Lindstrom and Michelin-Starred Maaemo Cook Up Norwegian Disco Brunch at Oya Fest

Insanely expensive, outlandishly creative Oslo restaurant will spruce up — literally — Lindstrom's mossy electro-pop

Maaemo's Grønnkål fra Hadeland: Not your average steamed cabbage / Photo by Maaemo
Maaemo's Grønnkål fra Hadeland: Not your average steamed cabbage / Photo by Maaemo
Philip Sherburne WRITTEN BY
Philip Sherburne

Norway's left-field dance producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is teaming up with Oslo's Maaemo restaurant to present a special brunch during this summer's Øya festival. But don't expect a slice of cantaloupe at the end: Try a carrot sorbet served with sea-buckthorn berries, cubes of caramel jelly, and sugar beet. Maaemo — Old Norse for "Mother Earth" or "all that is living" — specializes in local ingredients prepared with a whimsical touch. That means dishes like picked spruce juice, grilled cucumber and parsley, porridge with reindeer heart and brown butter, and burnt marzipan and wheat-beer vinegar. Dishes are served on rocks, and dry ice infused with pine lends that extra-foresty touch.

Maaemo earned two stars from Michelin in 2012, but this is their chance to go for a Scandinavian Grammy: The Øya brunch will be a six-course meal based on Lindstrøm's Smalhans (one of SPIN's top 50 albums of 2012). Evocatively entitled Maaelstrøm, the meal, based on locally-sourced organic produce, is intended as "a broad representation" of Lindstrøm's LP, as envisioned by Maaemo founders Ebsen Holmoe Band and Pontus Dahlstrøm. Smallhans is a six-track suite of springy, Italo-flavored disco and synth pop, with each song itself themed around food, like "Rà-àkõ-st" and "Lamm-el-aar" (dried salted lamb meat). With Maaelstrøm, the project comes full circle.

"I'm going to be cooking up some music, I guess," the pun-loving Lindstrøm told SPIN when asked what form the collaboration might take. "The plan is to perform the songs as the food is being served. We haven't really started 'rehearsing' yet, so all the details aren't ready."

And who knows, maybe we should expect Lindstrøm's next record to be influenced, in turn, by Maaemo's eco-surrealist cuisine. "We were there last weekend, and it was incredibly good," notes the producer. "One of the things I remember as being exceptionally amazing was the duck served over muesli and some kind of citrus-marinated raw Jerusalem artichoke. The oyster emulsion was also special, as well as the langoustine friend in butter made out of young spruce sprouts."

Maaelstrøm doesn't come cheap: At 1500 Norwegian kroners, it comes out to about $260 per person. Still, that beats the $650 that a Bloomberg reviewer paid for a one-person meal. Seating is limited to 30 people, and will only be open to Øya ticket holders; check out Food Studio to sign up for more information. Øya takes place August 6 through 10, and its headliners include Blur, the Knife, Kraftwerk, Kendrick Lamar, James Blake, and Slayer, who have definitely eaten a reindeer heart or two in their time.

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