteri they make unsalted artisanal cheese from unpasteurized sheep- and goat milk. Their healthy animals roam freely and happily on steep slopes located up to 1000 meters above sea level. Animal welfare, soil quality, grazing plants and climate result in unique, protein-rich cheeses.
Nordic Food Communicator 2021: Det Grønne Museum, Denmark Denmark’s national museum for hunting, forestry, agriculture, and food. It’s a place where children and adults can learn more about Nordic food culture and history. The museum offers a range of activities, such as ancient cooking techniques, where the participants get to try how it feels to prepare meals with historical kitchen utensils.
Nordic Food for Many 2021: The Junk Food Project, Denmark A project that has helped bring delicious and nutrient-rich food to the homeless. Rasmus Munk, Head Chef from the two-starred Michelin restaurant Alchemist, founded the project during the Covid-19 shutdown in 2020. With restaurants closing, kitchen staff found themselves with extra time, and what better way to use it than to make sure homeless people get amazing food? The project keeps going strong now, and every single day, Junkfood delivers healthy and tasty meals to homeless shelters and drop-in centres.
Nordic Food Destination 2021: Kvitnes gård Norway The Kvitnes Farm offers local food in beautiful surroundings. All meals prepared at the farm’s restaurant come from local producers in nearby areas. Guests can enjoy fish from local fishermen, moose from local hunters, and locally grown vegetables and berries. Kvitnes has helped tourists discover more of Northern Norway, its food and its unique landscapes.
Nordic Food for Children and Young People 2021: Geitmyra Credo, Norway Geitmyra Credo is a sustainable restaurant in Trondheim, Norway. Their head chef, Heidi Bjerkan, believes that it’s essential for children to experience the joy of food. For this reason, Credo arranges educational courses for kindergartens, internships for adults who work with children, courses for parents and leisure courses for children and families. The restaurant has one Michelin Star and was even awarded the Michelin Green star for its outstanding sustainability efforts.
Why not nominate your colleagues, a friend or yourself for Embla 2023?
The next Embla winners will be selected in 2023. This means that you still have plenty of time to nominate someone you admire or even yourself for one of the categories. Why not contribute to the future development of Nordic food by highlighting an innovative person or food project that deserves this special recognition?