One of Bon Appetit‘s Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America to host 2 Michelin star chef in a celebration of New Nordic Cuisine.
By Hannah Keyser
On Monday, Bon Appetit Magazine released their official list of “The Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America”. Coming in at number 10 is Aska, where Swedish-born Chef Fredrik Berselius, an alumnus of such storied New York institutions as Aquavit and Per Se, merges the New Nordic food movement with the hip Williamsburg scene. Aska, which opened this past winter in the same art gallery space where Berselius had been operating the pop-up restaurant Frej, boasts a hyper-seasonal and hyper-local inventive take on Scandinavian food.
Many of the ingredients, which range from lichen to pigs blood, that show up on Aska’s ever-changing tasting menu have been foraged by Berselius himself. Well, maybe not the hotly-debated pigs blood, which is authentic to Breselius’ Swedish roots, but certainly the produce. “What you pick with your hands is so much more precious than something you pay for. I have several places upstate that I frequent,” the chef told Bon Appetit. At the 24-seat Aska, Breselius aims to connect each patron to nature and the often-overlooked bounty that can be sourced even in vicinity of a major metropolis.
For two nights in early October, Breselius will be joined in Aska’s kitchen by Chef Esben Holmboe Bang from Norway as part of Honest Cooking’s NORTH Festival. “I am super excited to come to Williamsburg to cook with Fredrik,” says Chef Esben Holmboe Bang, whose restaurant, Maaemo, received 2 Michelin stars in its first ever mention in the guide and was recently voted “Best restaurant in the Nordic region” of 2013. “I had a great dinner there earlier this year and I think his cooking is one of the most exciting around. I am really looking forward to it.” Diners will be treated to a multi-course tasting menu that will maintain Aska’s integrity (the website pledges “respect for nature, creativity, and hard work”) and flair for seasonal ingredients while combining Chef Esben’s affinity for raw Norwegian nature and climate.