WHEN HEAD CHEF RICHIE BOCARD BRINGS ALONG SIX COLLEAGUES FROM HANAMI TO THE NEWLY OPENED FOODIE AT ORO´S OLD LOCATION IN OSLO, IT ONLY MEANS ONE THING: IT WILL BE FOOD FOR FOODIES.
The Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov once researched how dogs start to drool when they sense food, and then drool again when exposed to the same serving of food.
Like a Pavlovian dog I am now sitting at Tordenskiold Street 6 in Oslo. I am surrounded by craftsmen, dust, planks and loose wires. There is hectic activity before the official opening in just a few days. Talking About is having a sneak preview to check the atmosphere. Right now, the place is not exactly ideal for serving food. Still the head chef, Richie Bocarro, has just served a delicious starter; an Iberico neck fried at 56 degrees for 12 hours, cut in thin slices and served with mayonnaise with roasted pine nuts, foam of pineapple and small pieces of orange – and we are waiting for the main dish. My mouth is watering just thinking about what is to come.
- Originally another chef was considered for this job, says Svend Sødergaard. His title is General Manager for Foodie. And he is not about to serve his guests anything second class.
- This particular concept demanded something out of the ordinary. Therefore, I got in touch with Richie …
A fun-loving kitchen
That turned out to be a good idea. Richie Bocarro has experience from El Callar de Can Roca, which has been acclaimed as the world´s best restaurant several times. He has also been responsible for fine dining in fashionable Fabel in Fredrikstad. He has been the head chef at Bon Leo, and worked in top notch restaurants in England, France and Dubai – and played a key role as head chef at Hanami, elevating it to great heights. And now he has joined his old colleague Svend at Foodie.
Hanami really is a top-notch restaurant, but it serves classic dishes that are untouchable. At Foodie, we can play around much more. Me and my colleagues can challenge, experiment and have fun. For us in the kitchen it is important to constantly be evolving, Richie explains.
Unrestrained playfulness is important for Foodie and Svend Søndergaard. We want this to be a relaxed environment, and not formal in any way. We want to have fun along with serving food and drink of high quality, Svend says.,And it shall be available and obtainable for everyone. We don´t want the prices to be a deterrent for anyone either. This is a place where you are supposed to be able to sit down with a cup of coffee and a newspaper, order a plain and simple meal or a big dish. We also believe in a menu where two or more share. And you shall always be able to order wine “by the glass” or beer, for that matter. Or a cocktail from our own bar that fits the particular dish you have chosen.
Wine from Palmer
Svend Søndergaard shopped around a little to make sure he picked the right wine supplier, but he never really had any doubts. I became acquainted with Palmer when I worked at Kulinarisk Akademi and I was impressed with their fantastic service. When I was shopping around for the right supplier for Foodie, Palmer was already a clear favorite. Now we have an exclusive deal with them. We get all our wine from Palmer. They also help create menus for wine tasting and they are always willing to go the extra mile to help us get the wine we want that isn´t part of the assortment. I cannot praise them enough, Svend says.
And this is where our interview with the guys behind Foodie ends. Richie is coming up the stairs with delicious looking micro steaks of tuna with Japanese sudachi with exquisite acidity, chorizo-mayonnaise and a touch of garlic oil … at this point everything else seems immaterial: This is Foodie for foodies.
And we can confirm that Pavlov was right.