Telling a story about the food the guests are about to enjoy always enhances the guest experience and enjoyment of the meal.
Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view.
In regards to the meal or food it’s a good idea to tell a story that gives the meal some perspective.
It can be a story describing the origins of the different courses or the produce used.
It can also be a story about the traditions surrounding a typical seasonal meal. If you serve a meal with seafood the story could focus on the fact that the fishing and seafood industry plays an important part in the Nordic countries. Furthermore, fishing is a popular sport thanks to our extensive coasts and our numerous lakes and fjords. Where and who landed the fish you serve? Is it a regional speciality? Do you know any recipes? Herring, for example, can be served in many different forms and by using a vast range of cooking techniques.
If you serve beer from microbreweries you could tell a story about them emerging. Not long ago many farms had their own brewing houses and the tradition of local beers was strong. After a period of large corporations dominating the market for bottled drinks, micro breweries and local beers are becoming more and more prevalent in the Nordic countries. Who brewed the beer you are serving? Is it made of local ingredients? What are the characteristics?
During an autumn meal the focus could be about the wonderful roots. Root vegetables play an important part in the Nordic kitchen. Tell something about the many different varieties that we grow. Which are your own favourites? With the growing interest for home-grown produce, root vegetables have recently been rediscovered by chefs who use them in new and innovative ways. Give some examples.
A winter story could tell the history of preserving. To survive the long, cold winters, people in the Nordic countries have traditionally had to preserve food. Describe some different techniques and recipes. Dried fish (lutefisk and lutfisk) is a Nordic speciality which, in its cooked form, is a must on the Christmas table. Have you discovered some new ways to preserve meat, berries etc or some new, exciting seasoning that added to their flavours?
There is no limit to what stories can be told about the meal. The only rule is to make sure it enhances the guest’s meal experience.